...and the world did not come to an end.
Today was the first time in almost seven weeks that I have been able to close the bathroom door without children inside with me, and without major pounding or screaming happening on the other side of door.
For the first several weeks after coming home, the kids all crowded into the bathroom with me. But I'll be honest - I haven't really enjoyed that. There are a few things for which privacy is important to me and that's one of them. It's been years since I've had a privacy issue with Matthew, but I think it's safe to say that the little bubble of personal space that I typically value around such things has been blown away since bringing the two younger kids home. And I have missed little things like that. So, for the past five weeks, I've been working towards a moment such as happened today! Every single time that I have insisted on a moment's privacy in the bathroom, I've been saying, "mommy will come back." Until today, the anguish on the other side of the door was great, no matter how fast I was. I have also made a practice of asking, when I have emerged from the bathroom moments later, "did mommy come back?" The kids have answered "yes," and I have repeated "yes, mommy come back. I won't leave you."
Today, finally, I achieved what I've wanted. Twice. The first time, I used the main floor bathroom because that's the floor we were all located on. I announced my intention to head to the bathroom and said that I would be closing the door. I then walked to the bathroom. I left the kids playing (together - another still-new thing!) on the family room floor. I was quick about my business, but I certainly took note that it was the first time I've had a peaceful moment of bathroom privacy in almost seven weeks. I enjoyed that minute thoroughly!
Later in the day, I decided to risk it all. I again announced that I was heading to the bathroom and that I would be closing the door. I waited for the outcry of anguish and the scramble of arms and legs getting ready to pound after me; and there was nothing. Matthew said "ok" and Lizzie asked "Mommy come back?" (to which I of course answered "yes, Mommy come back") and I went upstairs to Geoff's and my ensuite. I closed the door and, I must confess, took a little longer than usual before heading back out. I came downstairs smiling, and was met with the noises of harmonious playing. Lizzie and Seth both looked up at me as I entered the room and Lizzie said, "Mommy come back." It was a statement, not a question. I said, with a grin on my face, "yes, Lizzie, Mommy come back. Always."
I sat down on the floor with them and we continued to play. But tucked into my heart was the heightened sense of satisfaction that came from knowing that we may, today, have achieved a tiny little milestone in this journey that is attachment...and I just got back a tiny little bit of privacy. I don't know which means more!