Open-Door Policy

We had an interesting discussion on my Mom’s Group forum the other day (about nakedness around the house, I think it was), and at some point, this came up…

In my house, we have an Open-Door Policy. Which means that our bathroom door very rarely closes. And I’ve never really given it much thought because that’s just how it is around here. I think it stems from the fact that we only have one bathroom… and my kids have always lived in a house with only one bathroom.

It’s just an accepted fact in our house that, if you’re in the shower or bath, someone else is going to barge in to use the toilet while you’re showering or bathing. And, really, they don’t have much choice in the matter… if you gotta go, you gotta go!

And, we all get ready for bed at around the same time. The bathroom is a very popular place right before bedtime… there’s pottying going on, nose blowing, tooth brushing, you name it. It’s nothing to find three or four of us crammed in the bathroom at the same time, fighting for the sink, toilet, or mirror.

I think it’s also an accepted fact that, as a mother, you aren’t allowed to go to the bathroom alone. Ever. Even if the kids are otherwise occupied, as soon as they realize Mom is in the bathroom, BAM! There they are, too. Kids are drawn to moms on the toilet. It’s some kind of crazy, unexplained phenomenon.

So, really, there’s no point in ever shutting the bathroom door in our house. It’s a multi-purpose room used by multiple people… often at the same time. Therefore, any attempt at modesty (i.e., closing the door) is rather futile. And apparently it’s just not something that we give a lot of thought to around here.

Well, last night we had a house guest. Damon’s friend Mason spent the night. At one point, he was walking down the hall toward Damon’s room (and had to go past the bathroom), and I heard him scream: “AVERY!!! CLOSE THE DOOR!!!!!!” Then Mason ran out here, cheeks aflame with embarrassment. Uh oh.

I walked back to talk to Avery (while she was on the toilet, of course!), and I told her that she really should shut the bathroom door when we have guests here. She whined, “I’m sorry. I didn’t knoooooow!” And she’s right. She really didn’t know. My kids have NO idea that you’re supposed to shut the door before going about your business in our bathroom. I don’t think they realized that we even have a bathroom door here!

Poor Mason will probably be scarred for life. And hopefully Avery learned a valuable lesson about privacy and not embarrassing our friends to death. But, still, I somehow doubt it’s going to change much about our Open-Door Policy. So, beware if ever you find yourself at our house and you have to walk past the bathroom…

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5 Responses to Open-Door Policy

  1. Cherie says:

    We had the same policy at my house growing up….When my boys were younger, we had the same policy but now that a couple of them are teenagers, I often get comments like “Mom, my eyes! My eyes!”. ROFL Brats.

  2. kate says:

    There ya go scaring the little kids with your open door policy! 😉 Honestly, we did this for a period of time when Kass was little. There was only three of us & we rarely had company. If we did that now….WATCH OUT! lol

  3. Michelle says:

    We are the same as you Erin. Recently, Brian walked in on a friend of Sean’s who was staying with us. Major Trauma! lol. Guess it is time for some rules when we have house guests!

  4. Angie says:

    I think it’s also an accepted fact that, as a mother, you aren’t allowed to go to the bathroom alone. Ever. Even if the kids are otherwise occupied, as soon as they realize Mom is in the bathroom, BAM! There they are, too. Kids are drawn to moms on the toilet. It’s some kind of crazy, unexplained phenomenon.

    It’s not an accepted fact at my house! If the door is shut, Brianna knows to both knock and wait for permission to come in.

  5. Mike says:

    Our family visited a friend who was building their own house in a picturesque rural area. They had built a big tin shed with a concrete slab. This housed several cars and also their accommodation and building materials. We were sitting on their couch chatting while they cooked on a stove. All on this one big concrete slab. Along side were the cars and on the side were neat plies of building new building materials. Then in comes their teenage daughter and sat on the toilet that I not even noticed and had I noticed it I would have assumed it was just sitting there ready to be installed in the house. So as a middle aged father I am worried that I am going to arrested or something and amazed that this girl seemed to have no self-consciousness. I just closed my eyes and waited till it was all over. and hoped I would not be caught short.

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