Hand towels. Face towels. Dish towels.
I don’t know exactly how many bath towels we have acquired over the years. But I do know that most of them end up on the back of the door of my sons’ room. The hooks straining under the weight.
Collecting a towel from their room en route to the bathroom is tantamount to climbing Everest. So instead they take another. Or worse. Mine.
I don’t have much left that I consider my own. My leather bound book collection. A selection of hand rolled stoggies. My Collection of limited edition 1980’s Playboy magazines. My set of Toledo steel samurai swords. My depleting whisky collection.
And a bath towel.
Just one small luxury I like to call my own. A man needs a towel at the end of his shower. A large manly one that soaks up the juices.
So when I reach out for my towel and grasp nothing but air I tend to get a tad aggrieved.
“Where’s my bloody towel” I yell
No response. I could stand shivering or I could grab another from the linen cupboard.
“Oh for fuck sake”
They are piled on the back of Max’s door or scattered on Zak’s floor like the wrong end of a pool party.
Storming out the bathroom wrapped in nothing more than a reclaimed hand towel I confront the accused.
But they are engrossed in some ridiculous pre-teen show. They take one look at their pathetic wet scantily clad father figure that is me, laugh and return to their programme.
I want to pick them up and boot them through the nearest window. But I am reminded of the prison terms for such an act.
So I retreat. Picking up a used towel from the floor.
But if a nest of towels on the back of a door is not aggravating enough, imagine wading through a knee-deep pit of semi-used bath towels on the way to the washing machine.
“Don’t throw it in the laundry after one use” I repeat for the umpteenth time. “when I say tidy up its to tidy up – not throw everything in the laundry that you can’t be bothered hanging up”
Getting to the towel stage means getting through the shower stage.
A groundhog routine we have essentially given up with.
“Time to shower please”
“After dinner. Tomorrow morning. I’m not dirty. In 15 minutes. After homework. Zak first then me. Max first then me. It’s too cold tonight. It’s too hot tonight. My hair is clean. You left the shower head at the wrong angle. Why do I have to shower every day?”
The 5 minutes of peace and quiet a shower brings often ends abruptly with a holler from the shower,
“Daaaaaaad, can you get me my towel please”.
“get your own towel” I scream back from the living room, “you should have remembered it”
“No. Dad. Please”
“You need to remember to take it in with you. I tell you this every night. Go and get it”
“No. Dad. Please. Dad. Dad. Dad. Dad. Dad. Dad. Dad. Dad. Dad.”
“Then get me my towel”
“Dad. Dad. Dad. Dad. Dad. Dad. Dad. Dad. Dad. Dad. Dad. Dad. Dad.“
They know I hate it when they do that.
The relentless repetition gets me every time. I remember laughing when they first did it. Now I want to remove their vocal chords.
“Did you wash?” I say storming in
“So why are your legs still covered in mud and your hair is dry?”
And finally when they do settle into the shower they love it. Exiting only as the hot water system runs cold.
Yet no matter the season. No matter the temperature. They now refuse to wear pyjamas. It’s usually a pair of boxer shorts. Or if I can coerce them into pyjamas, it’s the bottoms only.
“It’s not cool to wear a pyjama top.” They say “and I’m not cold” as they make their way to the couch. Towel dropping onto the floor.
“But dad” they say as they settle in to watch the footy.
“can you get me a blanket”