Over the many years of parenting this Gang o' mine, we've had lots of fun little traditions and routines that all the kids count on, things that have become almost like muscle memory for us.
One of my favorites has been the After! Bath! Hooo-ha! that The Boss and I put on for the kids when they were little. The smelling of the hair. The snuggling in new clean jammies. The smelling of the lotion-scented baby skin. The smelling of the hair. The exclamations and appropriate outbursts of joy to accompany said smellings and snugglings. Ooooh, who doesn't love the smell of a freshly shampoo'd little one, all warm and snuggled in their arms?
Sadly, mostly all my gang members are far too grown up for this little ritual. When one of them comes down freshly showered now, I have to be content with pathetically leaning in just to catch a whiff of the freshness. I miss the over! the! top! excitement of Saturday bath night that much.
Well, okay. I just miss the snuggling and "Smew my haiw" clamors for attention. I don't miss the chaos of running four little ones through the bath routine before crashing on the couch in exhaustion.
Apparently, Li'l E loves the little ritual of smelling freshly shampoo'd hair and snuggling with soft, lotion'd skin more than I realized. She has taken the routine to a new level.
Knock, knock, knock.
(Can I pause here and tell you what a MILESTONE it is that she can stop, knock, and be content to wait for bidding to enter?! You moms who have had little ones with separation anxiety will GET that. Can I get a WOOT?!)
Perky. Chipper. "Good! MORNING! Momma!"
From the steam and rush of the shower, "Good morning sweetie. Do you need to go potty?"
"Nope. I aweady wented."
"Did you just come in to say hello?"
"Yup. Are you takin a showah?"
She spent a few seconds watching herself in the mirror and then making faces at me through the glass shower doors, giggling at herself and chattering away.
"Yes, Li'l E?"
"When you are done yoh showah, can I smell you?"
"Ummm, sure? Really? You wanna smell Mommy?"
Several minutes later, I toweled dry and shook out my hair. I bent over and stuck my hair in her face, "There. Smell my hair. All clean."
"Yes, but can I smell dere?"
Ummm, not sure where this is going... "Uh, here? My shoulder?"
"Yes. Yoh showder. I want to smell your showder."
Long, exaggerated, sniff, followed by a deep, contented sigh (she is SUCH a drama queen!), "Mmmmmm, Mommy! YOU! SMELL! GWEAT! SO! CLEAN!"
With that, she spun around, left the bathroom and went off to find her brother.
I guess I passed the smell test.
I'm so relieved.