Cole is nearly four years old. We've been parents for nearly four years. We have two wonderful kids - both are past infancy. Cole has been toilet trained for quite some time. Amelia is approaching the age where sitting her on a potty wouldn't be unreasonable. All these things gave my husband and I a false sense of security. We figured we'd won at Bathtub Russian Roulette.
Then last night, we lost the battle.
In retrospect, I can pinpoint the moment.
Amelia stopped babbling, she stood still, made a small grunt, legs slightly apart and bent. And in my heart of hearts, I suspected, but my mind couldn't go there. The thought was too dark.
A short while later, I was reaching into the tub for a face cloth or perhaps a cute little pink tea pot when what should I scoop into my cupped hand?
"MAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARK!" I used the voice I reserve for emergencies. The voice that means Drop-everything-Someone-is-severely-maimed-or-an-airway-is-obstructed. The voice where he never calls back "What?!" Instead I hear him leaping up the stairs three at a time.
Since having children, I've learned that I pretty much freeze under pressure. So when he arrived, I had only managed to scoop one kid out of the tub and I was still trying to decide where to place him. I took Cole out because I figured he was the more likely to flip out if I didn't get him out of the bath water before he discovered the floaters...and sinkers.
"Amelia pooped," I whispered. He gasped as the reality of our most devastating nightmares sunk in.
Then he went into auto-pilot. Just like when a kid vomits. We define our zones. "Have you wiped Amelia off yet? You take Cole. I'll take Ameels."
We divided. I toweled off my son and then tried to use a Dora popcorn pail to scoop out the larger culprits from the bath water.
Cole was surprisingly calm, "Mommy. Her is supposed to tell us when her needs to poop."
"Oh yes, that would have been better, eh buddy?"
"How you going to get those out, Mommy? How?"
I'm leaning over precariously, trying to dip the pail in at just the right moment, create an eddy that draws the poop into the pail. It takes a little more talent than I would have imagined.
"It's tricky, Mommy. How you going to do it?"
We emptied the tub. We rinsed the toys, scooped them into a towel and put them in the dishwasher. Even as I type that, I question our strategy. And I'm sure you do too. But let me tell you, in the face of such a situation, we don't always make our best decisions.
Oddly enough, having won Bathtub Russian Roulette. I wonder if we are now statistically out of harm's way. Or could this crazy culprit strike again... some night... in some tub.