The water pools around their feet and slowly begins to ripple and rise over their naked bodies. This part of the day is always quiet as they wait patiently for the bath to be filled up. After I turn off the water they inquire about their toys. I pass them some from the drawer beside me and they play nicely together for a record breaking time of five minutes before the screaming and shouts of 'mine' echo off the walls of the tiny room someone had the audacity to call a full bath.
It's 7 pm and a headache creeps up on me - familiar, dull - the ache of motherhood. I pinch the bridge of my nose where my glasses usually sit, but thanks to the constant splashing are now resting on the bathroom sink, and I ready myself for the inevitable high, pitch wails of toddlers fighting the hair washing routine. I start with Gabe because although he can articulate his hatred towards getting water in his eyes he doesn't sob uncontrollably like his sister does. As careful as I am about keeping the water off of his face it's inevitable that some foreign drop of H2O finds it's way under his closed eyelid and the accusations of water torture spurns his sister into hyperventilating and performing any number of useless attempts to escape the enclosure of the tub.
By the time I turn to Edie she has accepted her fate and doesn't start her head splitting screams until I begin to rinse the soap out of her hair. By the time I'm finished I'm ready for this whole bath time scenario to be over with. But instead of getting calm, complacent children eager to leave the confines of the torture room, I receive excited and happy children who have managed to stir up a second wind for playing with their toys and fighting each other over the ones they don't possess.
By the time I manage to drag them from their bath they are wrinkled and cold and begging me to wrap them in a nice, fluffy towel. Of course they demand a certain color and they like it to be wrapped around their shoulders and tucked in at their necks. If you don't comply with these wishes then they wont leave the bathroom without full on tantrum meltdowns. Two seconds after being wrapped in color coordinated, properly arranged towels, they throw them off and run streaking throughout my house usually screaming 'naked!' as they careen from room to room. I manage to pin them down somewhere between the tub and Eden's bedroom to put diapers and pajamas on the crazy, little, flailing bodies when Gabriel says in passing "Edie has two bums!"... I respondm "I'm afraid that's just a vagina, Gabe"
I chuckle and think that it wont be long before they are demanding to bathe by themselves - so I guess I should just try and enjoy this while it lasts, but maybe for the preservation of my own sanity... I'll take a few blackmail photos here or there - can anyone say "grad congratulation photo"...