Where are you headed? Hold your horses, mister. I gotta clean your nose. B’s around the study area. What can I grab? If I stretch up high enough, then something new. This one. It’s long and thin. Looks funny, if you ask me. Mom shows me what it can do by drawing lines and circles on a piece of paper. Whatever. I want to shake it or just hold it. Mom takes it away from me, giving me a thick marker instead. I protest. I don’t want it. I want the skinny thing back. It’s mine. Give it back or I’ll… Mom is stubborn; I am more stubborn. I throw a tantrum. I know just the right thing to do. Mom has a soft spot for me. I bang my head against the wooden floor, screaming in pain, distress and grief. Mom utters a shriek of despair. I’m back in her arms. She’s holding the thing, letting me touch it. The music starts playing again. I can’t take my eyes off the screen. One of my favorite songs – you put one hand in, you put one hand out, you put one hand in (B. is all ears with his left hand ready; we wonder if he could he be left-handed, hubby and I) and you shake, shake, shake, shake, shake (he shakes his little hand). The pen’s fallen on the carpet. I take it. He notices it but couldn’t care less. He’s shaking, turning and clapping. Way to go, honey! I snap my fingers. He finds it amusing.
I head for the bathroom. B. is following me. Why is it so damn hot inside? Ah, the heating’s on the highest setting. I thought he stopped doing it, little rascal. He must have caught me off guard last time we were hugging.
He spots the laundry basket and begins to empty it. Our dirty socks, underwear, pillow cases and towels are flying all over. Some land in the bathtub, some in the lavatory, some he’ll be dragging on the floor or spinning in circles with one hand for hours. My head starts spinning. The whole apartment seems to be spinning. Next, he fills the washing machine drum. In, out, in, out… In the meantime, I add the laundry detergent in its assigned spot. Seeing me, he jumps up, closing the small container so forcefully that it pinches my fingers. I let out a howl of anguish and startle him. B. steps back. I get down to my knees to comfort him. We both smile. We load the thing together. It opens its mouth patiently. He then unloads it, putting his head inside to check everything’s ok.
Loading, unloading, loading…I wait to select the cycle until after I’ve closed the door. Ready, steady, go! The party can officially begin. It’s going to be a big splash. As the water pump begins to circulate water, he’s on his knees, pressing his face against the window, touching it, licking it and looking at it very closely. Once the strong rotating currents commence, he’ll move backwards and holding onto the edge of the bathtub continue examining it as if to check it’s working properly or discover any potential flaws. Closely pressed together, we’ll be staring at it hypnotically for a very very long time, listening to it gurgling, buzzing and murmuring. It has a soothing voice. B. opens his mouth, inhales deeply, and slides off my lap, staggering unsteadily to the door. It’s nap time.