I hope you’re ready to laugh. Seriously. Finish your drink. Swallow that last bit of…whatever. Because I don’t want to be responsible for your choking or ruining your computer screen when a geyser of Dr. Pepper shoots out your nose (ew).

Today, I’ve got Kristie from Five in Tow taking over 5 Things Thursday, and I honestly couldn’t be more excited. This woman. She has a gift. A true wordsmith, she is.


She has FIVE children—3 singletons and a set of twins as numbers 4 and 5. Sound familiar?

Yes, this is a woman after my own heart, and I am going to back away from my keyboard now and let her take over before I gush so much that I flood my laptop.

Take it away, Kristie!


This is our hall bathroom.

Reclaim the Loo 

Nice, huh? You’d think it would be the perfect place to go whenever I need a moment to…reflect.

Except I have a problem.


My children think going to the bathroom is a group activity. They can be playing nicely two rooms away, but as soon as the bathroom door shuts, everyone rushes into the hall. Mass hysteria ensues.

There is crying.

There is screaming.

There are people demanding things from me now that they did not need from me two seconds ago.


A typical bathroom excursion goes something like this: I go into the bathroom and shut the door.

Suddenly, someone’s little eyeball peeks under the door. “What are you doing, Mom?”

What am I doing?

“I’m eating a giant lollipop!”

“You ARE?” My child bursts into the bathroom.

“No! I am not! What do you think I am doing in the bathroom?”

“I dunno.” He stares at me, disappointed. His four siblings stare too since the door has been flung wide open for all to see.

Right about this time, I decide that it is time to take back my bathroom. It is time to reclaim the loo.

Apparently, hanging out with mommy in a room where the primary activity involves a toilet is not discouraging enough to my children. I’m going to have to pull out the big guns. From now on, anyone who bursts into the bathroom without knocking is going to get one of five horrific punishments.

Be afraid.


See that bathroom vanity in the background? I’ve got a pile of Russian classics stowed in the bottom drawer. Anyone who sticks his fingers under the door and tells me he’s bored is going to find himself plowing through a chapter or two of War and Peace. Unabridged.



If War and Peace doesn’t discourage my bathroom groupies, perhaps being made to match an endless supply of socks will! I have a whole pile of socks waiting for the next person who knocks on the bathroom door. I almost want them to interrupt me just so I don’t have to match them myself.

“But Mom! This is going to take forever!”

I know. Bwahaha!



Given the amount of bathroom interruptions I endure each day, there’s a good chance I’ll run out of mismatched socks before these kids get tired of bursting into the bathroom.

Good thing there’s a lot of grout to clean. In fact, I can probably finish an entire shower in the time it takes my twins to clean the slate. With a toothbrush.


This is not supposed to be fun.



Interrupting Mommy in the bathroom should come with a severe consequence, and nothing is as severe or agonizing as long division. Nothing. Most kids would rather swallow worms than be made to do long division. So be forewarned, little bathroom bargers! I’ve got a stash of worksheets and I’m not afraid to use them.



If all else fails, I will employ the most ruthless trick of all. When my little darlings bang on the door and beg me to break up some little fight, I’ll say, “Come on in! I’m just kissing Daddy in here!”

Kissing is like kryptonite to children. The very word makes them writhe in agony. They can endure and in fact be interested in any activity that happens in the bathroom, but if you say “kissing” you can bet they’ll run away faster than you can get out that long division worksheet.


So even if my husband is nowhere to be found, you can bet I’ll be “kissing” him in the bathroom.

A lot.



I’m laughing (again), and I’ve already read this post 3 times!

Kristie. Girl. I have two words for you: Pad. Lock. Okay, so that’s supposed to be one word, but it was more dramatic that way.

Anyhoo, if you want to experience more of Kristie’s storytelling and insights into life (with 5 children), head on over to her blog and say hi. You’ll be so glad you did!


  1. Eight years back we started the Vanities quest for the best high force shower heads available, testing sets of shower heads from numerous producers. Our testing kept tabs on one trait: High Pressure.

  2. Snorts of laughter MIGHT have been heard around here. Mmm, padlock indeed. I will say, that there are two of mine that get the whole concept of talking through the door instead of barging in… my 8 month old though, is fine so long as you are playing peek-a-boo around the door.

  3. oh what memories this brings to mind. the fingers nder the door, pleadings spoken under the door, rattling the doorknob. SO this mother quietly opened a jar of face mask that just happened to be GREEN. It dried very quickly and if I had only had someone prepared with a video cam for the reaction from them and the friends that were also there with urgent needs (there were other bathrooms). They still laugh about it now but I am not sure those were laughs I heard while they were asking what the masked woman what she had done with their mother. The cure only lasted less than a week but they have repeated that story a million times..

  4. So. We have an old, old house. Well, it was a pigeon barn before it became a house, but ya know. Anyhow– the door to the bathroom has a crack near the bottom. It’s not big deal, I mean, it’s a beautiful old hardwood door and I’d hate to replace it because of a little ole crack (besides, a new door would look totally out of place).

    But since doing full-time child care I’ve learned something valuable:

    That crack is at eye level for children.

    And it is IMPOSSIBLE for them to not stand with their face plastered to the door while you’re in the bathroom.

    My husband suggested rigging the door so that an electric current is triggered, but I kind of hated to go that far.

    I’ll have to share this post with him. 🙂

I love hearing from you guys!