Saturday, September 19, 2009
A Whole New World
I think when most adults take a bath, our intelligence and creativity enter a sort of water-logged limbo and we feel a blissful sense of blankness, at least for a moment.
That is most definitely not the experience of my children. They come up with some of their craziest ideas while bathing. And if you've been following this blog for any length of time you know that even their normal, run-of-the-mill ideas could easily be classified as 'crazy'.
For example, the other night Art heard a bit of a cafuffle going on in the bathroom, and when he walked into the bathroom, both children were pulling on the sides of a little plastic cup and saying, "Fight! Fight for the glorious cup!" Eh? Where did that come from? I don't know.
Zaya's new characters often spring, ex nihilo, fully formed, from his imagination while he is bathing. I'll walk into the bathroom to bring someone a drink or get towels ready, and be greeted by something like this.
"Mommy, I've invented three new characters that live in my imagination land. There's Tronic the black swallower, Nucleus the macrophage and Beethoven the vampire bat."
Those were the characters last night. All I could think was, what a crazy team! And if you asked him for details he could supply them. And he will remember them and they'll reappear now from time to time. It's like they were waiting in the nether world of the bathtub for a receptive imagination.
The bathroom is also typically the site of science experiments. I walked in the other day and Mim has two plastic bowls. "Look Mom! If I fill this bowl up with water it sinks right to the edge of the water, but not all the way down, but this one is empty, so it floats on top! Why is that?" And then the next night, with glass bowls, "Mom, the empty one floats, but the full sinks all the way to the bottom really fast! Why is that?"
So we get the great humor of Mommy trying to explain physics. Again. Art really enjoys that, so I try not to if he's in the room. "Ask your father, that's his realm." But I'll give it a shot if I'm cornered and alone. I really hate it when adults make up explanations for children or tell them things are 'magic' or 'just because'.
Maybe they'll be fantasy/sci-fi writers or scientists some day, but I'm not sure their spouses are going to be pleased with the amount of their working day that they have to be in the bathtub. Meetings could get awkward.