It was bath night tonight. Myself and Pip had the house to ourselves so we got a nice warm towel from the hot press and ran a bath. Of course it wouldn’t be bath night without him trying to get into it with all his clothes on while it fills up and then when that doesn’t work, to plunge both hands in up to his elbows so his jumper gets soaked before I can get to him.
It’s always such a pleasure to get him in there because the giggles and messing are just infectious. You forget how much fun water is until there’s a little one to remind you.
I’ve found the only way to get him out of the bath is to pull the plug when he’s not looking and then say “where’s the water gone?”, to which he replies “where?” and put his hands up, palms upwards in a question mark. Then he tries to catch every drop before it gurgles down the drain, splashing and stamping with his toes as much as he can while holding on to me with both hands.
I wrapped a big fluffy towel around him and lifted him out on to the bathroom floor, covering his head like a hood. He looked like such a big boy and when I started rubbing him up and down with the towel – like mammies do – he stood stiff as a board and begrudgingly let me do it, his little body all shivery from the change in temperature but also still keyed up from the excitement.
I got such a sense of deja vu right then, but from the opposite side. I was immediately thrown back to my own childhood, to standing compliantly beside baths, on beaches, behind car boots, near lakes, in swimming pool dressing rooms while my mother rubbed me up and down with a towel. I remember the little shivers, I remember biting the corner of the towel with my teeth and wearing it like a shawl before turning it into superman’s cape. Just like Pip did.
Everything changes but everything stays the same.
Being towel-dried by your mother appears to be timeless.