Bubbles, Legos, and Whales

(A fictional essay based upon events in my life. Written for my English Comp class.) 

It was the morning after a horrible 24-hour shift at work. I seriously needed a nap, but there was too much to do.  There is always too much to do.  The wreckage of a three-year old human tornado was strewn about the entire house.  The kitchen desperately needed cleaning before new life forms began to evolve.  My laundry pile had begun to resemble Mount Rainier.  The lawn had not been mowed yet this year and had become a jungle inhabited by small, colorful plastic natives and animals.  To add insult to injury, I still had not come up with a topic for my English Comp essay due soon.  Sighing miserably, I began to pick up.

As I cleaned, my personal little un-helper followed closely behind pulling things from where I thought they belonged and placing them where she thought they did.  Apparently everything belongs on the floor when you are three.  Frustrated, I pulled a disposable glove from my uniform pocket, blew it up, and popped in a video.  She  and her new chicken balloon friend happily settled on the couch to watch, and I was free to clean unaided.  Kids are so easy to please.  Thank goodness for SpongeBob.

Soon some order had been restored inside.  Mount Laundry had eroded, though it was barely noticeable.  The living room still needed vacuuming, but at least I could see the floor again after the toys had been picked up.  Pots, pans, and dishes were clean again even if they would probably not get put away today.  It seems that nothing ever gets completely done around here anymore.  The best I can hope for seems to be one step ahead of total chaos.    I glanced at my daughter watching her show without a care in the world.  I was envious.  Being grown-up sucks sometimes.

Now all that remained between me and my nap was the lawn and my homework.  The choice of which to start first was made for me by my aching back.  I sat in my chair and opened a blank document.  The little blinking line in the upper corner mockingly waited for my inspired thoughts.  There were none.  There hadn’t been for days.  I could not focus.  I could not think.  I still had crap to do.

I tried very hard to talk myself out of tackling the lawn.  Although it was growing unchecked, I had not actually lost a child in it, yet.  But Barbie and her friends had gone missing weeks ago, and were feared eaten by packs of wild Happy Meal toys.  Dora and Diego had taken a rescue expedition in, but communication had been lost.  It was up to me to save them.  Dammit.

While mowing, I thought perhaps I could write a descriptive essay about it.  I could describe the smells, the sounds, the gritty dirt blown into my mouth.  No, that would be boring.

Two hours later, I was sweaty, covered in dirt, green from the knees down, and even more tired.  The hammock had been recovered from the overgrowth and beckoned me, but I could not give in.  The jungle had been tamed and everyone had been rescued.  Well, almost everyone.  Dora had been decapitated by the lawn mower.  Fortunately my daughter had been occupied next door and did not witness the murder.  As I would soon find out, she had been competing in a mud pie cook-off.

Back inside I headed straight for the shower.  At least that would be the one pleasant thing I had in this awful day.  A long, hot, relaxing soak in a bath would be better, but that takes too much time.  Mommies are rarely allowed luxuries, and homework and my nap were still waiting.

Just as I started the water, my little one came in.  Her entire body was covered in mud, and she was grinning from ear to ear.  She does love her mud.  Once again, Mommy’s needs would have to wait.  The elusive nap moved further out of reach.

I turned the temperature of the water down a bit, and plugged the tub.  I grabbed a bottle of bubbles and poured some in.  Then I poured in more.  She likes lots of bubbles.  Elmo and Cookie Monster grinned idiotically at me from the label, but I did not smile back.  As the tub filled and the water foamed, I peeled my own monster’s clothes off and hiked them to the summit of Mount Laundry.  When I got back, the tub was ready, and I could see she had added some of her bath toys.  Legos were her favorite.  I plunked her in and sat down on the toilet seat to wait.  Just like dishes, kids are easier to clean if you let them soak a bit.

While she was happily splashing and playing, my mind turned back to my homework.  I had nothing interesting to write about because I don’t ever get to do anything.  No one would want to hear about my life.

I mourned that nap I probably wouldn’t get.  The gritty dirt I had thought about describing began to feel as wonderful as it was interesting.  Not one bit.  It was time to hurry and wash the child so I could at least get my shower.

As I knelt down, my aching muscles screaming, I was surprised by a face full of water.  She had shot me with one of her little squirt toys.  I began to get angry, but her delighted look and giggles won me over.  Well, two can play at that game!

I peeled off my own clothes, and just tossed them aside.  The mountain could wait.  I plopped right into the tub with her, and sat down.  I had not planned for my body mass when I filled the tub.  The water level rose quickly, and for a moment I thought the bubbles would spill over the edge like a soda poured too fast.  It was close.

The water was cooler than I would have liked, but the smell of the Orange Mango Tango bubbles was delicious.  My mouth watered.  It was definitely not a grown-up scent.  It was a fun scent.  I could feel toys floating hidden in the bubbles bumping into me with every movement.  I was being shot over and over by streams of water by a giggling child.  It was silly, and I could not help but laugh.  I would think about homework later.  At least I could wash her faster this way.

I grabbed the big cup used for shampooing, filled it up, and doused my tormentor.  Her laughing stopped and her eyes grew serious.  Was the fun already over?  Mommy was going to take her joy away.  That’s what mommies do.  I gave up.  I gave in.  I grinned at her, filled the cup up again, and handed it to her.  She hesitated only a moment then stood up and dumped it on my head.  In addition to water and bubbles, I was pelted with toys had been scooped up also.  “Mommy’s turn,” I said, and she handed the cup over, smiling again.  We bombarded each other until I squirted shampoo into our hands.  We began to lather each other’s hair.

“More shampoo, Mommy.”

“Ok, a little more.”  By the time we were done, our heads had more bubbles than the tub.  I molded all of her hair straight up and twisted the top into a curl. She looked like a Dairy Queen cone.  I giggled and did the same to my hair.  She liked that.  She and I molded and modeled several more bubble hairstyles on my head.  Of course each time she wanted her hair done the same way.  We rinsed and finished washing each other, and I began to get out.  The water was cooling, and I had homework.

“No Mommy.  Play.”  She fished about in the bubbles and pulled out two Legos.  She handed them to me with eyes pleading.  I accepted them and clicked them together.  She beamed with joy, and I decided homework could wait a little longer.  I had nothing to write about anyway.  She began fishing again for her own Legos.  It quickly became a contest to see who could find and connect the most Legos.

I could have easily won, but I didn’t.  I was distracted.  While fishing, I had located the squirter.  I was armed.  I kept my hand submerged and moved the weapon closer.  When I squeezed it, a waterspout shot up through the bubbles two feet into the air.  It caught her by surprise, and when the plume shot up again, but from a different spot, she was fascinated.  I kept moving it, and kept her guessing where it would appear.  Where would it come from next?  It had all the suspense of Jaws, but with an imaginary whale instead of a shark.  I could imagine the tense movie theme music in my head.  Da-Dum…Da-Dum…Da-Dum, Da-Dum, Da-Dum…  The whole thing was fun, and oh so silly.  Her hysterical laughter echoed loudly in the small bathroom.  She futilely tried to catch the water, and occasionally got hit by it.  I did not know who was having the best time.  I was laughing as hard as she was.

Finally, we both started to notice the cold water.  We were two happy, pruny girls.  We had been in the tub for a very long time.  We got out, dried off, and got dressed.  Strangely, I wasn’t tired anymore.  I felt renewed.  I sat down at the computer again and words began to pour out.

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2 Responses
  1. oldmole51 says:

    ” I had nothing interesting to write about because I don’t ever get to do anything. No one would want to hear about my life.”

    Is that so? I think it is this part of your life that makes the other parts more interesting … they aren't happening to some fantasy, or cartoon character, but to a very real and lovable person.