You have had a long day. It started at 5.45am and you've been busy running errands, building trains and making meals. You know you're frazzled because when the Physio called to ask why you missed an appointment you thought it was Monday and its obviously Thursday. Anyway, you made it through and you're in the bath.
Its a great bath. It started off limed with a strange dark sediment but you washed and and made sure it was HOT. You and the toddler are both happy IN THE BATH TOGETHER. "It is a very nice" he opines while bobbing his duck and capsizing his playmobil boat. You slide down in the bath to chin level and its just great. The bath salts rise up in a sweet haze and you know you can be a good parent again.
Then the toddler notices that his boat has no "guys".
"I need guys" he says.
You're not getting out so you say "Frost?" There is no response but you know he's out there. He's in a reading whiteout so you ramp up the volume :
"Wren needs a guy for his boat. Will you get him a guy?"
"I need one-two guys" Wren adds.
"Just one or two guys please."
"No, ONETWO guys."
"Frost, he needs onetwo guys. Not lots."
There is a clattering noise and Frost comes in with about 15 playmobil figures which he dumps in the bath. The toddler becomes frantic as the guys are drowning "the boat is sinking, I CAN'T HOLDEM ALL!!"
You have to sit up to save the guys and insert them in their boats. The toddler is freaking out about this. Frost walks off down the hall saying "I am hungry. I am going to find something to eat."
The playmobil guys are drowning and you are warm but your mind is whirring somewhere. You think its 5.45pm. You eat dinner in half an hour. That kid must not eat. You know that if he DOES eat it will be Halloween Oreos and just then you hear a loud crackle from the kitchen as he rustles the packet.
"Frost" you squeak. "Frost. Frost. Frost." There is no acknowledgment. He's playing I can't hear you so its not his fault if he eats cookies at dinnertime. So what do you do? Do you leap out the bath and run naked through to the kitchen? Do you bellow like a wounded bull? Do you resign yourself to letting him eat?
You decide not to risk it and bellow very loudly about not eating now at all anything at all. It flashes across your mind that a friend who had to shout a lot as a coach got laryngeal cancer and you wonder if you are going to get voice cancer too. As if messing with your bath is no big deal the hungry kid says "oh, ok. I'll wait."
Meanwhile, the younger one is startled out of his dramatic control issues and you give up on peace and invent a new game with him in which you say "snigger-booger" and try and tickle and splash him in the bath. Do not tell your friends to try this at home because the toddler falls over a number of times and has to be rescued in deep water. However you both love the game and water is splashing up and around and you get hairwash done without incident.
Later, at dinner, you tattle on them to The Father. You explain you can't ever have a peaceful bath without one kid having a mass casualty and another trying to eat cookies from the pantry.
"Oh," says the bigger kid, "that was a prank. I was just rustling the top of the Lucky Charms packet to make you think I was eating stuff." [laugh laugh]
PS.An interesting NPR Report showing that the charge for procedures skews medical treatment to detriment of patient outcomes.