Mom, Are You in There?

My kids begin spring break tomorrow. I’m excited that, for eleven glorious days, my counter will be void of the requisite eight snack and lunch bags that require nightly cleaning and packing.

I’m less excited about how many fakakta excuses the boys will create to interrupt my every-other-day-6-minutes-tops shower.

Mom, are you in there? I didn’t know where you were. I thought you left us.

Mom, are you in there? Where is Dad?

Mom, are you in there? What are you doing?

Mom, are you in there? Can I just please see where your penis is supposed to be?

Mom, are you in there? I have to poop.

Mom, are you in there? I’m hungry.

Mom, are you in there? I have to tell you something.

Mom, are you in there? What time is it?

Mom, are you in there? I have boogies in my nose. I need you to help me get them out.

Mom, are you in there? When will Dad be home from work? How many hours is that from now?

Mom, are you in there? Where are my socks?

Mom, are you in there? Can I play the iPad?

Mom, are you in there? When can I play the iPad?

Mom, are you in there? Is it my turn to play the iPad?

Mom, are you in there? When will you be finished?

Mom, are you in there? I want to be with you.

Mom, are you in there? I have to pee.

Mom, are you in there? My hiney is itchy.

Mom, are you in there? How many more days until my birthday?

Mom, are you in there? My brother breathed on me!

Mom, are you in there? My brother keeps looking at me!

Mom, are you in there? My brother farted on me!

Mom, are you in there? My brother killed me in Minecraft!


Mom, are you in there? My brother hit me with the Minecraft pick ax!

Mom, are you in there? I can’t stop thinking about Minecraft! Can you help me stop thinking about Minecraft? Mom?

Mom, are you in there? I found a frisbee outside. It’s green! That’s my teacher’s favorite color! Mom! Can you hear me?

Mom, are you in there? I know you told me to stop asking for things all the time. And, I heard you. But can I just ask for one thing? Can we just have McDonald’s please? I’m not asking just for me. I’m asking for everybody. So, can we? Mom?

Mom, are you in there? You told me the yesterday before yesterday that I could have dessert after lunch. But you forgot to give me dessert. Can you give it to me now? I’ve been waiting so long. I really want dessert from the yesterday before yesterday, Mom!

I wonder how many new ways they’ll invent to interrupt my shower before school resumes on April 1st…


Today marks the last entry…the tenth…in our This is Childhood Series. Lindsey Mead writes an exquisite reflection on age 10. When Lindsey writes about her children, it takes my breath away. Today’s tribute is no exception…

Our This is Childhood writers are Aidan DonnelleyKristen Levithan, Nina Badzin, Galit Breen, Allison Slater Tate, Bethany MeyerTracy MorrisonAmanda Magee, Denise Ullem, and Lindsey Mead. I adore these women and was honored to be a voice in this series.

24 thoughts on “Mom, Are You in There?

  1. Love these! I can totally relate. My favorite one I have heard …” Mom, my arm is hungry!!” Ha. I am sure they will get better and better. Good luck on spring break- not like it used to be!

    • Oh, Lauren, spring break brings with it a bit of a sense of dread. The absolute opposite of the excitement it used to bring.

      My arm is hungry is exactly the nonsense I expect to hear in the coming 2 weeks. Glad you can relate!

      Thanks for reading!

  2. Ha!!! So funny and too true. Spring break feels cruel to us, doesn’t it? Did they JUST have winter break!!?!?!? I mean, are they ever in school. And get this . . . my kids had mid-winter break. A week in February. I can’t even.

    • Mid-winter break? That’s worse than a made-up Hallmark holiday. I’m excited to have the little guys come into my room and snuggle up on either side of me. I’m less excited to field non-stop questions for 15 solid hours for 11 consecutive days.

  3. “I thought you left us.” LOL! I loved that. As if. Four boys have never been so loved. I’m so excited for the success of your newly published book, too. I don’t know how you find the time to fit it all in, but I’m glad you do. Thanks for brightening my day. 😀

    • Your comments always brighten mine! That is the Interrogator…”I thought you left us”. Really, child? Good grief.

  4. OMG, I cannot even tell you how much I LOVE your posts!!! I’m all the way over here in Switzerland with only half as many sons as you, but I have just about wet myself over the “minecraft” and “my brother keeps looking at me” reasons for getting you out of the shower – wayyy too familiar!
    Your writing is so clever, so brilliant, so entertaining. Thanks for sharing!!

    Kats in Zurich, Switzerland

    • Thank you so much, Kats! An international fan…woohoo!!! Life with boys is unexpected, isn’t it? Thank you for your fabulous comment and for reading!!!

    • Kathy, they are eternally befuddled by the mystery that is the vagina. From day one. And it never stops, does it?

      Thanks for reading!

  5. Bethany,
    This is one of your funniest yet.
    I don’t even “know” your boys,yet I could hear their voices.
    I don’t even have sons, yet I just know this is what they would’ve been like.
    So very very funny. Enjoy your time with them this week. Think of it as boot camp for summer vacation.

    • Thanks, Debbie!! I don’t even have to identify who has said what…you know them well enough from reading me that you can match the child to the ridiculous expression! Boot camp is right. Pray for me. XO

  6. “I thought you left us” had me rolling on the floor. Then you slayed me with “My hiney is itchy”.

    I just have a baby screaming in his crib while I shower, and a 3 year old who gives me no privacy whatsoever. I guess it’d be like this for the next 6 years or so? (optimistic, much?)

    • 6 years. Maybe 7. “I thought you left us” was uttered by my 7 year old. So, maybe 8 years. After 10 years of having someone home with me every day, it was an entirely amazing experience to revisit showering without interruption once again. Thank you for reading!

    • My kids are too! I tweeted an article the other day that suggests Minecraft is good for their little brains. Evidently, teachers are bringing into the classrooms and incorporating it into curriculum. I say my work here is done. Thanks for reading! And I’m in love with the sleep mask you made Johi. You made that for her, didn’t you? Love.

    • There is something about the sound of running water that beckons my kids to the bathroom door. Like a moth to a flame. Drives me batty.

      Thanks for reading!

  7. Oh, I have been trying to get through spring break. Yesterday we were on our way back from the grocery store, the girls wanted drinks in the car. One had a lemonade and two have Horizon Organic Chocolate Milks. We were at an intersection I loathe, it’s always super busy and a mix of high school drivers, truckers and angry adults. The kids started saying the milk tasted odd, my oldest sort of leapt to my defense and began asking what was wrong with it. Finally my four year old said, “Mom, here, will you just test and see the difference?” I was annoyed, but did it. 2 seconds later I’ve got a guy honking behind me, I’m holding two rejected milk cartons, every cup holder is full and my mouth is full of rancid milk.

    It was all so absurd that I chose to embrace it, laughing at the ridiculous, impossible, unbelievable things that happen to us as moms.

    Hope you get a good long shower one of these days.

    • Well done, Amanda! I can laugh at the absurdity of our days…but not until after I’ve flossed the curdled milk from between my teeth. Hope you’re doing well, my friend.

  8. Got spoiled reading you every week during ‘this is childhood’! Going through withdraw here in MD; ready for some Bethany induced laughs please!

    • Amy, I’m on it! I curled up into a ball and rocked in the corner this past week. It was all I could do after an 11 day staycation.

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