He giggles and he splashes as he scoops and pours. A staccato kind of giggle, almost a vibrato in it, that rises from his squishy little belly and bubbles past his thick soft lips. He discovered the bath toys when we went back to my bedroom to start a load of laundry. I have a small stack washer and dryer in my master bedroom closet, one of the wisest decisions I made when we built this house. It is situated in the closet just off the master bathroom. While I did laundry, I put one year old Calvin in the tub. I loaded a batch into the washer then sat in my downy soft chair and folded napkins in the radiant sunlight that splashed through the bathroom window. Calvin flapped his little hands across the patterns of light dancing on the bath water. There’s an aluminum ice scoop in that bucket of toys on the edge of my bathtub. Baby Boy dug the scoop into the water, lifted it to the plastic colander that was also in the bucket, and poured it out. The water of course fell straight through. I loaded a batch of blouses, cleaned off the counter while I waited, and hung them to air dry. Next, the tablecloth and napkins from Sunday dinner. I semi-dried the table cloth and spread it over our king size bed to dry wrinkleless and crisp for next week’s family dinner. And I folded 24 large white linen napkins. In that stretch of time Calvin sat in the tub, scooping and pouring. I could hear him singing against the water loading into the wash tub: “Scoooop an Pooour, Scoooop an Pooour”.
You can walk down the aisle at Toys R Us and select all sorts of colorful bath toys. I have some of them. But you will not find an aluminum ice scoop, or a plastic spaghetti colander, or a big red Solo cup. The environmentally friendly tug boat, made of 100% recycled materials, sat lonely on the other end of the tub. The Spiderman washcloth that grew when he dropped it in the water? It sank. The car, and Dora the fish, and the squishy bear with the scrubby tutu all floated unnoticed under lavender bubbles.I am reminded today, in a world that hurls pretty pictures of thingamabobs and gadgets at us, that the purest hearts are happy with what we already have; good clean water, something to scoop with, and somewhere to pour.