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Behind Closed Doors

The middle child is well. How do I know this? The bickering, fighting, and general complaining between all 3 children reached a fever pitch today. Which more than made up for yesterday, and the hushed quiet tones of a house filled with the pestilence and a child who can sleep it off.

It is a well known fact that my Cailey is generally the instigator of 99% of the mischief in the House of Fiddle. When she’s struck down by the plague, there is peace in the valley.

Yet, her older sister, perhaps her greatest foe, commented on how lonely she felt, with her sister out of commission. She missed her nemesis, and constant companion. This warmed my heart.

Until today.

By dinnertime, I was in full mommy meltdown. Fiddledaddy entered the kitchen, took one look at me, and said, “Um, honey, do you need a little alone time?”

“YES!” And with tears streaming down my face, and blood pooling on my lower lip from getting thwapped in the face by a metal canopy bar while wrestling Junior into timeout in his “car bed,” I aimed my sorry self toward the master bedroom. And closed the door behind me. I then retreated into the master bathroom. And closed the door behind me. And continued on into the closet. And closed the door behind me.

A visual you can only appreciate if you were a “Get Smart” fan in the 1960’s.

Paradise. In the dark of the closet I cried until there were no more tears. I was dry as a bone. And it felt wonderful. I lay on the floor, wrapped up in a Disney Princess sleeping bag, enjoying the silence.

My closet is known as “time out for mommy.” It has also been dubbed “a good night sleep.” I have a closet that, when the floor is cleaned up, houses a twin size blow up mattress. When sleep deprivation overtakes me, Fiddledaddy commandeers all the offspring for the night, and sends me off to the closet for some well deserved beauty sleep. Which works really well, if I’ve remembered to relocate the dry cleaning plastic from above my face. Just sayin’.

He jokes that one of these days, he’s going to look in the closet and I will have gone all Laura Ashley on him, and decorated it with florals, a little side table, and chintz lamp.

I’m not laughing. As soon as I can figure out how to run a cord from the bathroom outlet, without tripping over it in the middle of the night, that’s exactly what I plan to do.

After the sanctity of my mommy time out, I emerged, with puffy eyes and lip, feeling much better. I sat down to a very quiet dinner table, with 3 well behaved children. Who fell all over themselves complementing me on the spaghetti sauce.

Life was good.

So. Where is your mommy time out?

46 Responses to Behind Closed Doors

  • Well. I am not qualified to answer mommy-type questions as I am not a mommy-type. But it’s nice to read blogs like yours that make me consider all the angles that require consideration when considering having sweet fiddleheads of my own. 😉
    Cute post.

  • Oh Dee, I laughed and cried over today’s post!
    My most difficult time, believe it or not, was when I had just one child. Said child, being of my issue, loves to talk. And talk and talk and talk. And there were times when I COULD NOT TAKE IT ANY MORE. I would settle him to play in his room, close the door with explicit instructions to “Stay here and don’t leave this room until I say you can!” Then I’d go in my room and close my door and burrow under the covers. Even in the summer. Like I NEEDED that extra layer of “protection” from the words. The words that never ended from sunup to sundown. The words that flowed and flowed with occasional gushers like after a rainstorm. The words that began to include obscene numbers of “Why?”s at age 2 and never let up (now he just asks someone else, usually his partners in the computer business). To be honest, having a second child was in self-defense, so he’d have someone ELSE to talk to some of the time.

  • As soon as I can figure out how to run a cord from the bathroom outlet, without tripping over it in the middle of the night, that’s exactly what I plan to do.

    Speaking as an Englishwoman, for whom electric sockets in the bathroom is one of those “say what? moments, have you thought about getting one of those battery-powered lamps?

  • For a while, I used to lock myself in the bathroom. My four year old knew not to bother me, in there. She is a talker, too. And she still leaves me alone now that she is 6. It’s the two year old that will open the door, walk in, and ask “Mom, you go poop?” Every Time. Sometimes, I can’t wait for him to get a little older, but then I remember. He’s my baby, my LAST baby. Then I walk out of the bathroom, greatful for the too few moments of peace, and pick him up for a nice snuggle. (The snuggle is in part so that I don’t have to watch him run around my kitchen table anymore.)

  • Oh my – I had one of those moments yesterday… I actually looked at my “wouldnotstoptalkingfortheloveofpete” daughter and said, “COuld you please stop? I can’t hear the other voices in my head!” (Quick disclaimer – I am NOT schizophrenic – nor do I think I actually spelled that right – rather, I was referring to the “me” voice in my head going through the lists of things to do as we fly from Florida to California today)

    I had to stop and laugh at myself, though, after realizing what I siad to her… and actually, that would be a really funny t-shirt saying, don’t you think? ANyway – one cup of coffee, a qiuck venting session on the phone with a good friend who understood COMPLETELY, a half hour break with a light book, and life was good again…

    Just pray my daughter has an understanding person sitting on the other side of her on the airplane today!

  • God bless your heart! I can understand the frustration over the sibling squabble! BUT, I only have 2 and they each have their own room so when I just can’t stand it anymore, I send them there. Then I go to my room, close and lock the door.
    I can sympathize with those of you that have talkers…my daughter talks ALL. THE. TIME. And the car is the worst because I can’t go to another room and get away for a moment of sanity and quite. What a blessing that your husband is so supportive! I hope today is a better day!

  • My husband has been known to come home from work, take one look at me, and send me upstairs for a bubble bath. I’ve been known to stay in said bubble bath until I’m wrinkly and water-logged. A good, loooong time-out is sometimes needed.

  • I guess I don’t really have a mommy time out place at home…our house is small and they’ll find me one way or another! I have to physically leave if I want to be left alone…

    Though if it is a dire situation and when I had babies in the house – my dh would take care of things and I’d either go to the basement and lay on a bed there and turn on a fan nearby so I couldn’t hear much or to the bedroom and do the same…

    My kids are the same way – one time my dd said something about her and her brother being best friends or “maybe best enemies”. When one is sick or asleep the other is DYING of boredom and can’t wait until the other recovers so they can begin bugging each other again!

    They fight – but if a non-sibling tries to harm/bug/be mean to one of them the other will stick up for his/her sibling…which always warms my heart…I realize that deep down they do care about each other.

  • In the Water Closet (see how sophisticated I am?) because, as you pointed out, the more doors you can lock behind you, the more peaceful it is (although from the WC you can still hear the banging on the door and “Mommy?!” 3 doors down).

  • Shopping Alone.


    (wanna come?)

  • Sadly, Superman works 2 jobs, and is rarely home. I do not have the luxury of having a “mommy time out”.

    Therefore, I am 2 brain cells from insanity.

  • THANK YOU for admitting you sleep in a closet when life gets too tough!! I sleep in my master bathroom (just big enough for the twin size aero bed) when life gets to be too much for me. Earplugs in, hubby on night duty= bliss for mommy. I’ve never told anyone this because its…kinda….weird, isn’t it. Now I feel a sisterhood of closet and bathroom sleepers forming up here. 🙂

    Here’s another admission: since we as a family acknowledged that I was in deep post partum depression and axiety four moths ago, I sleep in the bathroom every single night. And let me tell you, it has done WONDERS. I am nearly back to myself. I wonder: mommy depression occurs so often. Is it often just made so much worse by sleep deprivation?

    Hang in there!

  • I’m with Moira. I leave.


    After blatantly refusing to take at least the smallest of the five.

  • I don’t really have a timeout spot. But every so often, my hubby will take my girlie upstairs for a couple of hours…and the downstairs is mine. I can clean the kitchen in peace, fold laundry without it immediately being pulled off the couch & trampled, or I can curl up in bed with a book. I always choose option 3. 🙂

  • I’ve had most of my breakdowns in my bedroom with the door locked and the box fan on high to drown out any impression that there may be living creatures in my house.

  • Oh, and P.S.

    Hope today is beautiful and fun for you.

  • Isn’t there a wine called “Mommy’s Timeout”? Haven’t tried it…yet. But it has to be better than the whine my ears imbibe all day (:

  • My timeout was my room but I think I will be making the move to the closet. It is rather large. I like the idea of being able to close several doors in my path.

    I remember when kid #3 was an infant. Hubby came home to me bawling and kid #3 screaming, kid #2 whining and stomping, and kid #1 yelling something about kid #2. I crawled into a ball and went to sleep until it was time to nurse again.

    Ahhh, I miss those days. NOT

  • You are blessed to have such an observant/understanding/compassionate husband. Hope today is better. 🙂

  • Either a walk down the driveway BY MYSELF to get the mail or some time in my bedroom. Or my closet, whichever drowns out the noise best.

  • I haven’t found one yet where no one will find me.

    When you makeover that closet of yours, just be sure to include your shoe phone.

  • On *those days*, I wait patiently until Mr. at Home comes home, then I pick up my keys, my laptop, and my book and LEAVE. Some days I don’t even take time to get the laptop or book. I go shopping by myself, eat dinner by myself, visit the bookstore by myself, or plop down in a quiet corner of Starbucks with a trashy gossip magazine all by myself. And I don’t go home until the children are in bed.

  • I don’t have a mommy time-out. I try to sit outside and relax but hubby always lets the youngest out with me and that doesn’t count as relaxing.

    It used to be going to Hobby Lobby and walking around but we moved and can’t do that anymore.

    So…I’m still working on that one.

  • I’m still awed over the fact that you have a closet that big. What I could do with a closet that big. I have some serious closet envy.

  • In my bed, under the covers. But they usually find me. I like this closet idea more & more…


  • I’d have to say my time out is at Target. But the closet would be cheaper.

    When I was in high school I had a giant walk in closet. I did put my twin bed in it. Then I put a loveseat in my room, and had a living area. It was so quiet, and so dark — perfect for teenage sleeping. I miss that closet.

  • Your mommy time-out place sounds delightful! I usually head to Barnes and Noble and read a book. It’s quiet there, but I’m not a public crier, so if a cry is in order, I just drive around. Sometimes it’s hard to drive with tears in your eyes. I would probably take a time-out more often if I made myself a time-out area in the house.

  • Your mommy time-out place sounds delightful! I usually head to Barnes and Noble and read a book. It’s quiet there, but I’m not a public crier, so if a cry is in order, I just drive around. Sometimes it’s hard to drive with tears in your eyes. I would probably take a time-out more often if I made myself a time-out area in the house.

    Hope today is a sweet day for you!

  • I have yet to find a place for mommy timeout and so I am therefore teetering on the edge of insanity.

    I used to go to the bathroom, but since 9 times out of 10 I leave the door open because I don’t trust the two year old and so therefore I am never alone.

  • I have yet to find a place for mommy timeout and so I am therefore teetering on the edge of insanity.

    I used to go to the bathroom, but since 9 times out of 10 I leave the door open because I don’t trust the two year old and so therefore I am never alone.

    Glad you had some time alone, sorry for your tough day.

  • My mommy timeout is Target. And after spending money on things I have absolutely no use for, I fee so much better. 🙂

  • Aww, I’m so sorry you had such a rough day.

    When I have those days, I don’t even give my husband time to offer before I stomp off to the guestroom, where I lay in the bed, in the dark, until he gets worried and comes to check on me.

    When we have #2, I’ll have to inform him that we are renovating our closet to accommodate the guest bed 🙂 Of course, if I need a mommy timeout with one child, I don’t know if we can handle 2…

  • Before making an important phone call to someone I actually want to hear (i.e. the doctor) I have been known to set the alarm (to hear if anyone tries to exit or enter the abode) and retreat to my master bedroom closet. On my way I make sure to lock the door to the hallway leading to my bedroom, close the actual door to the bedroom, and firmly secure the closet door. The clothes muffle the sound of the children beating on the door asking the multitude of questions that mysteriously become imperative the moment I pick up the phone.

    For a mommy time out I simply lock the bathroom and read excerpts from Cynthia Sumner’s book “Mommy’s Locked in the Bathroom – Surviving Your Childs Early Years with Your Sanity and Salvation Intact.” It usually serves to remind me why I chose to be a SAHM.

  • By the way, to solve your extension cord crisis you need to think up. Run that cord up the wall and over the ceiling. Where there is a will there is a way. Don’t forget the coffee pot (or should I say blender.)

  • I send my kids outside or up to their rooms so I can have some silence. You’re lucky your hubby can sense that. Mine comes home and… locks himself in our room so he can have alone time. Hey, not fair! I’ve learned to find other resources for my “non-mommy” time because my hubby, bless his heart, is not up to it most nights. I have retreated to the kids’ rooms to cry sometimes, since they never think to look for me there. 😉

    It’s also why my kids usually go to bed before 8:00.

  • My time out is out of the house. On Thursday nights I go to Bible study at 7:00. Usually I’m out of the house anywhere between 3:00 and 5:00, take some Mommy time (NO GROCERY SHOPPING IS ALLOWED DURING THIS TIME!!!!). I even take myself out to dinner, sometimes at a place with real plates and I don’t have to consider what I order based on who needs to share it with me!

  • My daughters are now teen-agers, but when they were younger I had two places to “hide”. I was never found in either–one of their bedrooms or on the front portch. Both places were handy and I could stay as long as I needed, yet was always able to hear everything going on. Did I mention that we lived in an extremely small house at that time?

  • Mine was always the bathtub…with or without water.

  • This sounds like a great idea! I don’t think I have one in the house, I usually wait until everyone is asleep and then I relax in my bed. If the kids are driving me nuts and it’s not bed time, I take them outside and let them loose in the backyard while I sit down and try to recoup. I’ll have to try the closet thing, sounds really peaceful.

  • If I could get away with it, my mommy time out was in the bathtub–with a book, for hours!!!!!!!!!!! When my children were the same age as yours, we lived in a two bedroom house with only one bathroom, so I had to wait till they were in bed to have complete privacy. When my son was 15 months old, I kind of had a temper tantrum, so my sweet hubby decided he could take said son for two hours a week so I could have some “recharge” time. When my daughter came along, the tradition continued, and hubby took them to all of the high school sporting events so that I could have some time alone–or mommy time out

  • Here’s something to look forward to in ten years when they’re teens. I don’t have to go anywhere … THEY go away! My 14 and 16 year old sons were both unhappy with me last night so THEY hid out in their rooms all evening! Bliss that cannot be explained! I had the entire downstairs to myself … including the TV and computer.

    I’m sure you’re wondering what awful transgression of mine prompted this display of adolescent angst. Don’t worry, I didn’t do anything really bad … Just curtailed their computer use until chores were done and denied them unlimited text messaging on their cell phones (1500 messages a month isn’t enough?!?!?!?). Oh, and requested that the tone of their voices be respectful when they’re talking to me.

  • Mommy Time? Who are these husbands who come home and take over. Mine is in a difficult place at work right now, and usually comes home so stressed out that he locks himself in his room. That said, I do have Mom’s Night Out once a month during the school year with our home school group. Needless to say, my kids go to bed early–6:00 (3yr old), 7:00 (9 yr old), and 8:00 (17 mos old).

  • Well, over the past 16 years the only time I was able to have peace and quiet was when I was under the influence of anesthesia and having surgeries. LOL!

    And let me tell you, the moment I awoke from surgery there I had three pair of eyes staring at me saying, “How do you feel? Are you hurting? Do you want some ice? Do you want me to turn on the tv? Do you wanna hear about how I got this bruise? How does my hair look?”

    And no, I am not kidding.

    And while I love my kids the only way to get rid of them was to throw up.

    Ahhh, peace and quiet. And a little vomit on my nightgown.

    Mmmm, looking forward to my next “Mommy Time”!

  • We have large families in my community, and have used many of the techniques posted by others. My absolute favorite is once a month-and all dads know how important this is-we get together at one lady’s house and talk it all out, gorge ourselves and have margueritas or other girlie drinks until way too late. Then, over the next month, we have the next get-together to look forward to, as the light at the end of the tunnel. Only babes in arms are allowed.

  • Starbuck’s is where I go when I need a mommy timeout! and I don’t even drink coffee….it’s just my place to get away!

  • OK, had to add my 2 cents, even if I’ve been away so long that I’m catching up a month later.

    I discovered that my mommy van is alomost sound proof. So it’s my time out. Sometimes I am alone in it, but more often, I get everyone in, and ready to go, and they all wait while I stand outside, back to, not leaning against so I don’t feel it rock… bliss.

    And then I drive. ‘Cuz I’m a control freak, and in my car, they are in their seats, quiet if I yell enough, and we go where I wanna go.