Parent Island: Bathing
From adventures in new parenting:
A brief update, concerning the Little Lord’s ablutions.
The Little Lord, as I have seen, not only rules the island but physically adorns himself with grubby fistfuls of the place—hands almost always caked with mud and muck and filth. The island’s meager reserves of dairy goods—the precious milk, cheese, yoghurt—are solely dedicated to the Little Lord’s diet, and yet how much of it ends up being applied as a kind of warpaint to his face, or dribbles into the soft folds of his neck to congeal.
Thus, the urgent need for regular bathing.
The ritual is undertaken each evening. For the Little Lord, he begins by first practicing the martial arts of grappling and escape, for he is loath to have his royal robes removed. Once wrestled into the languid waters of his bath, he quickly occupies himself with a collection of small rubbery icons—representatives of the island’s birds and fish; these, he demands his bathers fill with water, only to then take them and spray the water back into the bather’s face and clothes.
He is a cruel ruler, the Little Lord. It is clear how he delights in this torment.
At the end of each bath, the Little Lord is no more eager to leave the waters as he was to enter them. Wrestled out and dried, he is wrapped—shrieking and indignant—in his evening robes, before being carefully carried to bed.
Only then do the islanders enjoy a rare moment of tranquility, however fragile and brief… before they commence to cleaning the Little Lord’s many paths of destruction inflicted across the island that day.