It’s bedtime, but he is just home from his friend’s house and full of energy. He’s not ready to stop bouncing. As I hurry him towards bed, he dances about. In the bathroom he hops on one foot and tosses a balled up sock towards the laundry basket. It misses. No matter. He switches feet and does it again. It misses again.
“You need to pick those up,” I scold.
He wiggles towards the corner to fetch the wayward sock balls, bumping things with his boogie-ing butt. One something falls, kerplop, into the toilet.
An old night light. No longer necessary but it can’t stay there. He looks into the toilet to confirm what he already knows, then he looks at me. Quickly, he glances around the bathroom: he can take care of this himself. He grabs the toilet brush, gives it a disgusted look, and goes fishing in the toilet. Turns out a toilet brush doesn’t make a good fishing rod. The night light is wedged.
“Um, Mom?” His face has fallen. He is chagrined. But then, curiosity fires in him, “What are we going to do?”
My sleeve is already rolled up. Wordlessly, I plunge my hand into the toilet, fetch the offending night light, and deposit it in the trash. He sucks in his breath.
“Have you done that before?” He is impressed.
“Yes,” I say simply, as I soap my hands again and again.
Then, casually confident of his mother’s competence, he dances on out of the bathroom, pausing long enough to say, “Good thing I don’t need that night light anymore.”