Saturday, August 28


Remember in Sophia in The Color Purple? Well, if you ever read the book (or let's be honest, you just saw the movie - didn't you?) you either know her as the physically imposing, strong-willed wife of Harpo, or you just have some vague recollection about Oprah Winfrey something-or-other. Either way, you know who I'm talking about. Basically Sophia punches the Mayor, and becomes what can only be described as an indentured servant. In 1930s rural Georgia. Ahem. Ironically, Sophia is forced to work for the Mayor's wife, Miss Millie, and for some reason teaches her how to drive a stick. So, it kind of winds up being Driving Miss Millie. [Side note: while that sure is a snappy reference, rest assure that the best Driving Miss Daisy parody would have be Driving Miss Daisy Crazy. Don't look at me that way, a friend told me about it.]

So anyway, finally, after about a billion years of waiting on a bumbling old white lady, Sophia gets to go home on Christmas Day to see her family.Whoo fucking hoo. A whole day? For God's sake don't put yourself out Miss Millie. But I guess it's OK, because Millie does her a solid by giving Sophia a ride to see the family she was so cruelly torn from all those years ago. Yet before Sophia can even get her coat completely off, you hear the grinding of gears and cries of frustration from just outside the window. Yep, sure as shit, Miss Millie can't drive her dumb ass home and basically passive-aggressives her way into making Sophia do it. Sophia leaves crestfallen, her Christmas forgotten and her sadness ignored.

I think about this scene a lot. Particularly whenever I try to do anything. Ever. If I even think about going for a walk alone, I suddenly find myself with a three-year-old attached to my leg. Now, while you might be thinking "it's good to walk with a little extra weight," it's not so productive when that ankle weight is screaming "mommy, mommy!" There's also nothing relaxing at all about trying to spend some alone time with a chorus of "mommy, don't leave me!" in the background. I feel like I should make my walking destination DFACS.

But this weekend, after a particularly shitty few nights with a baby that can't quite put his finger on what's bothering him, I decided that come hell or high water I was going to relax with a bath. Ahhhhh a bath. Not for everyone I know, but definitely for me. Due to the suspicious soft spot under the tub of our old house, I never dared to bathe in it for fear of winding up in the basement. Which means it's been over a year since I had a bath, and no you aren't allowed to say "yeah I can tell, you stink," like Mark did. I've bathed since then, just not in an actual bathtub.

But in the new house there's just one catch if you want to spend QT in an actual tub. It's is Piper's bathroom. That means to use it, you have to treat it like a covert military operation. She can not know your intentions. She can not be privy to when you enter or leave the bathroom. You must keep all movement in said tub to a minimum. This includes splashing, intentional or otherwise. If she even suspects that you are in her bathroom without her, you will come face to face with your worse nightmare. A three-year-old trying to get into the tub with you while simultaneously critiquing your ageing body. I love Piper, but sometimes I'm just not in the mood to share my quiet time with Tinkerbell bubbles and an army of Littlest Petshop bobble-headed "pets." OK, the Tinkerbell bubbles are really nice.

I was so serious about my anticipated soak, I prepared a statement beforehand. It basically consisted of "don't ask, don't tell, oh and I'm taking my fucking time." I even did something I never do which was to take a shower first. That way, I could cherish this stolen time by focusing all my energy on relaxing and not have to bother with all of that pesky cleaning. Mark promised to keep Piper downstairs, but before I could even get into our actual bedroom, I heard "mommy, can I come with you?" I literally ran into the bathroom and locked the door, hoping that she wouldn't come up and try to get in. That only makes her angry. And you wouldn't like Piper when she's angry.

I didn't hear tiny feet trying to kick in the bathroom door, so I figured that I was safe. After a shower, I cautiously headed toward Piper's bathroom, only to come face-to-face with...Piper. I called down to Mark that Piper was in her room (cock blocking me from the bathtub), and he responded, "yeah, I know. She's getting a toy." What he couldn't see though, was that she was on the floor trying to wrangle herself back into her underwear, which is never a good sign. It brings up too many questions, mainly "why are you out of your underwear?" I promptly did my Mom sigh, which I have to say is fairly good after only three years. You know, the sigh that says "kid, you are killing me and so is your Dad, because how could he not know this was going to end up in a way that was going to frustrate the shit out of me."

Instead of inserting myself into the situation further, I turned around and went back into the bedroom. I could hear that we had a situation brewing, and it had something to do with poop. I laid my head down on the bed and mentally began to let go of my bath. I felt like Sophia at the dinner table, minus the messed-up eye. Her coat half on, half off, glancing at Miss Millie driving like a spaz, knowing that she was going to have to go and fix the situation one way or another. Sophia had Miss Millie and I have Piper. And Tanner. And Mark. I often like to say that it's kind of nice being so important, but not really. As I got up and headed into the bathroom that had held such promise moments before, all I knew this was going to have nothing to do with driving and everything to do with poop.