Tubby Time is a highlight of my Tuesday evenings at the Whitten's. I arrive aroundto help Eric with Asher, Benjamin and Charlotte while Rebecca works late. Some Tuesday milestones over the years - learning to climb trees, helping each one with reading, Charlotte's learning to ride a bicycle...
This week Eric and I started with our tech geek version of, "How was your day?" while the children played and dinner cooked. A friend from the block had come over to play with Asher and Benjamin, she decided to stay for dinner. We had "Dinner Theater" where I held up and read a picture book as the children ate. We discussed the pictures, Charlotte read some pages for us, even raising her voice when the words were in BIG PRINT. Asher also read a bit, but Charlotte was reluctant to share the duty. Didn't realize this foreshadowed further adventures.
More playing between dinner and dessert. After dessert it was Tubby Time, an all-around favorite. There's a rule to encourage prompt attendance - the first one in the tub gets first choice about where to sit - first class is next to the faucets - and when they get out - usually last since bath time is even nicer when you can stretch out by yourself. Second one gets second choice, third one is stuck, usually has to sit at the far end where the water is shallower and cooler, then get out first. Tonight it was Asher first, then Charlotte and finally Benjamin.
Added some shampoo to the water, and it was a bubble bath. Asher made a bubble beard and mustache - he was quite handsome.
Charlotte couldn't seem to get comfortable in the middle. No matter how Benjamin sat, she was convinced he was squeezing her space. She would push him with her legs or arms and constantly complain. Fortunately, Benjamin was very patient with her. All evening I had noticed that 8 year old Whitten children are substantially more mature than the 7 year old versions.
I asked Charlotte to calm down and notice how much space she had. She replied, "I just want to relax and hit my brother!" When she repeated this and we saw scratches on Benjamin, Eric took her to the shower. Finally had a great time with just two boys in the tub. They started making waves that threatened to spill out of the tub. We improvised on Hues Corporation "Rock the Boat" - "Rock the tub baby, Don't let the wave splash out! Our love is like a tub on the ocean, sailing with a cargo full of love and skin lotion! Moisturize, don't let that skin dry out!"
After moisturizing and tooth brushing, I said goodnight. Asher and Benjamin were each reading in their beds before lights-out. Eric told me Charlotte was in her room. I entered, saw the blankets turned down with Gray Kitty and Black & White Kitty. No Charlotte. I stood there looking, thinking out loud, "Hmm...Charlotte's pretty skinny but I don't think she's under the blankets...I'll see if I can spot her from the other side...No, she's not here, either!"
I started bending down to check under the bed and an invisible child called out, "Don't look under the bed!" When I got down, there she was - some books, a few second-string animals, very pleased with herself. Still in her birthday suit.
I said, "Looks like Charlotte's wearing her invisible pajamas tonight!" She was very pleased with the concept. As she emerged we discussed the benefit of invisible pajamas - they don't have to go through the laundry. I mentioned that you could just leave them on the floor and the room wouldn't be messy. Charlotte warned that someone might trip on them. We decided it would be OK to just throw them in a corner.
Eric had to work hard to persuade Charlotte to replace the invisible pajamas with underpants and warm pajamas visible to the adult eye.
All-in-all, a wonderful evening. Though I rushed out the door and forgot to thank Eric for sharing his children.