Remember the days of a long, peaceful shower? Yes, I do too. Like many other moms, my showers are quick these days. I’m fortunate to get a few in solitude, but frequently, life demands a shower audience — my 2- and 3.5-year-old daughters. They aren’t quite old enough to roam free, and that means party in the bathroom. No big deal, right? No, but I recently took pause to reflect on all that can occur during a critical component to personal hygiene.
My 2-year-old takes this opportunity to ransack any drawer or cabinet.
You can tell me my cabinets should be latched, but they simply aren’t. With that, I get a formal review of what is stored in them — every last item. My husband’s deodorant takes the biggest hit in the form of sniffs and fingernails. There is a full examination of the toilet, with lots of touching, toilet paper off the roll and onto the floor, and finding the razor left where it shouldn’t be. The remainder of my shower is spent describing to the girls what each item is, from face lotion to an expired UTI test kit.
The 3-year-old is a whole different experience.
For her, it is all about my body and why it isn’t exactly like hers. My “very nice” boobs are the most popular topic lately. She notes hers as “baby” ones and that when she gets older, they’ll grow like mine. I urge her not to rush and enjoy her baby ones. There are comments on my arms and legs, and we discuss muscles and exercise to stay healthy and strong. My awareness is heightened that how I respond will impact them and how they see and value their own bodies. I focus on positive messages about self-love and respecting our bodies as they are. I know the hardest days of this lie ahead.
The one consistent fascination lies below my waist.
Oh, the joy of those conversations — especially around that special time every month. Serious inquiries around the fact that I’m wearing “diapers” and whether I have “boo boos” requiring kisses. Explaining menstruation to a toddler and preschooler is a requirement of my mom job that no book could have prepared me for. Though it does make me laugh, often.
Like many elements of motherhood, I’ll miss my shower audience someday.
These showers are anything but relaxing, especially when they require me to completely put my bathroom back together. Yet, I find myself reflecting on the fact that I’ll be alone in that bathroom again someday with plenty of time to take the long shower. I already know I’ll miss their innocent questions and hopeful looks.
So until then, showering with an audience it is.