Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Date Night in the Bathroom

Remember when staying overnight in a hotel meant spending a half hour in the shower trying out all the free products, lying in bed watching crappy cable for hours at night, interrupted by vacation sex, followed by deep sleeping, which went on and on and on, past 9am, past 10, sometimes past 11, at which point you'd have to fling your belongings into your suitcase and hustle down to reception to sweet talk the guy behind the counter into not charging you for late checkout?

That time is no more. It ended the day I had my first baby, much less my third. Now, even on the rare occasions when David and I sneak away for an overnight stay somewhere, neither of us can sleep past 8am.  We are biologically wired to wake, adrenaline coursing,  aeound 7:30am, to pour cereal and shove breasts into baby's mouths and pack lunches.

When we stay in hotels with the kids in tow -- once a year, on our way down to North Carolina -- not only don't we get to sleep late, we don't get to lie in bed watching crappy cable. That's because even though we only ever stay at hotels that offer two-room suites - where the living room and its fold out couch is separated from the bedroom with a door -- now that we have three kids, we don't get a room to ourselves. Baby is always on board. Baby could be tossed into the madhouse living room with her big brother and sister but those kids don't go to bed til the stroke of 10  - minimum  - and I can't cope with the possibility that they'd keep the baby up til then. I'd rather have a sleeping baby hogging my bedroom, essentially barring me from entry, than an awake baby screaming her head off, while I retain full use of the bedchamber. That's because I know full well that as long as the baby's awake I don't retain full use of anything; I can't enjoy the bedroom anyway with her clinging to me collar like a monkey and caterwauling in my ear. So we give the baby the bedroom, and we give the kids the living room and David and I are left . . .

With the the bathroom.

The thing is, by the time the kids finally succumb to sleep, we are so fucking relieved to be Off Duty for a brief spell that we don't give a shit that we're stuck in the bathroom.

i sit on the closed lid of the toilet and David perches on the edge of the tub. Occasionally, the bathroom is big enough for us to drag a chair in from the living room. In this incredibly glamorous set-up, we do exciting and sexy things like eat leftover cold cuts, and watch Scandal on my laptop.We could have sex in the shower, I suppose, but seeing as these hotel stays always follows a 6-10 hour car ride with three children, that is the last thing either of us want to do. OK, not either of us. I think David could drive a school bus full of kids for 72 hours straight  and still want to have sex upon exiting the vehicle. Still, the vacation sex of our pre-baby-days is out. So, we kvetch and snack and consume media, crowded in the bathroom. And we relish every minute of it because it sure beats sitting in the car with the kids bellowing three different songs simultaneously and beating the crap out of each other of out sheer boredom.

Yet another way the deprivation of leisure exacted by parenthood improves you as a person, making you grateful for the things you used to take for granted.