Wednesday, July 11, 2007

tree-ringed circus

My younger, bachelor-of-a-brother had the pleasure of joining us for the evening last night. He has spent enough time with our family over the years to know that sitting down to a hot meal with three young children can be an adventure.
Spilled milk? No big deal. Children refusing to eat their vegetables? Child’s play. He has even come to understand how a drop of tomato sauce can permanently stain the tray of a high chair (he attempted the clean-up and I quickly, yet gently discouraged him from getting into a job in which he’d be in way over his head). But I daresay he has experienced the joys of a toddler filling his diaper while sitting only inches from his uncle whilst eating a big plate of baked ziti. That, he didn't take sitting down (come to think of it, he did leave the table pretty quickly after that incident).

Things calmed down for a bit after dinner, but quickly returned to the order of chaos as we started preparing for bathtime.

It was like a scene from a zoo or circus. Witnessing my husband and me trying to wrangle in feisty and protesting creatures for a sudsy cleaning after the evening meal was certainly a sight that Uncle Seth hadn’t yet laid eyes on.
The splashing, the crying (Nicolas had a blister that he didn’t want to touch the water), the flooding and towels sprawled about. The commands, “Yes, you have to wash your hair tonight Sophia” and “Please go put your figures away before you get in the tub Nicolas” echoed from the steamy and crowded bathroom floor (upon which I was kneeling on a pile of damp towels). His head moved from side to side, perhaps whip lashed, as little naked bodies ran back and forth across the upstairs hallway.

Perhaps I can put this bathtime experience into visual terms so that you can get the general idea. So here...

These are the three circus animals, I mean children, that we had to tame, I mean bathe last night:

This is my husband, ruler and gatekeeper of all that is just and safe in the land of bathtime:

And me, the ring leader, calling the shots about who gets which lotion put where and which pajamas to put on the children for the night:

Sorry Uncle Seth. I'm sure you didn't plan on sitting through an act of the circus lastnight.

Perhaps someday it will be your turn. I promise to lend you a towel to mop up the mess!

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