The Bathtub Call

I put the phone down and sighed, resting my head in my hands.

         ‘Was that your mum again?’ Amy asked, walking into the room with the baby on her hip.

         ‘Yeah, yeah it was,’ I nodded, rubbing the back of my neck. ‘She just got home from the hospital, actually.’

         ‘Oh my god,’ Amy’s eyes widened. She quickly hurried over to put the baby down in the high chair and came back to place a reassuring hand on my shoulder. ‘Is she okay?’

         ‘Yeah, she’s fine, just a little sore,’ I smiled, patting her hand. ‘It was that damn bath again.’

         ‘She slipped?’ Amy asked. I nodded, and her brow furrowed slightly.

         ‘What?’

         ‘That’s the second time that’s happened to her, isn’t it?’

         ‘Yeah,’ I sighed. ‘Why?’

         ‘Maybe you should look into getting her one of those bathtub cut outs for elderly parents?’

         ‘Oh, you know what she’s like,’ I scoffed. ‘Not a chance she’d say yes to anything that reminded her she’s an “elderly parent” now.’

         ‘She might feel differently,’ Amy pressed. ‘Especially right now when she’s probably still pretty scared.’

         I held her gaze for a second, thinking it over. I slowly shook my head.

         ‘I still don’t think she’ll go for it.’

         Amy frowned at me.

‘I mean, you have to try, John. She’s your mother.’

‘I don’t want to make her angry,’ I protested.

‘This is the same conversation we had about her heart medication!’ Amy threw her hands up. ‘And what does she take twice a day now?’

‘That was—’

‘—exactly the same! If her golden child tells her it’s the right thing to do, she’ll do it!’

I conceded her point with a submitting nod and sighed again.

‘I guess we better start looking for places near Sydney that do bathtub modifications then.’

She smiled at me, rubbing my arm supportively.

‘This isn’t a bad thing, you know.’

‘Yeah, I know.’

‘Plus,’ she leant in whispering, ‘she’ll probably thank you for it.’

We let the statement hang in the air for a moment – then burst out laughing.