I'll start this post with a couple of my usual disclaimers:
1) Yes, you can thank me for not including any photos in this post.
2) When her sisters laughed hysterically about this, #4 emphatically requested that I not share this via email. I promised that I wouldn't...but that I would publish it on the blog. I figure we need to save this childhood story for their posterity.
First, I'll set up the scene. The bathtub in the kids' bathroom is up against a window. The glass is mottled so you can't see into the room, but you can make out shadows of people if they are right against the window.
#4 and #5 were taking a bath this evening at dusk. I was working in the backyard garden. I thought it would be cute to tap on the glass and see if they would tap back. I gave a soft series of taps, which #4 later admitted to hearing. They ignored the sound because they thought it someone was knocking on the bathroom door, and that whoever it was would just come in.
Time for a side note. I realize that in most households, if no one answers your knock on the bathroom, you would probably double check whether anyone was in there. However, we have a pretty open policy about nudity in our home. No one freaks out if someone walks in on someone else to find them showering or dressing. When one of us wants privacy, we lock the door. If it's closed and unlocked, you knock first and then may proceed in.
When I got no reaction from the bathers, I drummed my fingers in a much louder, arpeggiated manner. This time I got a reaction, but not the one I was expecting!
My tapping on the window was followed by shrieks from #s 4 and 5 who leaped out of the raised bathtub and split from the bathroom. All of this happened in about 1.5 seconds!
I am not exaggerating. The bathtub is raised so the rim is about at my waist when I'm standing. Because of their short lets, the kids usually creep carefully over the edge to get out of the tub, or just wait for me to wrap them in a towel and lift them out. This time, I could see their hurried shadows fade rapidly away from me as I saw one and then the other vault over the tub's side and bolt from the bathroom, screaming in fear through the house!
I figured they were seeking safety with their sisters who were in the family room. So I walked over to the deck and looked through our huge picture-glass sliding doors to see #4 and #5 standing in the buff exclaiming something to #s 1-3 who looked a little surprised and worried. I raised my arms in the air and waved jazz hands to the kids, which caught #1's attention. She practically fell off the couch laughing when she realized what had happened! Then everyone else looked my way, and the little nudies started yelling and shaking fists and berating me! I shrugged to indicate that I couldn't hear anything they were yelling, so they skulked away, stomping back to the bath.
To set their fears more at ease--and yes, to be a bit playful--I tapped the "Thanks for the doughnut" rhythm on the glass, hoping they would finish it with the "Goodbye." All they did was yell at me to knock it off because it was still scaring them!
I finished in the garden and went inside to find puddles of water through the hallway and kitchen. I happily mopped it up, figuring the cleanup was worth the laugh we all got. I chuckled more when I found the bathroom floor was a small pond with the long-hanging toilet paper wicking up the moisture. The icing on the cake, for me, though, was a small ball of excrement sitting on the edge of the bathtub, right where the adrenaline-pumped children had made their exit. It was perfect! And it brought more laughs from the three oldest sisters, along with grumpy looks from the younger two!