My son threw me out of the bath last night.
Quite often Tricky has a bath with his cousin, Naughty Nephew the 3rd who is six. The two of them have great fun with the bath toys, both the purchased wind up variety and also the scavenged plastic sauce bottle variety. Oh yes, the laffs those two have. Possibly only bettered during the recent visit of le nephew and la niece.
La niece, NN3 and Tricky had several baths together where they perfected a game they called: crazy hairdressers. In this game, the two older children were the hairdressers (crazy) and the toddler was the unsuspecting but grinning like a maniac customer.
Squeals of delight, raucus chortles, fond parental smiles of watching adults etc etc.
Cut to last night when foolish motherperson suggested that it would be quite lovely for Tricky and Mummy to have a bath together. After all, Mummy has been quite sick over last week or so with ghastly hacking-cough, viral, sliceable-phlegm type thing and much of the childcare that hasn't been done by Marvellous Carer at daycare has been done by Excellent Daddy.
But now, the motherperson is feeling a bit more like her old self. Virus is gone with only unattractive yellow remnants in lungs and sinus cavities. She misses playing with her little boy. She wants to have fun. Here's a windup turtle weeeeeeee!
Tricky stares at me as if he can't quite believe what he's hearing and I naturally take this as a resounding, jumping for joy, yes!
"What japes we'll have," I tell him as I peel off my clothes and do a quick last hacking spit into the sink for good measure. "We can even play Crazy Hairdressers!"
I sink into the bath as C undresses Tricky, congratulating myself for sitting in front of the tap bit, as now there will be no annoying twiddling the cold water tap on, filling the sauce bottle and emptying it over the bath mat etc because my lumpen coughing body will form an effective, phlegm filled barrier.
The shrieking starts as C lowers Tricky into the water.
"What is it darling?" I say, wondering if I have made the bath water too hot.
Tricky's dark eyes fill with tears, his lips quiver, his face reddens.
"DET OUT MUMMY!" he shouts. "MINE BATH. TRICKY'S BATH! DET OUT MUMMY!"
"No darling," I say calmly. "This is Mummy's bath too. Let's play with these toys. Here's the sauce bottle!"
Tricky refuses to sit, instead standing over me, glaring and in full Screaming Tomato mode.
"WALKING MUMMY!" he kindly suggests to me, as a healthy alternative to a bath.
"Where should I walk?" I ask, idly pouring a bucket of water over myself.
It seems Tricky has no answer to this since luckily he hasn't yet learned the concepts of 'Hell', 'off a short pier' or 'up your own arse for all I care.' Instead he goes back to chanting his original mantra which involved me removing myself quickly from his bath.
I det out and dry myself off, a little sadly, I have to admit. Tricky is finally sitting down and calming himself by filling up the sauce bottle from a tiny trickle out of the coldwater tap. At some point in the next few minutes this will end up over the bathroom floor.
The clingwrap baby syndrome might be coming to an end, I muse, as I swab away at the sodden floor with C's towel. There was once a time when he'd scream if I dared to get out of his bath.
But of course once he's out, and dried, and dressed in his new big boy pjs, we have beautiful cuddles and kisses on the big bed and rounds of stories with his cheek against mine. So maybe it's ok not to have a bath together. And I feel a little emotional and blow my nose loudly and Tricky looks on with interest.
"Mummy dot 'not?" he asks casually.
"Mummy does," I say. "Buckets full. Will we have a bath together tomorrow do you think?"
He says nothing, instead diligently counting the starfish in his book.
And obviously, as his motherperson, I take this as a definitive yes.