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SQUATTERS RIGHTS

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SQUATTERS RIGHTS

No one takes my schedules seriously. No one listens to what I have to say and no one takes matters into their own hands. Sometimes it’s chaotic trying to get presentable in the mornings in this small house. I don’t know why I’m noticing this now because it’s been like that for years.

When Andrew was home recently because of an early doctor’s appointment and an eye appointment that both happened to be scheduled on the same day as his dad’s doctor’s appointment, an hour later,  in the opposite direction,  I had a well-planned bathroom schedule complete in my head. If only they would listen to me!

I’ve come to the conclusion men do not take the time frame into consideration when having to be somewhere. They don’t allow for problems. When Andrew was in elementary school and swimming on a swim team he thought we could leave at 4:00 for practice when the practice was scheduled for 4:00. Yes, we lived about 4 minutes from the pool, but we still had to pack up, drive through traffic, park, and unload. Nope! It doesn’t work that way.

This small house has one full bath and one half bath. I move all my stuff out of the half bath attached to the room Andrew likes to sleep in – the Philadelphia Room –  and live out of a bag for a few days every time Andrew graces us with his presence or we have overnight company.  There isn’t much you can do in a half bath so the majority of business is conducted in the full bath.

Once I remove all my essentials from the half bath I also set my clock to get up before everyone else so I don’t have to wait in line. I know that line will eventually form because it always does. I tell H Andrew has to leave first – an hour before we do – so please let him get in the bathroom first. He will not be in there for long.

I also tell Andrew, who likes to snooze until the last possible minute, to please get in there and out on time because Dad has to be somewhere too, and it takes him seven times longer to get ready than it does Andrew. It literally takes Andrew about eight minutes to get in the shower, brush his teeth, dress, and get out the door!

On the other hand, H rises early and ties up the bathroom for about an hour every morning, in and out, out and in. Reads the paper – back in. Checks on the sprinkler system –  back in. A few sips of coffee, a bite of cereal – back in. Flip channels on the tv – back in. It goes on and on.

Meanwhile, dressed and ready, waiting not-so-patiently for leave time. I’ve done all I can do short of bathing and dressing everyone in the house myself.

I cannot imagine how H’s mother raised three boys with Mom and Dad making five in this small house with only one full bath. She was lucky it wasn’t three girls!

I just can’t get it through H’s head that when Andrew is home and has to be somewhere before he does, the bathroom does not have squatters rights. Me? I’ve learned to work around him. Andrew hasn’t.

I make these schedules in my head and casually drop a hint or two to everyone that time will be scarce in the morning so please work on a time frame.

Do they listen to me? No! Should I make a list and tack it to the bathroom door? Probably.  Will they pay attention and follow the schedule on the list? Probably not! 

~Elle

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About Elle Knowles

Elle Knowles lives in the Florida Panhandle with her husband and off-at-college-most-of-the-time son. She has four daughters, one son, and eleven beautiful grandchildren. 'Crossing the Line' is her first novel. The sequel 'What Line' is a work in progress.

10 responses »

  1. I love what Jill wrote since I admire you too. You’re such a caring, old-fashioned wife and mom. Men, the more you take care of them, the more they expect and don’t realize how fortunate they are…my personal shake on the whole thing. You should be worshiped like a goddess with your own bathroom. Sigh

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  2. I can only look on in admiration and awe for a woman who has shared her bathroom with boys all these years. Boys are not allowed in my bathroom. Under nearly any circumstance. It is pristine and beautiful and I’m not cleaning up after anyone else!

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    • When you only have one other bath and it’s a half bath somethings got to give! Andrew has never really lived here because he was already in college when we moved. It’s just when he’s home adjustments have to be made. 😉

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  3. Well, they are grown men and it’s their appointments . . . so, as Marie Antoinette would say, “Let them be late.”

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    • Funny thing is they are never late. Andrew arrives on time by the skin of his teeth and H waltzes in with time to spare. They just make me nervous by not planning for emergencies. Oh well. I’ll just keep getting up early and get out of the range of gunfire! 😉

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    • Hear, hear! Absolutely let them figure it out. I would move into the full bath and make them work around my schedule. Women reign in the bathroom.

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      • Men are absolutely clueless where schedules are concerned! As long as it’s just H and I its all fine. When you throw a third into the mix and one full bath, trouble prevails! I just stay out of the way, but still can’t figure out why they don’t foresee problems…

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