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All the Things I Have to Hide From My Daughter

Photograph by Twenty20

I had to poop this morning. Which is no different than any other morning but, this morning, when my daughter followed me into the bathroom, she actually pushed her stool over to rest directly between my feet, clambered up, and leaned into my lap so she could observe me.

She even used my bare thigh as a resting spot for her cup of milk. And then placed her doll carefully in my lap.

Thanks so much, Emily. No, don't worry. I didn't need my dignity anymore.

Obviously, concepts such as "privacy" no longer exist in my life. Emily regularly follows me into the bathroom, asks if I'm going pee pee while I'm going pee pee, and then insists on washing her hands with me. I allow it for much the same reason I regularly read to her a raise-the-flaps book called "Where's the Poop?" I hope that all of this will eventually lead to the day when I can take the stinking diaper genie out onto my front lawn and burn it to the ground.

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But I'm finding that this lack of boundaries has left me feeling constrained. I'm no longer able to live my best life (and by "best life," I mean binge eating cupcakes and swearing like a sailor.) Instead of living out loud, I'm forced to live a life of secrecy.

What have I been hiding?

My Unhealthy Eating Habits

The other week, I actually locked myself in the bathroom in order to eat a s'more in peace. I know what you're thinking. How did you make it in there alone? True story: I sprinted.

This is what must be done because Em begs for a bite of every single thing I eat, and I feel like it's too soon for her to mainline sugar like I do.

Though I suppose the other option is to stop mainlining sugar.

My Garbage Mouth

Actually, I haven't done the best job of cleaning up my language. One morning, while trying to dump my bedroom garbage into the larger kitchen garbage, I ended up spilling a bunch of garbage onto the floor and screaming "Fuuuuuuuuuuuuck" as Emily stood by, sipping her milk.

"Fuuuuuuuuuuuug!" she immediately repeated. Luckily, it didn't stick.

My Sexual Desires

I am a woman who masturbates. Deal with it. It's become tougher to engage in solo sex, however, since Em came along. Sure. If I'm having sex with my husband, we just lock the door. But my vibrator is as loud as the riding lawn mower my neighbor across the street sometimes uses. Which limits when I can use it.

And even owning sexual paraphernalia can be problematic. She tries to get into the combo pack of condoms a story source sent me. She steals the lube from the bathroom cabinet. As for my vibrator...

"Our daughter is wandering around with a vibrator," my husband will shout as I'm in the bathroom, face bent close to the mirror, flossing my teeth.

"Is she?" I'll shout back.

Eventually, after I finish whatever I'm doing, I'll take it from her, gently, careful not to freak out over the fact that she is handling an object designed to stimulate the clitoris. "This belongs to Mommy," I'll say. "Why don't you not play with the things that belong to Mommy?"

Sigh.

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My Procrastination Habits

Sometimes, I like to relax by watching a string of online videos. Movie trailers. Sex ed videos. Cyanide & Happiness shorts. Rap battles. Slam poetry. Episodes of Ham4Ham.

Even if Em is in an entirely different area of the house, the instant she hears any audio coming from my audience, she sprints over and begs me to pull her up into my lap. And then she stares at the computer screen with the look of the glazed-eye couch potato I fear she will someday become.

This is why I haven't allowed her to watch TV yet. (We'll be breaking the seal about a month from now, on her second birthday, by streaming "Reading Rainbow" on Netflix.) And also, much of what I watch is not appropriate for young eyes.

God! Can't I procrastinate in peace?

Actually, in writing all of this, I can't entirely deny the possibility that she's just trying to make me a better person. And who can begrudge that?

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