TONITE I'm going to soak in a hot bath and shave my legs!
I head into the bathroom, lock the door leading out into the hallway, and start my bath ritual. Having children that are still very young means I started planning this bath about 3 hours ago.
The little boys are out with their Papa reading Thomas the Tank Engine and rolling around on the expansive living room floor. They've both had their dinner, diapers changed, and been pajama'd up in preparation for a romp with Papa while Mama takes her bath.
Before I had these last two little ones, I had graduated once again to the elegant place in my life where I could take a bath every night without interruption if I wanted. My three older kids were old enough to understand my need to soak and relax and were really great about leaving me alone.
While I understood things were going to regress quite a bit (freedom-wise) with the arrival of two more little BOYS, I think I underestimated how the very simple pleasure of a nicely scented, good and hot, up to my chin bath had become such an essential part of my life and how much I'd miss it.
I mean, for me taking a relaxing bath is an integral part of life, right up there with coffee first thing in the morning, ANY type of cookies with my tea just before bed, and having a book going in nearly every room so I can snatch a few moments of reading wherever I find them. So I never thought I'd have to fight to squeeze enough time out of an evening to take my lovely bath early enough so that I did not fall asleep exhausted in it, and alone enough that I could really relax.
Silly deluded Mama.
These days, if I'm lucky, I get a chance to really soak maybe once a week (showers the rest of the time). And as I said, there is quite a bit of front-end work that goes into my being able to 'buy' a good 45 minute soak.Tonite when I close the door and press the lock button with my thumb, the clicking sound of the lock makes me feel giddy! Almost instantly, my shoulders drop in relaxation, my face relaxes and a quiet sigh emanates from my very being. I lean over the huge soaker tub and turn on the scalding water, pull the stopper to activate the spray wand and give the tub a good rinse. After adjusting the water temp to just 'good-n-hot', I turn the knob that plugs the tub, pour in one of my assortment of bath salts, gels, or soaking bubbles and watch eagerly as the water instantly foams up. The yummy scent of papaya mango wafts up ~ delicious! I realize, not for the first time, that my sanity depends on these snatches of warm relaxation.
I can hear squeals of laughter from the living room, but I deftly tune it out. My new razor is ready on the side of the tub, new fruity scented shaving cream, (a splurge, as I usually just use whatever soap is handy), and an oversized, plush, freshly laundered towel sits on the tile shelf above the so delightfully deep tub. I'm in the middle of a new thriller crime novel, and of course it's right at the most thrilling part, so I quickly disrobe and ease myself into the water, careful not to get my reading hand wet. My sweetie has placed a freshly made cuppa mint tea and two little cookies on a plate above the bath, so I feel extra pampered tonight.
Ahhhhh! Surely Mama Heaven can't be better than this!
Sounds like I've got it all dialed in right?
Not so much.
This beautiful experience usually starts out so wonderfully that I am able to suspend my disbelief, each and every time, and actually buy into the ficticious notion that I will really GET to spend 45 minutes in uninterrupted bliss! Huh uh.
About 15-20 minutes in I'm fully engaged in my thriller. I speed read (out of necessity and years of fitting in time to read around so many kids) and the pages are whipping by. Slowly tho', a light scratching noise penetrates the corners of my consciousness, and I unwillingly let my eyes falter, and take a quick glance at the door.
As I watch, the knob is turned as far as the lock will allow first to the right, and then to the left. Liam, my three year old is quietly trying to get in. I hear giggles. He is not alone.
Having established that the door is locked, a soft knock follows accompanied by a not so soft "Mama!"
I sink down into the scented water, all the way to eye level, and pretend I don't hear anything. Maybe if I don't say anything they will go away.
"Mama!" This time a little louder and immediately followed by "MaaaaMaaaa!"
I hear heavy footsteps rapidly approach the bathroom, and Craig says sternly, "Now you boys leave Mama alone!"
Complaining noises retreat to the area of the kitchen and quiet descends once again.
3-4 minutes later I am just picking the thread of the storyline back up when the whole process is repeated.
The knob is tried.
That it is STILL locked is discovered.
Another soft knock.
I still don't answer.
Quiet for just a moment and that's when I realize my mistake. Having locked the main bathroom door and closed my bedroom door, (which is attached to the master bath) I thought I had all the points of entry covered.
A determined little man, Liam has moved on to his second plan of attack. I hear little feet scamper down the short hallway towards my bedroom door, that knob is turned and the door slammed open, more pattering to the bedroom entrance to the master bath, which I have locked, but to no avail. It can be opened from the bedroom side.
I lean my head way out over the edge of the tub and watch as first the lock and then the knob is turned. In pops curly haired Liam with an exhuberent "Hi Mama! Wasserdoin?"
"I'm taking a bath, LiLi and you need to go see Papa!" I say firmly.
He giggles and tilting his chin down waggles his eyebrows at me.
"Bath." He says, throwing his eyes wide open. "Water!"
I fight the urge to respond to this attack of cuteness and muster the strength to reply sternly,"Yes, Mama's bath! You need to go find Papa!"
More eybrow action, a huge lopsided grin, and one arm comes out of his shirt as he struggles to shed his pajamas.
"Liam..." I can't help smiling at him.
"Hi Mama!" Gigantic grin now. "Bath!"
My resolve starts to weaken cause he's just so darn cute. In short order he has charmed his way into the foot of the huge bathtub and is playing with one of his many bath toys.
My legs are crowded up around my chest to make room for him. My book is abandoned. We hold a long conversation about whether the hot chocolate he makes me out of bathwater and bubbles (for whipped cream) is just right. I squeeze his bath toys and squirt water all over him.
Soon his whoops of delighted laughter draw the eighteen month old's attention. We are quickly joined by Eamonn, who has made his way through the bedroom, found the bathroom entrance breached, and taken full advantage.
A young man of few words he simply says, "In!" firmly while tugging at his pyjamas. Half a minute later he has joined us and is quickly giggling and conferring with his brother over hot chocolate preparation. "Mmmmm...Good!" he pronounces with a smile, dipping his upper lip into the bubbles and coming up with a frothy mustache.
After an indeterminate period of time, Craig wanders in sheepishly. "Aw geez... Sorry sweets," he says, leaning down to kiss the top of my hair. He has gotten caught up answering business emails and lost track of the babies.
"Never mind," I say magnanimously, tipping my head back for a proper kiss. I scoop up a bath cup, fill it with water and top it with 'whipped cream'. "You're just in time for Hot Chocolate."