Bath floodAh, bathtime.

I can’t believe it’s taken me so long to get around to this subject as it’s my favourite time of the day. You can keep your walk-in showers – as far as I’m concerned nothing beats wallowing in a nice warm tub of water.

So what exactly happens in my bath? Some people like to play with rubber ducks, or boats or submarines but they’re not for me. Sometimes I like to chew on the tail of a large rubber dinosaur and just chill, but mostly I think it’s much more fun to play with the taps: turning them on and off, on and off. Actually I don’t usually have to turn them off because there’s always someone there to do it for me. I’ve heard other people have their baths on their own, which must be terribly lonely for them. I’ve always had an audience for mine and, on the whole, I enjoy the company as long as they don’t try to spoil the fun.

For some reason my turning on the taps seems to make people grumpy, so you’d think they’d cheer up when I switch my attention to pulling out the plug – but no, it just seems to make their mood worse. And then they turn on the taps even though they’ve just told me not to do it. Some people are never satisfied.

Then there’s the question of bubbles. I used to have a lot of bubbly baths, which was brilliant if you wanted to put your head in the water and pretend to have a big white beard and bubbly hair (trust me, this joke never gets old). But then they said I was eating too many of the bubbles so they stopped putting it in.

Sometimes I’m in the mood for a good old splash and there are a lots of different methods I can recommend. At the bottom end of the scale there’s the simple hand-slapping-the-water method. That’s ok for starters, but it’s tiring after a while and quite honestly there are more effective ways of redistributing water. To move the game on a bit you can reach over the side – causing quite a slosh in itself – and pull in a towel or two. Then you can throw the towels out again. This has the added benefit of keeping people busy for a few minutes so that you can go back to turning the taps on to keep the water level topped up. But if you’re really going for the full ‘Perfect Storm’ effect you need to slide your body forwards and backwards along the bottom. If you get up enough speed you can cause a double Tsunami which will have people running in all directions. Ah, you should see the joyful expressions on their faces.

But some nights I just like to wallow. Wallowing in a nice warm bath at the end of a tiring day is as good as life gets as far as I’m concerned. I lie on one side with half my face in the water so that whenever I fancy a drink I just have a quick slurp. In fact the bath is where I do the majority of my day’s drinking. I’ve never really mastered the art of the cup and having a syringe full of water squirted into your mouth isn’t the most pleasant way to take a drink so a few gulps of warm, soapy water usually hits the spot quite nicely.

Of course all that drinking can bring on problems of its own; after all, any water that goes in has to come out at some point. But the way I look at it, you’re sitting in water anyway so what difference does a little more make? Especially if I’ve been in there a while and it needs warming up. Ok, so it goes a little yellow and Curly Top has now refused to share my water afterwards, but I think that’s his loss. Smiley and co. used to try to catch my outpourings in a plastic cup but after a few futile attempts and some very wet hands they’ve given up. That reminds me, Flower Girl only recently found out what the plastic cup in the bathroom was for; turns out she’d been using it to drink from when she came in late.

I was going to tell you about hair washing… but quite frankly it’s too distressing. I really must remember to speak to the social worker about this.

Anyway, all good things must come to an end and eventually they pull the plug on me. But I’m sure you didn’t expect me to be beaten so easily; a quick press of the thigh and I can keep the water in for at least another ten minutes, and there’s no way I’ll ever get out of a perfectly good bath while there’s even the tiniest drop of water left.

Perhaps you think I would have to admit defeat when faced with an empty tub? Pah! Even without water I’d quite happily stay in the bath all night if they’d let me have a duvet. But no, the boring traditionalists insist on me getting out. Still, I don’t see why I should make this easy for them so I don’t give up until there are at least two people to haul me out and wrap me in a towel. Body drying I can just about tolerate but I firmly believe there are no circumstances under which you should ever let anyone rub your hair. And since the bath has finished I can’t usually be bothered to stand up at this point but there are always some of my staff around to support my weight.

Dressing? Well personally I probably wouldn’t bother but as I have lots of people to perform this service for me it would seem a pity to disappoint them.

And that’s it. Nice and relaxed and settled for the evening so I go and lie on my bed where all my favourite toys have somehow magically scattered themselves within a convenient arm stretch.

But as soon as I’m on the bed I always have the terrible thought that I might be missing out on something that I’ll need during the night, so I leap out and charge downstairs to check. It’s always worth popping a head into the bathroom on the way as there’s sometimes another bath running, and if there’s no-one about I can jump in for another splash. Usually I bump into Smiley at this point. He likes to spend this part of his evening mucking about with armfuls of wet towels.

He does have some funny habits.




 I had an unconventional birth.

Woah, hang on… confusion alert. Didn’t we already talk about all the usual gory, sticky, yucky, pushing and heaving stuff?          Well yes, you’re right. Clever you for paying attention (I never do). But this was different.

The way I remember it I was around 18 months old and sitting on the hall floor. We used to live in this big old house which had a floor with very big black and white and orange and blue triangle patterns all over it. I really liked this floor. I would sit and stare at it and sometimes I would crawl around in circles and look at it for ages, and it made my head spin in swirly shapes.

But we need to go back a bit.

We’d just arrived home from one of our visits to see another of those really old guys in a white coat. He’d talked and talked to Smiley and Frowny in a really serious voice. Now most of this is just blah, blah, blah to me, but it was something about ‘syndromes’ and ‘never being able to do this or that’. It was difficult to pay attention because he had some awesomely cool stuff on his desk: colourful rubber tubes and shiny chrome and plastic bones and stuff, so I spent my time trying to wriggle out of Smiley’s arms in an attempt to reach it all.

Anyway, white coat guy had done all his serious talky-talk and he must have upset Frowny in some way because she’d given me this really big hug when she was putting me in my car seat, then she was really sad and hardly said a word all the way home. And normally her face isn’t frowny all the time, but this time it was.

When we arrived home Frowny went straight into the kitchen to carry on being sad, but Smiley seemed ok, and he put me down on this big old hall floor and sat in front of me.

And that’s when it happened.

Smiley started talking to me – just as he always did – but for the first time I understood exactly what he was saying and what was going on and who I was and what the name of the funny, fluffy, purring thing was and all sorts of other crazy stuff. I’m telling you, my head nearly exploded with everything rushing in at once.

And I was able to answer back which was properly cool because I’d never had a voice before and now I found I could talk to Smiley even when I wasn’t looking at him or when I hadn’t heard the question, so I could have a conversation with him while I was getting on with actually-really-very-important-other-stuff. At first I didn’t have much to say for myself but soon I was jabbering away and telling him about all kinds of things. Frowny came out of the kitchen and she could hear me too and she smiled for the first time in ages.

But the coolest part of all was that I found I didn’t need to bother with using the actual words.

Talk about weird.

Told you it was confusing.


Flower Girl

Flower Girl-1I love Flower Girl.

Hmm, perhaps that’s not saying much because I love a lot of people. I can’t help it. I’m a very loving person. But even by my usual standards I really love Flower Girl. She’s one of my most special-est people in the whole entire world. Ever.

It’s like having a really cool mum: all the good stuff without the bits where they embarrass you. It’s difficult to describe, she kind of looks after me, but she doesn’t. This is trickier than I thought.

Ok, let’s start again. I’ve met lots and lots of people, most of them very nice. But only Flower Girl knows exactly the games I like to play and exactly how I like to play them. And she always uses this really nice voice, which I’ve noticed she keeps just for me. She has the biggest smile I’ve ever seen – even bigger than Smiley’s, which is saying something.

When Smiley and Frowny are having one of their shouty times, Flower Girl picks me up and takes me to another room and we do Row, Row Your Boat for a bit. And sometimes when it’s late I just lie across her on the sofa and we have a cuddle and she does singy-songs and she plays music on her phone for me and I fall asleep in her lap. Not even Frowny has ever done this. Smiley has given it a go a few times, but it just isn’t the same.

Flower Girl has been there ever since before I can remember. But the first time I actually noticed her was when she started wearing big red shiny boots. I was only at around boot-height myself at the time, so they made a big impression. And the boots were only the start. Soon she was wearing really funny clothes like a clown that I’ve never seen anyone else wearing. Big dresses in bright orange and bright yellow and, well, just bright. And stripes and checks and spots and all sorts of swirly, zingy patterns that make your eyes go funny.

And then one day flowers started to grow out of her head. I’m not kidding. I’ve never seen this problem on anyone else but it doesn’t seem to bother her. Some days there were lots of little flowers. On other days there were great big, single flowers. It was seriously weird. I tried picking a few of them for her but however many times I pulled them out they’d just grow back again. Freaky.

Flower Girl has always been a bit bigger than me but I think I’m catching her up because now I’m tall enough to give her really strong hugs around the neck and shout in her ear which I think she really likes because she makes this little yelping noise. But just as I was starting to catch up with her height she began to spend more time in her room with the door locked and I couldn’t see her. Sometimes she was with her squealy friends but most times she was on her own.

I’d sit outside her room for hours, with my head leaning against the door, just waiting for her to come out. I’d call to her but she didn’t answer. I’d put my fingers under the door but I couldn’t feel her. I’ve often fallen asleep like that, just waiting for her. Eventually she always came out and then she’d give me one of her special smiles and a hug and all the waiting time was worth it.

But then one day she wasn’t there any more.

Of course, this sometimes happens; lots of people come and go. But not Flower Girl. So I went on waiting outside her room for hours even though the door was open and I could see she wasn’t there. At first I waited for a few days and then everything was ok because she came back. But then she disappeared again for a few more days, and she’d come back for a day. Then gone for a few more days. And the amount of days she wasn’t there became longer and longer.

Now I only see her very sometimes.

And sometimes I still sit outside her room, hoping that she’ll open the door, but she hardly ever does any more.

Will this eventually happen to everyone I know?