I took a shower this morning, which doesn't sound like much but which is actually quite a feat of engineering when your husband is away, and your one-year-old has a dangerous tendency to open the shower curtain and get himself (and the floor around the tub) soaked.
Our house is pretty well childproofed, so when I have to shower without benefit of babysitting services, I leave the door open and put the baby gate across the doorway. That way I can peek out from behind the curtain every now and then, to reassure Simon that I'm still there and everything is fine. Unfortunately, while the theory may be sound, in practice it never works. No matter how many times I poke my head out or how cheerfully I say "Peekaboo!", Simon continues to cling to the gate while howling at the top of his small lungs, apparently convinced that Mommy is being eaten by the Shower Monsters and will never, ever come back.
Today, however, the shrieking only lasted a couple of minutes. I finished my shower wondering if Simon had finally grasped the concept of object permanence, and came out to find three-year-old Nicholas proudly awaiting me at the gate.
"I looked after the baby while you were in the shower," he said. "I wiped his nose 'cos he was crying, and I telled Simon not to worry because God was looking after him."
And indeed, he had. Simon was playing with blocks in the boys' bedroom, his face was clean and he appeared perfectly contented. So I praised Nicholas lavishly for being such a good big brother (especially since his usual relationship with Simon involves yelling "Mine!" and snatching toys out of the baby's hands) and finished my morning ablutions at leisure.
Hopefully this is a trend, because it would be really nice to shower whenever I want to. I knew there were challenges associated with motherhood, but I never guessed that something as simple as taking showers would be one of them...