A Bit of Alone


Is anything better than the idea of stepping into a hot, steamy shower, and letting the water either awaken your spirit, or put to rest a long day? The steam envelops the soul, washes away the angst, and gets the mind ready for the looming tasks ahead. Sounds heavenly, right?

Yeah, don’t ask me.

Showers are the one thing I look forward to taking by myself. I dream of them. In my world, they’re about as sacred as white elephants–a highly sought after rarity. Unless I happen to get an early evening–also known as a sleeping toddler in bed by seven–or a court-mandated visit, this mommy isn’t bathing alone. There is no, “Honey, watch Tiny Tot while I jump in the shower.”

In my house, it is, “Mommy? You’re taking a shower? I’ll take one with you!”

To which I respond, “You just took a shower, Son Son. It’s Mommy’s turn.”

And the tiny human counters, “Oh, okay. I’ll watch. Then it’s my turn, after, right?”

Variations do occur in our back-and-forth shower conversation. The end result, unfortunately, is the same. A tiny human either in the tub with me, or watching me while I bathe.

On a typical night, Tiny Tot takes his bath, I dress him, and then I begin trying to distract him with either a program, or a toy, while I take a shower. It doesn’t work.

As in, never.

Every time “my turn” comes around, my tiny person shucks off his PJs, climbs into the tub with me, and starts demanding that I find him the correct bath toy. Inevitably, my son complains that I am getting him wet, or he tells me to hurry up because it is now, officially, “his turn.”

That, or the tiny boy sits outside the tub, playing with the shower curtain, and freezing me to death. This morning, he did exactly that.

“Son son? Can you let go of the curtain? It’s letting in cold air. Mommy is cold.”

“No, you’re not cold. I’m just doing this. Swish! Like that. Watch, Mommy! Peek-a-boo!”

“Okay, that’s nice. Seriously. The house is cold, Mommy is cold, and I don’t want water all over the floor.”

“Oooh, Mommy! There is water on the floor! You got water on the floor!”

“If you let go of the curtain, the water won’t spill out.”

“Oh. No, thanks! Watch me, Mommy! Swish!”

I swear, my child is a rascal. He gets it from me, so I can’t gripe too much. However, I do try every feasible combination for a peaceable bath. And, by peaceable bath, I mean for myself.

Tiny always gets a long bath, sometimes two. Three, if you count one being with me!

My end goal is for the tiny one to entertain himself–away from playing around a naked mommy–so that I can take a shower.

Completely alone.

Sometimes I put a lot of thought, and effort, into conning my child to stay in another room while I bathe. Once, I set up popcorn, and turned on a brand new episode of Dino Dan. Yes, as an attempt of utter desperation. There comes a time in a mother’s life when two things are highly sought after: bathing, and going to the bathroom. Alone.

In any case, my lame attempt at popcorn bribery afforded me ten minutes of seclusion. Nearly long enough for me to shave my legs!

However, I know it isn’t fair for me to complain overtly about the constant battle of the shower wills. There are single mommies who do not have the luxury of two weekends a month in which they enjoy a bath in wonderful solitude. Heck, there are even married mommies who don’t get the luxury of Mommy Bath Time. Their husbands think, “Showering by yourself? Okay, Princess. You wanted the kids; deal with it.”

I mean, why am I complaining? I get four days a month to look forward to; it’s like a mini showering vacation!

Still, it’s a mother’s fantasy. Why else does a woman fantasize about being submerged to her neck in a scented bubble bath, surrounded by flickering candles, and classical music? Somewhere in this fantastical image are sprinkles of rose petals, dim, hazy lighting, and a great glass of wine. Books are welcome, if they are the romance type. Who doesn’t want a barbarian with legs as thick as tree trunks whisking us away on a horse?

Ah, daydreams!

All of this usually plays out in my head as the shower curtain whips a strong, frigid breeze into the bathtub. Usually on a day when I am already cursing the ineffectiveness of my 1980’s home, and it’s asinine temperature gauges–which refuse to allow hot water in the morning.

As a mother, I treasure my child. Tiny Tot is the very breath I breathe, with the exception of washing my hair, and shaving my legs. I love my tiny human much more when I can accomplish certain tasks–showering being one of them–on my own, sans toddler help.

No comments posted on November 25, 2012 in Parenting, Winging It, Mom Style

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