It should be easy, he thought. After all, he’d taken baths tons of times, so he knew all about how to fill the tub and how to make the bubbles. And it would help Mommy. She’d be so proud.
Shouri grinned, dumping the bottle of strawberry-scented bubble bath into the running water.
Yuu-chan was sitting on the rug beside him, staring up at him with wide eyes. “Don’t worry, Yuu-chan! Mommy’s book says that bath time is a ‘happy time, where the child and the parent can bond.’ Except I’m big brother, not Mommy.” He paused to put his hand in the water like Mommy did before she let him get in. It was really warm. The book also said that the water should be warm so that the baby didn’t catch a cold when getting out of the bath. There was something about room temperature, too, but Shouri couldn’t remember it. “Ready, Yuu-chan?”
Yuu-chan blinked at him. “Good. Let’s get you undressed!”
Once Yuu-chan’s pink and white dress was off, Shouri picked up his little brother and plopped him in the tub. Yuu-chan promptly began crying.
“Hush, Yuu-chan! You don’t want to worry Mommy, do you?” Shouri picked up the wash cloth and put soap on it and started to rub it over Yuu-chan’s arms in circular motions. The book was very clear that it had to be circular motions. Shouri wasn’t sure why, but figured it was important.
Yuu-chan was whimpering now, but had otherwise calmed down. Shouri nodded. That was good. He was finished wiping Yuu-chan’s arms, chest, and legs. Mommy would have to get under the diaper when she changed it, though; Shouri didn’t know how.
“Okay,” Shouri said to himself. “After washing the baby down, I’m supposed to wash his hair.” He frowned, watching Yuu-chan play with the bubbles, which were now all over the floor and soaking into the rug. “I guess I just wash Yuu-chan’s hair like Mommy washes mine?”
Shouri picked up the bottle of baby shampoo and put a dime-sized drop in his hand, then rubbed them together. Once there was a nice lather, he put his hands on Yuu-chan’s head and rubbed the shampoo into Yuu-chan’s hair. He counted to one-hundred once he was done, and then dunked Yuu-chan under water to rinse the shampoo out.
When he pulled Yuu-chan up, his brother was crying and coughing up water. Yuu-chan had done this before, though, when Daddy had given him a bath. Shouri picked Yuu-chan up and balanced him on his shoulder, patting the baby’s back. Shouri’s clothes were soaked, and Yuu-chan’s diaper was soggy and squishy, but Yuu-chan wasn’t coughing or crying anymore. He was pulling Shouri’s hair into his mouth and giggling.
Now he just had to get Yuu-chan dressed, and then he could take him and show Mommy what a good big brother he was.
He toweled Yuu-chan off, and Yuu-chan giggled. Shouri tickled him. Yuu-chan squealed and waved his arms, hitting one against the edge of the toilet. He started to cry.
Shouri winced and took Yuu-chan’s arm, kissing the spot he had hit. It was red. Hopefully it wouldn’t bruise. Mommy would be mad.
He picked up Yuu-chan’s dress and discovered it was soaked. He should have put it up higher, Shouri thought, sighing. He picked his brother up and padded to their room, making sure not to run into their mom on the way. Once Shouri and Yuu-chan were safely in their room, he put Yuu-chan down on the rug and went to the dresser.
All of Yuu-chan’s dresses were in to the top drawer, so Shouri pulled the rocking chair over and stood on it. He held onto the dresser, trying to keep his balance as the chair rocked back and forth. He pulled on the drawer and it came flying out, dresses flying through the air. Shouri pouted and jumped off the chair, landing on his elbows when the chair rocked backwards.
Shouri sat up and cradled his elbows against his sides. Yuu-chan crawled into his lap and smiled. Shouri smiled back. Yuu-chan giggled and crawled out of his lap and towards the scattered dresses.
“Does Yuu-chan want to pick out his dress?” Shouri asked, standing.
Yuu-chan picked up a pale yellow dress and stuck the sleeve into his mouth.
“I didn’t like that one, either,” Shouri agreed, picking up a nice green dress off the floor and pulling it over Yuu-chan’s head. “This one looks much better,” he said, buttoning it up and tying the sash into a sloppy bow.
Yuu-chan giggled and kicked his legs.
“Shou-chan?” Mommy called. “Yuu-chan?”
Mommy sounded upset. Shouri frowned and opened the door. “We’re here, Mommy!”
Mommy rushed into the room and swept him up in a hug. “Thank goodness. I had thought you had disappeared.” She looked at him and frowned. “Don’t do that again, okay, Shou-chan?”
Shouri nodded, and Mommy went to Yuu-chan, picking him up and frowning. “What’s wrong with your diaper, Yuu-chan?”
“I gave him a bath!” Shouri told her proudly. “He’s all clean!”
Mommy looked at him for a moment before smiling. “You did? Thank you, Shou-chan!” She carried Yuu-chan to the baby table and put him on his back. She pulled up Yuu-chan’s dress and Shouri closed his eyes. “You didn’t take his diaper off, did you, Shou-chan?”
Mommy sounded happy. Shouri shook his head.
“You have to take off Yuu-chan’s diaper before you give him a bath,” Mommy said. “And you have to clean up the mess you made in the bathroom before Daddy comes home.”
“Yuu-chan!” Shouri cried, flinging open the door the bathroom to find his brother just about the step in the tub. Yuu-chan’s friend was standing next to him, glasses glinting in the fluorescent light.
“What the hell, Shouri?” Yuu-chan shrieked, taking a step back and falling into the full bathtub. Water sloshed to the floor. Yuu-chan’s friend jumped in after him.
Shouri ran to the tub and yelled into the water, “That’s ‘big brother,’ Yuu-chan!” His elbow hit a bottle of bubble bath into the water, and the bottle disappeared.
Jennifer ran into the bathroom and gasped at the puddle of water on the floor. “Shou-chan!”
“I didn’t do it, Mom!” Shouri denied. “Yuu-chan fell into the tub!”
Jennifer sighed. “Well, clean this up. This reminds me of when you gave him that bath when you were both younger. You were so cute,” she cooed. “Even if you didn’t have wings!”
Shouri frowned. Yeah, he thought. Just like that time.