Sometimes Georgia likes to go to Oliver's Tuesday night hockey practice, but tonight she wanted to stay home with me. The minute the boys head out the door, I announce girltime bathtime, which is always a happy event. We strip, and Georgia makes some hilarious comment about our bodies, about who has and doesn't have what, then we plunge into the water, which admittedly is a bit hotter than George might like and just perfect for me. Then come the bubbles. Lavender, ginger, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle (don't tell Oliver), and some perfumed bit of nothing they put into a bottle and sell at Christmas for ridiculous parents like me.
The boys are at the arena by now, after a drive across town in witchtit-freezing weather. O is on the ice. Craig is not. He is in the grey, barren gulleys alongside it, leaning against the scratched-up plexiglass watching six-year-olds sometimes glide, often trip across the ice into each other for an hour. Wobbly, triumphant pucks sometimes land in the net, often aided by a complete absence of goalie.
I am not in the arena. Now the bubbles are about at eye-level, and George is armed. She has three washcloths, a toothbrush, and various lotions and scrubs, and it is time for my treatment. Sitting, I lean forward. Standing, she begins to apply her salves. After each, a washcloth is laid gently across my back, arranged just so. It must sit for roughly 15 seconds, then is peeled away for either toothbrushing or scrubbing of my skin, then slow pouring of warm water to wash it all away. I sigh, protest a little about my hair getting wet, and am told I am a "silly goose." "It's ok, baby, it's ok," she says, tut tutting about me as if I am a fussy infant. So I quiet down, and succumb to another round of treatments. Sometimes I ask if she is cold, but she says she isn't, and of course in my condition I can only believe.
After some time, the boys come home. The girls are fragrant and have made the beds for the boys. Yes they have (what?). We head upstairs, get into PJs (except for Georgia who insists on a skirt), and we fly under the covers in Oliver's room. Within minutes, someone has farted. George cries (sensitive nose) and believes it to be Oliver. She calls him stinky. Oliver bursts into tears, tired from the day and the exertion of hockey. Craig and I admonish George and tell her not to call her brother stinky, and Craig whisks her up to head to her own room. She screams at the top of her lungs, "You a stinky pants, Oliver!" Oliver, Craig, and I burst into hysteria, and Georgia will now scream for many more minutes. But with Craig.
It is good.