Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Lather, rinse, repeat

I blame the I-do-it-mySELF! phase: L has a whole routine with the emollients. She will get my moisturizer or her body lotion or her diaper cream and she will apply it without assistance, thankyouverymuch. She will apply it liberally and purposefully and carefully. She will make a ritual of dipping one fingertip into the pot or squeezing a glistening squirt on her thigh or pumping a puddle upon her jutted-out belly, the better for catching the softness. She will rub in slow lines down her skin and up again, tracing forms in the creamy comfort, obscuring her pigment behind a cake-frosting-layer of skin suppler. She will use more in a moment than I would use on her in a week. It is her sacred act.

Then she will look up. She will hold her palm outstretched. I have a lot too much, she'll lament in her own special diction. I need to go wash my hands.

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Yesterday found all five of us at a big-box store where the girls picked out a four-pack of scented bodywashes. "Excellent," I said, by way of reminding them that the holiday weekend was about to end, "you can use some in your bath or shower tonight because we have to get you back to a regular bedtime. You have school tomorrow." And then we went out for a late lunch and then we went out for ice cream and when we got home and unpacked our purchases, only L remembered right away that I'd said there'd be bath time just as soon as we returned.

When I walked upstairs ten minutes later L had gotten naked and emptied two entire bodywash bottles into the dry, empty bathtub. I ready for bath! she beamed. Twenty-four ounces of undiluted fruit-scented slime covered the entire floor of the tub. I turned on the water and tried to wash some away but the inevitable had already defined itself. I plugged the tub and let it fill with the slipperiest water ever witnessed by indoor plumbing. I scrubbed her clean and washed her hair and tried to rinse it bubble-free and didn't really succeed. The lovely husband arrived to towel her and carry her downstairs. "She'll need the spray conditioner in her hair," I told him, "the water was too soapy -- I couldn't really rinse it enough and her hair will dry out."

"Okay," he tossed over his shoulder.

"And she'll need lotion - sitting in all that soap will have been really drying to her skin."

Dangerous words, woman. Dangerous words.

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Take a guess what L says, every time, as she walks towards the bathroom after she concedes she has too much lotion on her hands:

Mommy? I need the soap. Pin It