Two-ply epiphany

I was sitting on the toilet the other day,

(shouldn’t more pieces begin that way?) and suddenly realized the toilet paper was actually on the little toilet roll dispenser thingy.

This in and of itself is not a huge epiphany. The part where it gets weird is that I hadn’t put it there.

Nope. It was my daughter. She did what I forget to do more often than not, what I don’t bother with most of the time. To me, the one in two hundred rolls that comes to grief by getting knocked into the sink or toilet is worth the tradeoff of not having to be tuned in beyond making sure there’s something in there to wipe with.

That bit feels like a major achievement.

And here’s this little person under my roof, assessing the situation, taking the time and effort out of her eleven year old life to put the thing on the thingy.

And while, to me, that is two parts bizarre to one part “Woah, dude.”, it’s also a bit of a relief in a broader sense: See, she’s mine, but she sure ain’t me.

Never has been anyone but her from the very start. I suspected it early on when she showed both spatial orientation and time management skills. Those are some pretty mythical beasties to emerge from the fruits of my d.n.a, let me tell you. I suppose they exist in my family, but you’d no more expect a time conscious child to emerge from my body than you’d expect a lizard to emerge from a squirrel.

It’s a little wacky.

But there she is, and she’s going to be her, all her, for the rest of her life. So like, I can relax a little. I’m not ever going to understand this person well enough to be her all-knowing teacher, key guide or leader. There will be others in her life more insightful, more able to provide the missing puzzle pieces.

My job is to keep her safe and healthy, teach her to read, and help her to laugh.

*check
*check
& *check

so far we’re doin A-ok. Oh, and I need to make sure there’s some toilet paper in there…

I don’t want her to have to use pages out of our bathroom reading. (Calvin and Hobbes)

(I’ll double check that one, tomorrow.)

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15 thoughts on “Two-ply epiphany

  1. We do wonder where our kids strayed from our DNA, don’t we? Unfortunately, I usually can find a link to someone in the family for almost everything that causes irritation with my biological child. All his stellar traits came from me, of course. The most annoying thing is there is so much I can take little credit for in my amazing adopted children. I’m going for 80% nature, 20% nurture. Luckily I had a lot to work with.

  2. I need to know one important detail: Was the TP roll over or under? My theory is that a person’s preference says something about their personality. In other words, over people tend to be conventional. Under people tend to be unconventional. Just a theory, though.

  3. While I am always the one running around ranting because I am the only one who seems to know how to put the toilet paper roll on the thingy, I know what you are talking about. I used to wonder if my son and youngest daughter took after their father with their more than average capabilities and abilities in science and math. I used to feel kind of insecure that they’d take after him and not me. Then they grew up. My son and daughter are really more artistic and creative than science and math oriented, it just hadn’t come out yet. When allowed to, it came through. My son got his degree in film! My daughter is starting a photography degree in August. They are both pretty good with words, too; like their mom.

    You’ll see. Sooner or later, you will see yourself in that little one. Never fails.

  4. If either of my sons (or my husband, for that matter) had ever replaced the empty roll of toilet paper on the thingy, I’m pretty sure I would have died from the shock of it.

  5. aefiel- It is. :)

    Robin- Exactly! The unlikelihood of that small act threw me.

    Corina- Sometimes, too, similarities- quirks of personality or approach are easier for other people to see. Like family similarity in the features, what’s obvious to strangers can be completely overlooked by a parent or a sibling.

    Mad- I checked. It was over.

    Great song, he looks familiar too, like I’ve seen him on t.v. but I don’t know in what. Thanks for posting that. ;)

    anhinga- lol, your comment reminded me of something our preacher said once (jokingly) in a sermon. He said that in a congregational survey, it was discovered that 85% of people polled believed they were going to heaven, but only 20% felt that their immediate neighbor to the left would get in. He then asked for a raise of hands, how many people thought the discrepancy would be solved if he’d polled in reference to the neighbor on the right.

    It took like, two minutes of thoughtful contemplation (while he stood there trying not to laugh) before anyone came to the realization that neighborly position wasn’t really the point.

  6. “But there she is, and she’s going to be her, all her, for the rest of her life.” I love that line. It reminds me of a talk I heard recently and this teacher was talking about his daughter Molly and her innate Mollyness. Sure, there may be times when this gets obscured w/ bad behavior or habits, or fear or sadness, but there will always be her Mollyness that those bad things can never touch.

    Sounds like you’re doing a great job, mom.

  7. Great piece Am. You just never know where these epiphanies will pop up, do you? Just when you least expect it – WHAM!!

    You might be more familiar with Wainrights’s kids Martha and Rufus; both singer/songwriters too. More your age. Saw Rufus on TV last night on a show called Spectacle – he was great.

  8. As a guy I don’t TP every time I use the throne so you would think that the ladies in the house would check to see if someone used the last bit before sitting down. This is not the case. I often hear “DADDY” or my name being bellowed from one of the bathrooms in the house. “CAN YOU GET ME SOME TOILET PAPER?”

    Now I check 99% of the time before I have a sit down. I also will throw the roll on the dispenser while I sit there contemplating life, the universe and everything. So I don’t get why one of the three girls in my house can’t do the same. I also put the lid down 50% of the time. Why can’t they put it up?

    Where does Recycled TP come from? was it formerly TP that was strained out of the sewage or did it start life as Vanity Fair or a rag mag? The former is unlikely and I know it but it’s still funny to contemplate. The later is even funnier.

    As to how the roll goes on….It doesn’t matter I may actually put it on the dispenser but I’m to lazy and I don’t really care which way it goes. I don’t fold the corners in or make little roses like 4 start hotels do. Why would I? some one is just gonna wipe their arse with it. It’s not like I’m gonna tear off that one sheet and frame it as a piece of art…..Hmmm Toilet paper art….There is something in that……I think we have some empty frames someplace….wonder what it will get me on E-Bay….

  9. What an odd thing that had to have been, realizing your daughter had made the effort to replace the tp. I can’t imagine anyone in my house but me doing that.

    I have to say, it bothers me that no one else will do it. By the time I am moved to, usually the new tp roll is pretty well along. I’m not naturally organized or tidy, and the only reason I finally do it is because it bothers me that we’re so lazy as to not do it. I mean, you can do it while sitting on the toilet.

  10. It’s the futility of the act that depresses me a little.

    life seems filled with all these little duties and obligations that are essentially meaningless. It’s never bothered me to have a free-range roll.

  11. In China, TP is ever-present. It’s used instead of paper napkins at restaurants. I think there is a roll in every room of our house.

    Great read, amuirin.

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