The Button

Oldest, 5.  Youngest two, 2.

There’s a button on our toilet. 

I don’t know how big this button is, where it is or even what it looks like. What I do know is that this button works really well.  Whenever it’s activated, it emits some sort of tone or a signal.  It sends a message to my children: Find your father.  He’s in the bathroom.

I’m always amazed at the effectiveness of this button because whether my kids are inside or outside, the button always brings them to me.  This is why I always lock.

“Hey, dad?”

“I’m in the bathroom,” I say to the door.

The door handle jiggles: Chicka-chicka.  Chicka-chicka.

“Dad?” Chicka, Chicka.

“Yes,” I say in a sing-songy sort of this-isn’t-going-to-bother-me kind of way.

“Why did you lock the door?”

“Because I didn’t want anyone to come in.”

Chicka-chicka.  “But, it’s me.”

“What do you want?”

“Can you tie my shoe?”

“Not right now.”

Chickachickachicka.  “How come?”

“Because I’m in the bathroom!”

Chicka. Chicka. Chick.  “When you’re done can you tie my shoe?”

“Yes, I can.”

The other side of the door goes silent.  The doorknob moves slowly, sadly.

Chick-ka.  Chick.  Chick-ka. 

“Hey, dad?”

“Yes?” My forehead is resting in the palm of my hand now.

“Can I have a snack?”

“Not right now.”

“But, I’m hungry.” Chicka, Chicka.

“But, I’m in the bathroom.”

Chickachickachickachick. “When will you be done?”

I’ve heard that some people actually read in the bathroom. With the exceptions of product labels and a final Will and Testament hastily written on a roll of toilet paper, I find that hard to believe.


 “Hey, dad?”

Sorry – got to go.  More later.


About murphyjoel

Husband, father, writer, over-sized kid. View all posts by murphyjoel

7 responses to “The Button

  • Lilybell

    Pretty sure I sometimes do this to my dad still when I come home to visit. Mostly it’s to tell him Mom and Steph are leaving for church and why the heck is he in the bathroom five minutes before we have to go!!

  • In All My Life...

    This totally cracks me up! Don’t worry, when they are teenagers, you can get revenge. I remind them every time I need to disrupt their primping in the morning that I let them in to show me their lego contraption, they can let me grab a roll of toilet paper! haha

    Great read!

  • whatimeant2say

    Our toilet has this button too. Except it seems to be partial to announcing the mother would like to be disturbed, rather than the father. And the father does part of the disturbing. I would really like to know in what universe it’s okay to actually expect some service from someone who is trying to go to the bathroom!

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