Mirror, Mirror on the Wall . . . Tell Me How to Oust Them All.

I was jerked from sleep on Saturday before dawn revealed her crack by the sound of gagging in my bathroom.

Was one of my children coming to me coughing and unable to breathe?


Did I have a sick child hanging over the commode?


I was awakened early on a Saturday morning by a perfectly healthy teenager brushing his teeth at my sink and humming to himself.

He was not retching on the rugs. He was not spitting gross things on the vanity. And he was not humming off key. So why did I react with frustration and anger? . . .

Because he was not down the hall in his own bathroom where he could brush his teeth with a floor sander, hum along with a bagpipe band and still not wake me up!

Why do all of my kids insist on preening and primping in my bathroom when the one we built for them stands empty at the end of the hall?

Evidently, clothes match better, hair brushes shinier and pimples pop easier in our bathroom mirror. Sunday mornings have seen the family standing there seven deep.

I have burned them with curling irons, smudged them with mascara wands and spattered their hair with toothpaste dribble. Still, those dratted kids won’t leave.

Their desires for communal grooming really confuse me. How is it that the children who won’t acknowledge me in public, won’t leave me alone in the bathroom?

And why in the world do the teenagers who think “good” and “fine” are adequate conversation responses across the dinner table, want to discuss global warming and world hunger through the bathroom door?

I hope to live into old age. When I do, I will visit all my children in their own homes and claim their bathrooms as my own. I’ll leave my teeth on their sinks, tinkle a little on their floors, and fill their mirror space with old lady underwear images.

That’ll teach them to lighten up on the lavatory love.