Wednesday, December 31, 2008

That shower-fresh feeling

The shower in the master bathroom of our house is a stall shower, but a little bigger than most (just a little). (I know this because stall shower curtains aren’t wide enough and standards are too billowy. (I buy standard curtains (but always vinyl (they cut more easily)) and I cut them down to size (I knew you wanted to know).))

Aren’t you glad you know?

I did a crazy thing this morning. I rolled out of bed, took off my clothes, and got in the shower.

To say that E is in a mommy phase right now is accurate, but it is also entirely inadequate. Her whole life has been a mommy phase. Yesterday and the day before she woke up in angry tears, yelling at me from her room: I’m SAD! Because I woke up by mySELF! Mama! I wanted you to SNUGGLE! ME! for WAY! KING! UP!

I know I don’t have a ton of empirical evidence, but I’d venture to guess most kids don’t wake up screaming every day.

This morning the door burst open and my warm, steamy air cocoon flew away. I wanted to shower with you! Mama! She was stripping as aggressively as she was crying.

It’s been seven months since we’ve showered together, since she rediscovered her love of baths, but the protocol has remained unchanged. Except she’s bigger. And the walls haven’t moved, as far as I could tell this morning. But they did get colder, since it’s now the end of December. Empirical evidence, see? I do have some. My naked 6:30am back pressed against the ceramic tiles: very, very empirical.

Because we don’t stand when we share my a shower. We sit cross-legged, each of us, knee-to-knee and other knee-to-other knee, on the tiny fiberglass shower pan floor.


How to Share a Floor-Sitting Shower with your Bossy Demanding Discerning Daughter in Ten Easy Steps:

1) Say goodbye to that warm air. She never closes the door all the way once she opens it, because she still has trouble with engaged doorknobs. So she might mostly close the door, but all the lovely warm shower-dew particles that had been lovingly cloaking you in comfort have a contest fleeing to that door crack. The last few do take the extra moment to get in formation, materialize as a semi-solid hand, and wave gleefully goodbye in your direction before they dissipate for adventures unknown. You swear you hear faint cackling as the first tendril of cold winds around your ankles.

2) Take it down, Mama! Every so often you curse the previous homeowners a bit (peach living room? With salmon high-gloss trim?) but you never knew that their choice of shower heads would be so high on the List of Cursing Reasons. We have shower heads on hoses. So, I can deliver the Water Point of Egress down into the eager hands of my floor-sprawled daughter. At this point, note: You Will Never Be Warm Again. She doesn’t really bother to waste any of that water on you. Prepare to beg.

3) It’s too hot! See above, anyway.

4) Turn it to the soft! Translation: adjust the water pressure to the least pressurized flow. This will make it take only 300% longer to wash away the many thousands of bubbles that your companion is about to generate.

5) Assemble your mise en place: gather the White Chocolate, the Milk Chocolate AND the Dark Chocolate body shampoos from the
Philosophy trio you purchased so long ago, back when your kid was having all-encompassing water phobias and you desperately thought chocolate toiletries would possibly, just maybe be more compelling than Staying Dry At All Costs. Refrain, or try at least, from contemplating your not-wet but not-clothed goosebumps and remembering water phobias as the good old days. Gather also her hair shampoo, which is not the body shampoo even though Philosophy body shampoo can be used quite nicely on her hair, and also any incidental toiletries (by definition: cleansing products you might recklessly desire to spend time using on yourself).

6) Open, one at a time and only as requested, the various Chocolates, taking note the difference between Milk Chocolate and Dark Chocolate even though you don’t have your contacts in and they look very similar. Pour some into beguiling outstretched palms, and direct her to rub it all over [pick the next body part now] or [pick one of your body parts now]. And then, literally: Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

7) Exfoliate. It’s all you really have before you right now, anyway. It doesn’t take direct water and the vigorous scrubbing keeps your circulation going. I use a delicious scrub made from the shelled husks of cocoa beans; it’s nicely scratchy and its aroma further heightens the building desire for graham crackers and marshmallows. And the accompanying wool campfire blanket.

8) When your Little Mermaid leaves the floor and climbs her naked body into your naked lap, it’s hair time. Enjoy this time because her shampoo runoff will land directly on your body, and being in the path of a room-temperature soapstream is better than shivering unwetted for yet more moments of precious mother-daughter bonding.

8a) Be a little jostly with the shampooing and rinsing, because Angelic One will squirm from the residual exfoliating scrub on your skin, and in the name of protecting her sensitive and delicate nature you will be able, albeit briefly, to aim first-use water directly upon yourself. Mama! You still have crunchies on your skin! And they hurt me! OUUUCH! “Ooh, sorry, hon. Let me just rinse the rest of that off. I didn’t even know it was still on me!” If you don’t get caught, you might even briefly be able to raise the water temperature.


The above was a PSA sponsored by the “Where My Tushie Folds Doesn’t Like HOT WATER! (MAMA!)” Indignation Bearers of America.

9) Be prepared. This is not just for Boy Scouts but for you, too, because any moment now she will declare I’m Done! and jump out of the shower and then (and only then) begin complaining about how cold she is and could you give me a burrito, please? Translation: wrap her snugly in her towel.

But first:

10) Take 14 seconds to do all of the things you actually went into the shower for, like wash your face and hair.


And then.

Remember that there just might be a day that her mommy phase ends, but your heart will be enriched with all those memories of naked shower shampoo snuggles to get you through the not-mommy-phase years.

At that, because of all that exfoliating, you will be starting 2009 with the smoothest legs in all the land.
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Amanda said...

Hey! I read your blog daily and I must say this has got to be one of the most well written "mommy blogs" I have ever read. You usually keep me laughing, because I can relate. I have a 5 year old (going on 20) and a 2 year old...your life sounds a lot like mine:) I also have a blog and would like to link to your site on my blogroll. I always ask before doing so though. Let me know if this is ok with you.

J said...

Heh! Thankfully, the burrito thing is the only part of E's bath routine that our kids share. :) But the BRAND NEW master bathroom shower walls, door, and dual-function head (one is rain, the other is detachable spray) is proving to be a very nice motivator to otherwise bathing-resistant little monsters.