The bedtime routine in our home includes a daily bath for the twins, which at this particularly messy stage of life, is a necessity. We load up the tub with toys, a giant non-slip mat, bubbles, and two silly kids, all full of chatter and beans.
The twins are like night and day in so many ways but it’s really in the bath that it’s been most remarkable lately. Olimpia is our daredevil. I don’t know where she’s learned her goofy water tricks but lately she’s been into a few things: eating bubbles, dumping a tiny watering can over her own face, and completing a move her dad calls “Bumzai!”, so named for the move that sumo-wrestler Yokozuna–famous for being a two-time world wrestling federation champion in the early 90’s–pulled on his opponents.
She stands up in the tub, wild-eyed and grinning ear-to-ear, bounces a few times at the knees, then kicks her feet out and lands something of a cannon-ball into the tub, creating a giant tidal-wave splash of bubbles and water. Laughing maniacally, she immediately finds her bearings and stands up to do it again, and again. I, meanwhile, lean over the tub with both arms outstretched, getting completely drenched from head to toe, trying to prevent injury to both our little wrestling champion and her poor bathtub companion.
Dottie’s bathtub activities are a little different. She’ll line toys up on the edge of the tub carefully. Occasionally, she’ll push them over the edge to see them fall, but usually just lines them up neatly. She doesn’t like water over her head very much and definitely does not like it on her face. Sometimes she’ll sit in the water and dance along to songs I sing a little too hard, lose her balance and tip over a little bit, waving her arms in desperation to stop her face from getting splashed.
While Oli’s world wrestling moves have been going on for weeks, our mouse has been watching intently. Until today, when she decided to give it a shot. Dad yelled out the rallying cry: “Bumzai!”, and up she stood, carefully getting her bearings, readying herself for the big move. An excited look in her eye and a quiet smile told us what she was up to. She bent her knees slightly, arms outstretched, paused…and then slowly, gently sat back down, patting her arms across the surface of the water. Smiling proudly up at us, we laughed and cheered on her bravery.
Again, and again Dottie attempted the bathtub cannonball, never so much as making a ripple, but giggling along with her wildchild sister in joyful abandon. They’ll be so much fun together as they grow, learning from each other’s strengths, and cheering each other through weaknesses. Though their tiny personalities are so distinct, there’s a few things they’ll always share; their mother’s arms outstretched as a safety net, and their father’s encouragement to go for it.