Bathtime with my kids reminds me of the old school Battle Ship game. It’s all about moves and counter-moves. Unfortunately, my one year old’s moves are mostly of the bowel type, so, like a good Naval Admiral, I must always have a counter-move ready.
I recently discovered her recurring naval attack when I was bathing both my 3 and 1 year olds together. In order to keep the peace and maintain them in the water long enough to sanitize them, we’ve thrown in a random assortment of toys including action figures, balls, a rubber ducky, a snake, and some cars. One day while I was dodging torpedo splashes in futility, I noticed out of the corner of my eye what appeared to be an unidentified toy in the water. New snake? Odd shaped action figure? My mental viewmaster slides were trying to find a match with all registered toy images, but to no avail… until it switched to a different target search: potty pictures. A match was found, and it confirmed my worst fear. Selah had just launched a silent, brown torpedo in the water that could unleash a chain reaction of events. I had to act quickly before impact, so I grabbed a nearby bucket, scooped up and disposed of the deadly discharge before any further damage was done. Bathtime was aborted as I conducted a thorough crew decontamination followed by an evacuated into life rafts.
This should not have come to me as a surprise, since this 20 pound stealth submarine once shut down an entire hotel pool when one of her torpedoes managed to squeeze its way out of her baby bathing suit. I should have learned my lesson.
I decided to enlist the sharp periscope eye of my three year old as a lookout. I instruct him to be on “caca alert” in the event that Selah launched another attack during bath time. He took the charge with much pride. Recently, at the beginning of bathtime when I reminded him to be on caca alert, he saluted me with his right hand and thrusted his Rhino-man action figure forward with his left.
“Rhino va a pelear con la caca!” (Rhino will fight the caca!) He bellowed with the grit of a war-torn commando. All he needed was a pint-sized cigar protruding out of his mouth.
“Bien hecho” I nodded and saluted back at my little SEAL.
Bathtime begun with a new sense of confidence in both of us. I was in the crow’s nest looking out for brown bullets, Elias and Rhino were on the surface and underwater scanning for any pre-torpedo vibrations/bubbles. Selah babbled and splashed with her usual look of innocence… but something was stirring inside her.
Five minutes of playtime had passed and there was no breach of our perimeter. Rubber ducky bobbed up and down peacefully, yet his blank stare betrayed a deep concern. Elias was showing me his latest Rhino karate back flip when he suddenly screamed “PAPI! CACA ALERT!!!” Selah had adapted her weaponry to evade our new surveillance plan and launched a full spread mini torpedo net that covered more area with less effort. Time was of the essence as the little projectiles flowed back and forth with every movement of water. Without missing a beat Elias erupted, “RHINO VA PELEAR CON LA CACA!!!” and he began thrashing at the water back and forth, back and forth spewing the toxin in every direction. “NO CACA, NO!!!!” growled Rhino Man as he took the brunt of the brown.
The Brown Alert siren blared in the background as life slowed down to one of those slow motion moments where all you hear is a low, resounding “NOOOOO!!!” followed by distorted faces, swinging rhino-men, and beaming toddlers reveling in the moment. Elias finished his thrashing with a look of triumph. “I got it!!” he declared as he lifted Rhino up to gold medal position for the crowds to see. Selah followed with her own pudgy fist in the air and a one year old’s squeal of delight “AGA EHHHH!!!”
With one hand covering my brow and the other leaning against the wall, I stood there a defeated Admiral overwhelmed at the casualties before me. I had been outwitted by a one year old stealth submarine with a full spread mini torpedo assault. I would turn in my resignation to my Fleet Admiral and accept my position swabbing the poop deck.
… but not before Elias roared, “OTRA VEZ, PAPI!!!” (again, Papi!)