This is what my current bottle of shower gel says. Harmony Time. Every day as I reach for it in the morning and evening, I can’t help but smirk at how far from the truth those two words are, when compared to what passes off as a shower for me.
I remember a time when I used to linger over the bath products aisle at the supermarket. When no trip to The Body Shop would be complete without a purchase of bath bombs, shower gels, scrubs and unguents that were guaranteed to ‘soothe’ me or ‘infuse me with calm’. Of course all this was in the era known as BC (before children) or what my husband wistfully refers to as ‘the time when I was sane’.
Now with two children (heck, even when there was just one of ’em) it takes me less time to have a bath than it does to… make oats. Why, what did you think I was going to write?
A shower must be carefully time. The elder one must be in school. The younger one must be asleep. It must be after my help has arrived so I don’t have to answer the doorbell mid way.
Usually it’s enough if one of the conditions is satisfied. If all three are satisfied I consider it a bumper day. Other days, like today, none are satisfied.
Help is late. Elder son has a holiday. Younger one has decided that naps are boring and it’s much more fun to eat mud from the potted palm in the guest bedroom.
So of course, either I don’t shower till God knows when or, I boldly tread where few have gone before and venture to have a bath with both of them awake in the house. Unsupervised.
This of course is dangerous. The baby could eat more mud. His brother might decide to be helpful and hand him a spoon. The bell might ring and my son could let a murderer inside. My elder son might decide that his brother’s head is the perfect helipad, racetrack, or trampoline. Wires could be chewed. Heads could be used as battering rams. Pigeons could be lured inside with bread. Anything is possible.
But of course none of this will really happen. This is what will happen.
Both my children will station themselves outside the bathroom door. The younger one will cry. The elder one will decide that it is the perfect time to play twenty questions.
“Amma.What are you doing?”
What do you think I’m doing you numnut?
“I’m having a bath”
“Because that’s what people do.”
“So they can be clean”
“Because they want to be clean?”
“Because it makes them happy.”
“Why do they need to be happy?”
By this time I have gone through the world’s fastest parody of a bath and am emerging from bathroom.
The younger brat holds on to my legs and cries as though we haven’t seen each other in about five hundred years, while the elder one studies my face with great concentration.
Keep it cool. Keep it cool. Don’t lose it.
“What?” I manage to get out through gritted teeth.
“You have soap on your neck.”