One of my motherly skills is to be able to take a shower and listen to the kids playing nearby. I usually grab a few minutes when everyone looks calm and try to get clean before chaos ensues. There are some distinct sounds one must listen for – Nicholas has different cries that let me know the seriousness of his dilemma.
One cry means “I want to do something but can’t reach it” – like get the toothpaste tube and suck on it (which is not allowed.) Another means “Maggie is picking on me, when will you be done?” The one that stops my heart is the scream of his when he has brained himself on a doorjamb or fallen off the stool. Luckily this one has been very rare recently – at least while I am in the shower. There is a special one that is reserved for when his sister isn’t just picking on him, but actually contemplating what she can get away with while the shower is on. This too is not a common one, but serious if heard.
Some days I hear peels of laughter and the sounds of a mattress being jumped on. Other days I have to keep peeking to be sure nothing is being put in the toilet that doesn’t belong there. Yesterday Maggie played Montessori computer games while I showered. There is a song she likes to play about ladybugs and I could hear it from the bathroom. A few minutes later (since everyone seemed fine, I decided to splurge and condition my hair) I heard the most peaceful music. After another minute I honestly couldn’t tell if the music was coming from the computer or quite literally from inside my head. I figured that was a sign it was time to get out since I was losing my super powers to divert danger. I still don’t know if it was the computer or a wonderful instrumental I dreamed up as I rinsed.
But the most endearing part of my shower is always when I have turned the water off and I open the curtain to find one of my children standing there holding my towel out for me. Sometimes there is a look of “what took so long?” Other times they are just anticipating the game of peek-a-boo we play as I dry my face.