The water runs down my face in warm rivulets. The jets pound against my back erasing the nightmares and the last of my sleepiness. The smell of the shampoo surrounds me in flowery and minty goodness and I take pleasure in making it lather richly in my hair. The steam rises up around me, surrounding me in a warm cloak of joy. All too quickly I’ve washed everything there is to be washed, shaved off all the offending hair, scrubbed my face clean of any impurities, but still, I stand under the water stream a little longer, savoring the peace and solitude of my morning shower. I’ve often joked to M that my time in the shower is the only alone time I have all day. It’s the only time no one asks anything of me, no one speaks to me, and no one needs me for anything. It’s what’s keeping me sane.
I take a deep breath and drum up the courage to turn off the water and face the day. As the sound of dripping water dies away I hear C running towards the bathroom.
“Mammy! mammy! All done? All done?”
“Yes baby,” I reply, “mommy’s all done in the shower.”
I crack open the shower door and snake a hand out to grab a small towel. I shut the door quickly, trapping in as much of the heat and steam as possible. I towel off my hair and pretend that C isn’t pounding on the door.
The door flies open and C comes rushing in. M is right behind her. He yanks open the door to the shower and they both stand in front of me talking at me while I drip water right and left.
“Mammy! Mammy! I eata fruit!”
“Honey? Does this tie match this shirt?”
I stare blankly at them, shivering from the draft. They are both completely oblivious to my wet dripping body.
“I’m sorry,” I interrupt “does anyone else see a problem here?”
“Well, you have a towel on your head” ventures M.
I stifle a sigh.
“Could I please at least have a towel before I help either of you?”
As M hands me a towel I tell him what I think of his shirt. I give C a kiss as I get out of the shower and take a minute to chat with her about her breakfast.
My moment of solitude has passed, my morning has started.