Loud and Clear

I watch as the water runs in a compilation of rapid rivers from the kitchen faucet.

My wrist reveals what I’d already known from the thousand times I had checked it before: not too hot; not too cold.

The tiny bundle in my other arm peers up at me, forehead wrinkled in the questioning calm that running water never fails to bring. His eyes are a deep granite with slivers of blue cutting through to his pupils. I always feel, looking into them, that eyes as deep as his must know something that I do not, especially now.

He simply stares at me, never doubting or questioning me as I remove his diaper and place him gently in the swirling liquid. The sound of water parting as petite baby flesh is placed within captures me and I watch him as he absorbs his new environment, awaiting the cries of angst I had heard from many a previous sibling.

He is, instead, silent. Complacent. Observant.

Tiny toes, skin still peeling from their adjustment to a much less liquid environment, flex and curl above the water as I run a shampoo-covered hand through dark hair, my other placed beneath him to keep him from sliding on the white porcelain. The clean scent of his baby bath reaches my nostrils as I lather him.

I watch as the bubbles form in the water, surrounding and clinging to his skin. He stretches within my hand and I can’t help but marvel at how someone so tiny can still show the telltale signs of cellulite when flexing his thin limbs.

I smile at him while he looks up at me, bubbles etching patterns around him that he won’t begin to notice for many months. His fingers flex and fan in the space between us as his water begins to cool.

Making sure I have his towel ready, I reach beneath him to pull the drain from the bottom of the sink. His fingers grasp at one another, locked together in their exploratory struggle, as the water drains below.

The moment I begin to lift him from the sink, his silence starts to dissipate. There is no longer trust on his face; no longer calm in his eyes.

Anger reddens him as cooler air hits his wet skin and his mouth forms a perfect oval of disdain.

At first, there is still silence.

And then… his opinion is heard.

Loud and clear.


This post was written in response to a prompt from Write On Edge.

Choose a moment from your personal history and mine it for sensory detail. Describe it to us in rich, evocative details. Let us breathe the air, hear the heartbeat, the songs, feel the fabric and the touch of that moment.

Let’s keep the word count to 500.


About Caitlin's Concepts

Mom to 4 boys and drowning in a sea of testosterone!
This entry was posted in My Babies, RemembeRED, Write on Edge and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

32 Responses to Loud and Clear

  1. Erin says:

    HAHA I Have to laugh, that is exactly how my 1st was, he never cried in the bath, only once you removed him did he protest!
    You told that so well, I could see his little arms jerking and his fingers seperating the way a new borns do!

  2. This was really wonderful. Amazing how one child hates a bath and the other loves it–really keeps us on our toes. And the last line was perfect!

  3. Galit Breen says:

    Oh man, did you *ever* nail this one! So sweet, so breath taking and then so, so very LOUD! And that photo? Is perfection! XO

  4. Jaimie says:

    ….loved this! πŸ™‚

  5. Kathleen says:

    Love it! You’re absolutely right, there is no knowing what to expect. My daughter has Down’s, and sensory issues were the only thing we could come up with to account for the outrage with which she greeted bath time each and every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. It came to the point where I had to strip and get in the big tub and hold her on my legs while I washed her; then she’d take it with equanimity. πŸ™‚

    • And it can be so frustrating not knowing how to fix whatever the problem may be, especially when they can’t tell you themselves! I would imagine it to be even more so for you just because so many other issues need to be factored in!

      Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting!

  6. Aw, that was a sweet post. All I remember about my kids’ first baths was the screaming the entire time. Actually, I think I may have let my mom give babies 2 and 3 their first baths. And I love that picture!

  7. D says:

    Beautiful. Simple yet extreme in it’s ability to create a visual to accompany the words.
    By the way – there is no such thing as “just another mom…”
    I can tell you from experience that a mom is the most important, most highly underrated and overworked, most highly rewarded and least likely to be shown appreciation “species” on the planet.

  8. logyexpress says:

    This was so sweet, it warmed my cold black heart! I could totally see and hear everything. I felt how intricate an operation a baby bath is.

    And I felt his pain at the end. I still want to cry myself when I have to get out of the shower, especially in winter. Poor little guy.

  9. Kaleba says:

    Great ending, and the picture compliments it perfectly.

    I was right there with you the whole way through. Very descriptive. Well done!

  10. Trish says:

    Ohhh! Love LOVE LOVEEEE this one. You captured it perfectly! Makes me feel all Mom-ish and nostalgic for those lovely days.

    Those baby toes….. I remember baby toes. How quickly they change from sweet, pink baby toes to big ol’ hairy man feet.

    Trish in AZ http://writinginareddress.blogspot.com/2011/09/last-day.html

    • Ah, yes… you’re preaching to the choir about the eventual grossness of feet.. especially since every pair in this house (minus mine, of course) are or someday will be all hairy and sweaty and man-ish. Sigh.

      Thanks for the comment!

  11. juliemoore says:

    Nothing like the sweet smell of a just bathed baby. Love the picture. Precious.

  12. shah says:

    This is a wonderful peice of writing. If my third IVF cycle succeeds next year, perhaps I too willl experience this magic.

    PS: – Every Monday I do a Monday Madness linky for bloggers who are in some way involved with mental health. You can link up a personal experience, information, whatever you want. Stop by for support. And if you’d like to write about it in a guest post for me – you’re so welcome. X

  13. Lucy says:

    This was wonderful. You captured the moment so well. It brought back so many memories. Thank you.

  14. CDG says:

    Oh, a water baby…happy sighs. I love your water imagery, the way you describe its behavior is fantastic.

  15. Terry says:

    Oh wow….this is my favorite so far. You brought me back to precious moments. What a perfect moment to describe and you absolutely brought this moment to life. You slowed the moment with precise perfection!

  16. Andrea says:

    Oh, how i loved this. I soaked it up. Fell right in. Loved. So well written.

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