“Alright, Big Brother. While Little Brother’s having a nap, I’m going to go have a shower.”
“You stay out here and do your colouring in.”
“Okay. I’ll just come in if I need to go to the toilet.”
“Sure. Do you need to go to the toilet?”
“Okay. Then you stay here, and just come in if you need to go to the toilet.”
“Or if Little Brother starts crying.”
“Or if I want to show you my colouring.”
“No. Please don’t come in if you want to show me your colouring. I’ll be back soon. You just stay here and do your colouring, and only come in if you need to go to the toilet, or if you’re hurt, or if Little Brother is crying. Okay?”
“Okay. Or if I want to check on you.”
“No. Don’t come in and check on me.”
“Oh. Why not?”
“Because… Look, I’m just going to have a shower. You stay here. Don’t come in unless you need me, okay?”
“I’m going now.”
“Where are you going?”
“Because I love you.”
“… But… You… We…” Sigh. “I love you, too. But I’m going to have a shower.”
“So, you stay here and do your colouring.”
“Oh. Okay. But what happens if Little Brother wakes up and he starts crying because he wants to know where you are?”
Pause. Deep breaths.
“Look, I won’t be long. If Little Brother is crying, come and tell me.”
“Or if I need you.”
“Yes. If you need me. But not if you just want to ask me something, and not if you just want to show me something, and not if you just want to check on me, and not if you want to say you love me, and not if you remember a joke you want to tell me. Okay?”
“Okay. I’ll just come in if I need to go to the toilet or if I’m thirsty.”
More deep breaths.
“Are you thirsty?”
“Are you going in the shower now?”
I have this conversation more often than I really care to admit. Does it sound familiar to anyone else?
How about now?