Luke accompanied me to my yearly physical on Monday. Bad idea. He was casual and cool as we entered the waiting room still sporting his Lightning McQueen sunglasses, and carrying a milkshake. He slowly surveyed the crowd before finally announcing, “Somefing smells phony in here!” I corrected him despite the fact that it was a pretty astute observation.
“Try not to breathe too deeply,” I told him.

After a twenty minute wait we were ushered back to the exam room to wait some more, but Luke decided he needed to go to the bathroom. When we’re at home this isn’t a huge deal, but in a public restroom it becomes a nightmare. He absolutely CAN’T go without taking off ALL of his clothes. Also, being in the ONLY bathroom designated for patients, there were knocks at the door every fifteen seconds from people needing to pee in a cup. With every knock Luke lost his concentration, which was apparently essential. I was desperate to speed things along which meant I had to stand with my back turned AND my eyes closed.

Finally, he was finished, but as I began getting him dressed he slipped away and went running through the office in only a T-shirt and boxer briefs as he laughed hysterically. I wrangled him, and we made it back to the exam room to find out that I had been skipped over for the next patient and would have to wait some more. So we sat in the cold exam room awhile longer while he pointed out every rectangle in the room. There were twelve.

The doctor eventually came in, felt me up with her cold hands, poked me with a needle, and told me how cute and charming my kid was, all of which took no longer than five minutes.

“Thank you,” I replied. “Now, can you refill my Xanax?”

Wanted: One Bathtub Buddy

Every night after supper Luke (18 mos) is covered in food (read: ketchup) and requires an immediate bath. He and I have been taking baths together since he was able to sit up. He splashes, plays with his toys and puts his mouth directly on the faucet and drinks like a gerbil. Bath time has always been fun time…until recently. Don’t get me wrong, he’s still having fun. It’s me that is having some problems.

As Luke has gotten bigger he has begun bringing some “baggage” to the bathtub. It irks me beyond measure to see anything foreign floating past me, and trust me there is no shortage of sock fuzz. If that’s not enough to get me going then Luke standing up and peeing against the side of the tub is. I can feel my blood pressure rise as the fuzz circles me like a hawk and the water
turns a pale yellow.

Last night in addition to the usual, I discovered a piece of chicken floating in the water. The rogue chicken bite had apparently been stuck to his skin only to break free after being submerged. This was my breaking point. I tried not to panic and called for Brantley to get Luke out of the tub. He complied and sweetly asked, “Do you want to stay in the tub and relax for a

“Thanks but no thanks. It’s hard to relax in a petri dish.”

In a related story I’m considering adopting the YMCA’s policy of making everyone shower prior to getting in the water. You rarely see chicken floating there.

The Seven Year Itch…and no, I don’t mean crabs

“I moved all my stuff into the guest bathroom,” Brantley (husband) mentioned in passing. “Excuse me?” I asked. “What’s the meaning of this?”

“You take up too much room. I want my own space.”

Our master bathroom houses a double sink with a large vanity and from time to time, my things may, sort of, somewhat, encroach (slightly) onto his side of the counter. So what? It’s part of being married.

“This is absolutely unacceptable. We’re approaching our seven year itch. You can’t bathroom divorce me. I’m already under a time crunch to decide whether or not we’re compatible. How can I do that if we aren’t even using the same bathroom?”

“It’s not that big a deal.”

“It’s a very big deal! Today you stop sharing a bathroom with me, and the next thing you know you’re clad in a tight Ed Hardy t-shirt and neglecting your eight kids. Damn it, I will not be your Kate Gosselin!”

“Stop being dramatic. You’re just mad because you won’t be able to use my razor and mooch my shave gel.”

Busted. He had me. No one replenishes toiletries the way that man does. He’s a fiend when it comes to bathroom stock. By the time the bar of soap gets a little too small to handle, it’s whisked away and magically replaced by a shiny new one. He has a constant bathroom inventory going and I wasn’t ready to take on that kind of responsibility.

I tried the guilt route.

“I really miss you. It’s just not the same. I feel like we don’t see each other as much. It’s like we’re out of sync.”

“When we shared a bathroom I would go in and close the door, come out about ten minutes later and you would gripe at me for not striking a match. Do you miss that?”

I thought hard. “Umm, yes.

“Too bad.”

I could tell he was enjoying this. It was time to give in and stroke the ego.

“Ok, yes. Fine. I miss your bathroom management. Without you my bathroom has no system. My biggest fear is that, without your leadership, it will fall.”

Gloating, he agrees under the condition that I move all of his stuff back into our bathroom. I reluctantly oblige.

I realize that I reduced myself to shameful groveling, a condition I abhor, but I had ultimately won the war. I knew this for certain the next morning when, upon entering the shower, I discovered shampoo on the left, conditioner on the right, clean towels on the rack and a brand new bar of soap.

I was so gleeful that upon exiting the shower I almost forgot to passive aggressively leave everything in disarray. With the soap on the floor, the conditioner on the left and shave gel squirted on the glass, the world was as it should be. Finally, things were back to normal.