There was a time in my life if I wanted a shower, I took one. And I didn't have any company in there with me, unless they were invited. Wink, wink. Nudge, nudge.
But that was another time. Another place. And today taking a shower is about as easy as performing brain surgery on a gnat. It requires so much planning and effort, I'd almost rather stink.
I said "almost".
I have been trying to take my showers at night, because morning around here is far from leisurely. I hit the ground running. And finding a good time to break and practice some hygiene can easily take a backseat to things like breakfast, chores and just your basic, run-of-the-mill craziness.
However, the evening is my "me" time. I usually blog, read blogs, make hairbows, blog, blog, watch TV and blog in that time. And I find myself enjoying that time so much, I never want it to end. It isn't unusual for me to look bleary-eyed at the clock and wonder why my head is bobbing only to find it is 1 a.m. And by that time, if I shower, I may fall asleep and drown.
This morning I could stand the smell of myself no longer. I had to shower. I was starting to draw flies. Brother and Sister were playing well together, so I put up the baby gates to keep Baby contained to the playrooom and the bathroom.
That was my first mistake.
When I got in the shower, Baby was amusing herself by terrorizing her siblings. I figured that would keep her busy for awhile.
That was my second mistake.
Brother and Sister soon figured out they could climb over the gates, leaving Baby in her own little prison while they played freely on the other side. Seeing they weren't interested in being terrorized, Baby decided to see what I was up to in the bathroom.
(insert foreboding, horror film music here)
She begins by pulling back the shower curtain - the fabric one, not the plastic liner - and yells, "Mama!" as if to say, "What the heck do you think you're doing in there without my permission?"
Okay, it's cute the first time.
"Hi, Punkin!" I say sweetly, with a smile. "I see you!" She laughs and closes the curtain. Then she yanks it open again with a grin. Obviously she interpreted my response as an invitation to play. "Go play with your blocks," I say, not quite as sweetly, but still smiling. She closes the curtain and toddles off.
Soon I hear the water in the bathroom sink running. I peek out to find Baby standing on the toilet, splashing joyfully in the water. "Get down!" I say. She is oblivious. I step out of the shower, dripping puddles on the floor, grab her arm and and put her down, giving her a little push toward the door.
Back in the shower, I hear arguing and then Sister yells, "Mo-m! Brother tried to hit me!" "Be kind to each other!" I yell back.
But wait, I'm not alone.
I discover Baby, who has taken my towel, wrapped it around her shoulders like a cape and appears to be leaving with it. "Hey, bring that back here!" I say. She turns and holds it out to me. "Dada!" "No, that's mine. Put it back, please." And she does.
You know that place on the toilet between the tank and the rim? Where the seat attaches with those screw-like things? That place little boys can't seem to miss? That place that always seems to be a little crusty?
That's where she put my towel.
"Thank you, honey."
Now I'm attempting to shave my legs, which is fascinating stuff to a curious 20-month-old. She has pulled the shower curtain back again, this time getting the plastic liner so water is spraying out onto the floor. With shaving gel all over my hands I grab the liner and pull it closed. If I don't get my legs shaved, someone is bound to mistake me for half grizzly and I'll end up on the cover of one of those tabloids you see at the supermarket checkout stand.
But Baby is determined to help. She opens the curtain again, but this time has my pajamas, which I left on the floor and is trying to throw them in with me. "No, no, honey. I don't need those right now," I try to explain. But she's sure they belong in there with me. Finally, I take them. "Thank you!" She flashes me a grin, satisfied she has fulfilled her duties and goes back to yelling at Brother and Sister over the baby gate. I toss the pajamas back to the floor.
Finally, I am able to finish the task at hand, with only a few knicks. I think I got it all. But at this point, who cares? Exfoliation? No way. Deep conditioning hair treatment? Get real. I got wet. I got a little soap on me. And I shaved my legs...or shaved at them, rather. At this stage in life, it's the most I can hope for.