I went for my massage on Sunday. I spent four hours being pampered and rubbed and oiled and nourished and mani-ed and pedi-ed. I ate a wholesome salad and drank cucumber water and sipped tea in a plush robe next to a roaring fire. I listened to soothing music and melted in dim spaces and left feeling replenished.
And then I came home.
To bath time.
And the moon was in the seventh house, or something, because huzzah! E agreed to get in the tub with her sister for the first time in at least four months, and I thought I escaped the luke-warm co-shower. I may have been basking in my own warm afterglow; I may have been smug.
Feeling Smug and Feeling Pampered combine, apparently, into Being Idiotically Oblivious.
The girls, so excited to be reunited in de-filthing after lo these many months, filled the tub with every single toy we own and at least half a dozen washcloths. The water surface was not visible. (This was the view 17 months of toy accumulation ago.)
And right away, L announced, Mama! I pooping! The lovely husband and I each took a cursory look around the crowded tub for signs of poop but didn't see any, and disregarded her. She says she's pooping every time she shares her gas with us. No worries. And yet, the water was getting browner. But still, no worries: after all E uses Philosophy's chocolate line of body washes for her soap, another holdover from a one-time bath bribe attempt. The water always browns, because that girl does love a lather.
We washed their bodies. We washed their hair. We washed their faces. And the lovely husband pulled L out, dried her, lotioned her thickly in the face of dry winter air, diapered her, pajamaed her. I lifted out the big girl, dried her, lotioned her, sent her for clothes.
She never got to clothes.
I opened the tub drain and began throwing toys back into drainage baskets when I found a dozen cocktail meatballs hovering in the spiral current of the sucking whirlpool. Except: and you know this already, don't you? - they weren't meatballs.
So: I did not escape the luke-warm shower after all. I stripped, and sat on the floor of our shower. The beleaguered husband forcibly stripped one child, then another. I forcibly rewashed one flailing creature, and another, holding their freshly warmed and dried bodies under another waterborne assault.
And here is the thing: do you know, when you mix a mama body's coverage of massage oil with two girl bodies' coverage of thick moisturizing lotion, just how slimy a luke-warm shower can get? And just how challenging it is to protect their slippery skulls from cracking against the tiles as they writhe their limbs and bodies in protest in cage-like arms and in your unwelcome relathering hands? And just how effectively poo-water can drag any feelings of Smug or Pampered down the drain?
And so, the moral of the story is:
the husband should not take any more long business trips.