Ok, Lotion Robot is actually Tighe, and today, December 16th, is Tighe’s birthday. He’s 33. This is my tribute to him.
You see, Nate has very dry skin, like alarmingly so. Since he was a baby we’ve had to rub lotion on his little body every single night, all year-round.
And Nate hates it. I mean, I don’t blame him. Lotion is cold and jolting to his already blue, shivering body, fresh out of the tub. He screams and runs away, tries to hide in his closet or under his covers before one of us can get to him.
Until the birth of Lotion Robot, that is! Lotion Robot is Tighe’s own invention and his alter ego each night after bathtime. It has made lotion application much more amusing and enjoyable for both Nate and Sam. And me. And as far as I know, it’s not copyrighted or trademarked, so feel free to use it on your own dry-skinned children.
The procedure is as follows:
Each night, while Nate and Sam are running around in their towels, burning off their calories from dinner and nearing bedtime exhaustion, Tighe goes into our walk-in closet, presumably to change from his soaking wet clothes after Nate and Sam splash him from their seated positions in the tub.
They know what’s coming and they love it. They dart around screeching in mock fear, anticipating the arrival of Lotion Robot.
And when Tighe emerges from the closet—I know, I know, lots of potential jokes there—he is Lotion Robot!
Like any robot, he keeps his appendages rigid and moves them abruptly at the joints as he shuffles down the hall.
He talks all…robotically. Short. Staccato. Monotone.
“Hi, Lotion Robot! Hi, Lotion Robot!” Sam doesn’t totally trust Lotion Robot. He’s pretty sure it’s just his dad pretending to be Lotion Robot, but still, he’s not going to turn his back on Lotion Robot, just to be safe.
“Next target is Nate.
And sometimes Nate has a series of questions about how he became a robot and whether he has robot friends and what he eats. Lotion Robot always replies in the same robotic voice that he was built and programmed by Tighe, that he doesn’t eat or sleep because he’s made of metal and that he doesn’t have any friends because he doesn’t have a soul.
After they’re sufficiently lotioned, they say good-bye to Lotion Robot and Lotion Robot returns to the closet. Tighe then returns to their bedrooms to help them put on their pajamas and get ready for bedtime stories.
Sam is always thrilled to have his dad back. “Hi, Dad. Hi, Dad.” He presses his fingers on Tighe’s familiar face, just to reassure himself that this is, in fact, his father. Meanwhile, Nate enthusiastically rehashes his encounter with Lotion Robot, as one would tell about meeting
It’s like Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen telling Clark Kent about Superman. Except that Teri Hatcher has better boobs than Nate and Sam. And me, for that matter.
Lotion Robot is not Tighe’s only parenting weapon, nor is it his most creative, but it is an example of his commitment and his willingness to sacrifice a little bit of dignity night after night. So, please, take a second to wish Lotion Robot a happy birthday before he makes me delete this post.