It was surprising, I told my visiting friend and fellow RDI mom, how everything can change dramatically in a very short period of time. A few months ago I could not have lounged on the couch chatting with her, cup of coffee in hand, while Oliver played alone upstairs. A few months ago I would have kept almost constant visual contact with him, especially in the afternoon. Toilet training -- or lack of it -- had taken over our lives and I was hyper-fixated on the task. And now, I told her with a peaceful smile on my face, I don't have to be so watchful. I can relax. I don't worry at all.
I didn't even worry or get up to check when I heard water running in the upstairs bathroom. Oliver often gets his own glass of water. And sometimes he likes to play with water in the sink or bathtub. And now that I reflect on it, it was surprising that I didn't go to check when I heard actual splashing coming from upstairs. Lately, I told my friend, Oliver has been asking for a bath in the late afternoon. He must be drawing himself a bath. I just hope he took his clothes off first, I said with a laugh.
So when I said good-bye to my friend and finally went upstairs to check things out I was quite surprised to see a totally naked little boy running out of the bathroom. I was equally surprised to find that all the water splashing was, in fact, cup after cup of water drawn from the sink, hitting the bathroom floor. And let's just say there was quite a lot of water in there by the time I arrived. We live in an old house and the floor in the bathroom is a bit bowed -- which I hadn't noticed before now -- and the water had collected like a small indoor lake, lapping at the feet of the tub and toilet.
I was also surprised that it didn't even occur to me to yell at Oliver. "You'd better get some towels, Mister," was about all I said. And he did. "And don't ever do this again."
After we got all the water cleaned up and deposited nine soaking wet towels in the bathtub I turned my attention to getting Oliver dressed and we fell into a lively game of basketball, pretty much forgetting about the water incident.
So then imagine my surprise when RT came home from school and said from the downstairs hall: "So, did you see all this mess down here?"
"Um. What mess?"
"All the water pouring out of the light in the kitchen ceiling."
Upon closer inspection, water was actually coming from just about every nook and cranny in the kitchen. I had no idea we owned so many nooks and crannies.
Six more soaking wet towels landed on the laundry room floor.
And even more surprisingly, Oliver and I went back to our game of basketball and I again forgot about all the water.
When Nik got home some time later he asked me how my day went.
"I had a really nice visit with J. Oliver and I had a lot of fun playing today. Actually, it was a really good day," I told him. And do you know what? It really was.
It's kind of surprising, but on days like this I kind of feel like I'm actually getting the hang of this parenting thing.