Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Coming Clean

Last Sunday, Professor's Primary teacher stopped me in the hall. "I don't know Professor that well yet, but is he usually jittery?  I didn't know if he would tell me if he needs to go to the bathroom or not.  I want to make sure he knows it's ok to ask." 

I thought for a moment.  Professor, jittery?  This son of mine has a hard time keeping still unless he's reading Charlie Bone or Harry Potter.  In those instances, a tornado could pass over his head and as long as it didn't suck the pages out of his hands, he wouldn't notice. Otherwise, he's always fiddling with something.  Pretty normal for a nine-year-old boy I suppose. He's always chewing on his shirt or picking paint off the doorjamb.  (Grrr.) But jittery?  Not really. Unless he had to go to the bathroom...

"Not really.  Sometimes he doesn't realize he needs to go to the bathroom right away when he needs to, so I ask him and sometimes he does and sometimes not. I'll talk to him about it."

That cleared up, we spoke about some other things, then went our separate ways.  I asked Professor a little later if he felt comfortable asking to go to the bathroom in his new class.  He said there was no problem, so I figured I would just let it go.

A couple of hours later at home, Professor was on the couch whining.  "I'm so itchy. Iiiittttcccchhhyyyy!"  I don't tend to pay too much attention when he's complaining about something, because Professor is a bit of a hypochondriac.  He lives life out loud--literally.  He will scream and cry like his arm is hanging by a thread if he is stung by a bee.

His complaint slid in one ear and began to slide out the other when it caught on the edge of a memory.  I recalled him mentioning something about soap sometime earlier. ( I pay attention to my children, but when you have three constantly talking to you and a baby crying you do tend to miss things.)

I remembered the uncharacteristic "jitteriness" his teacher mentioned.

It clicked.

"Professor," I asked warily, "did you say something about soap before?"

He looked at me sheepishly.  "Last night when I was in the tub, after I let the water out I took the soap and slid it around the tub and then I slid in it."  He gave a slightly embarrassed, goofy chuckle with a touch of hysteria.

Oh no.  "Did you rinse off afterwards?" I said, sighing, knowing the answer already.

"No."  The giggling was accompanied by a slightly wild-eyed look.

I then informed James as to what his eldest son had been up to, including that the soap he had used was particularly drying.  Professor was a tad unhinged by that point, still giggling.

"Ok Professor, go into the bathtub and wash yourself."

He got up and stomped to the bathroom, laughter suddenly turning to unintelligible rage. "HERRREGGEWARRRFFA"

"Stop that right now!" I demanded.

"But you told me to wash myself!  You want me to use MORE SOAP?"

I sighed.  "My dear, sweet son--you are the bar of soap!  You are a human soap cake!"

Silence.

"Oh!" he exclaimed in another fit of laughter, as he semi-gently shut the bathroom door.

Running water was the last I heard for a long while.

You can guarantee there was no slipping and sliding down a soapy slope after that bath.  I think he learned his lesson--for now.