Living in a Different House means Different Bathroom means Different Bath Tub and, in this case, means Different Taps, aka Taps That Are Fucked.
When I say 'fucked' what I actually mean is: taps that are wrongly positioned so that the tap marked Hot actually produces cold water and the tap marked Cold actually produces hot.
I think you can see where this is going.
Bath time with Tricky is fun, he has a select range of floaty bath toys and a penchant for making with the kickaboo legs. Oh yes it’s all fun and games and chirruping giggles. C and I fight over who gets to have a bath with him and C usually wins because the combination of Bath and Milk Bar is just too much fun for young Mr Trickster and it becomes tiring for me to stop him both drowning and divebombing my nipples.
But on this night, this first night, this bath night in the Different Bath, I got in, holding my baby, and as I sat down and dipped his toes in the water I thought “hmmm, this water might be a bit too warm for him, and I wonder if that was too hot on his toes, I better put his foot under the cold tap just in case.”
And then came that moment I will remember forever as in one quick movement I turned on the tap marked Cold and held his tiny little foot under the stream...
...of scalding hot water.
As soon as I did it, I realised I'd got the taps wrong and as I pulled his foot out he started to scream. I threw on the cold tap (marked Hot) and shoved his foot under a stream of cold water and now he really did scream.
And so did I, but only on the inside, on the outside I was saying in a calming voice: oh darling, I’m sorry darling, it’s alright…and alternatively calling for C to come quickly, come quickly oh please hurry…
It was so quick thank God that there was not even a red mark, and once I had put Tricky onto the milkbar for a bit he seemed happy.
And C, with a shifter and a grim look on his face, exchanged the taps to their rightful place so that now Cold will always be cold and Hot will always be hot.
We even stayed in our tepid bathwater and played with the floaty dolphin for a little while longer before getting out and continuing on with the bath/bed ritual. And in the morning there would be no sign of that horrible horrible moment.
But all through the night I kept seeing my hand pushing his foot under that scalding stream of water and later, while doing the washing up and feeling the hot hot hot water on my hands, I cried.