I’ve started running Ian’s bath.
I dip my fingers into the running water, and look over my shoulder. ‘Hey, Ian! C’mere!’ He runs into the bathroom, and I flick my fingers at his face. He blinks and laughs and wipes the drops of water from his eyes.
My fingers reload as Ian runs into the living room and back again, for more. He dodges the spray and runs behind my back, squeezing himself between me and the bathroom door.
He cracks his forehead on the doorknob; unforgiving brass.
Before he can blame me, his mother, or doors in general, I take Ian into my arms and rub his head. ‘Ouch! Wow, are you okay?’ He wails, ‘Noooooo!’ He doesn’t know that his imagination is in cahoots with his nervous system.
‘Hey, what a lump!’ I cup my hand over his forehead and shake my head. ‘It’s huge!’
He stops crying. ‘I wanna see!’ He stands on the toilet and preens in front of the mirror. ‘I don’t see anything.’ Mommy, who’d rushed to the door before the knob had a chance to rattle, plays her part. ‘My goodness! Look at that bump!’ She takes his head between her hands.
‘It’s so gross!’ I feel his head, the lump, moving my hands over his face and chin and ears. Ian is giggling. ‘Look at this thing!’ I set him on the floor and start to squeeze his head. ‘Maybe we should pop it!’
He waves my hands away, his voice a shaking fist. ‘I’ll pop you!’