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Monkey Boy likes to use my shower.

Knowing that means there should be no surprises. You expect the unexpected.

Once upon a time, all four of us shared a bathroom. At our last house, we had one bathroom. Mind you, it was a huge room, almost as large as the bedroom the Girl and Monkey Boy shared. All four of us could be in the bathroom at the same, standing in different corners and when reaching our hands toward each other, we would not have been able to touch fingers. We never actually tried that, standing in different corners, but there were times when all of us, and the cats, were in that room at the same time. There were also times when there was a line at the door.

B reminds the kids when there’s a line at the bathroom in our current house that there are two other rooms with facilities.

The kids even have their own bathroom upstairs. They do share the bathroom, which causes them some consternation. The Girl doesn’t want to share with her little brother because, “He’s gross, and he touches my stuff.” Monkey Boy doesn’t want to share with the Girl because she treats the bathroom as an extension of her room, and her stuff is everywhere. The floor is covered in discarded clothing and the countertop is covered in various sundries.

So Monkey Boy would rather shower in my bathroom. He likes that he can walk on the floor of my bathroom, and he likes the molded seat in the shower insert. Monkey Boy likes to sit and relax in the steam after a hard day at school and playing with his neighborhood friends or Minecraft. He calls it an old-man seat, because…well, because of obvious reasons, I suppose. B and I like the seat because we’re old.

“Did you water down the shampoo?”

Yesterday, B was sitting on the seat in the shower and asked me, “Did you water down the shampoo?”

You might think that’s an odd question. Several years ago, before the kids came along, I would have most certainly thought it was an odd question. But in the last 14 or so years, I’ve learned not to question such things…out loud and in my exasperated mommy voice. It’s the same reason why I learned not question why I might find holes in my plastic shower curtain liner or a small plastic army guy in a sea of cookie crumbs in my bed or why there might be a large rock randomly sitting in the hallway or why there might be a half-full fingernail polish bottle in the mudroom or why I might find a cheese stick in between the cushions of the sofa or why Monkey Boy’s backpack smells like a wet dog—we do not have a dog. I count myself very lucky that I haven’t found an actual wet dog hidden in his backpack or in his bedroom closet. Because believe me, if he thought he could get away with it, he would bring home every stray in the city. (I would welcome them, but B, not so much.)

I’ve often thought Monkey Boy is a little like Dennis the Menace, well-meaning and kind but heedless. Whenever I watch the “Dennis the Menace” movie, I cannot help but think of Monkey Boy during the bathroom scene when Dennis was playing with Mr. Wilson’s dentures and breaks and then consequently loses the two front teeth of the set. He replaced the teeth with two giant white Chicklets. Dennis also emptied Mr. Wilson’s prescription nasal spray in spectacular “Old Faithful” fashion and refilled the container with mouth wash. My nose burns just thinking about it.

Monkey Boy has pulled some amazingly improvident stunts of his own, like when he shook out an entire box of baking soda in the bathroom or when he dispensed an entire can of room freshener in the smallest room or used an entire bottle of soap in the kitchen sink when washing his hands or when he drew on his face with permanent marker and we didn’t have any dish soap to clean his face.

(It’s not all just the Boy. I simply cannot leave out the Girl. She dumped an entire bucket of wet sand over her wet, waist-length hair one day at the beach. It took about 20 minutes of scrubbing and rinsing in the shower to get most of the sand out. She had that beachy look for days.)

“I thought you watered down the shampoo, although I couldn’t figure why you would have done it. That bottle was half full,” I called out to B.

“I thought you did it,” he said. “It must have been our shower guest.”

Fortunately, the watery shampoo in the bottle was still plenty sudsy and accomplished its purpose. B got clean. I’m thankful there isn’t apple cider vinegar in my contact lens solution or a wet dog in my shower.