I don't want to sound overly dramatic, but you know that image of a polar bear clinging to an iceberg? That's me in the shower that is. And if you're thinking hippo in a bathtub, shame on you!
It all began when the kids first scaled Mount Stair-gate. Until then, upstairs was a savannah of sanity. A place of respite from all those that sought to destroy my mental well-being. An oasis of order in an otherwise disorderly house.
But what followed must surely go down in history as the biggest land grab of the twenty first century. Huge swathes of previously unspoiled rooms were destroyed. Where once there was tranquillity, chaos reigned. My natural habitat, disappearing faster than you can say 'didn't this Tesco used to be a rain-forest?'
I found myself being backed into a corner, or more accurately a cubicle, and it wasn't long before the sanctuary of the shower was all that remained.
But as any conservationist will tell you, the important thing is not to dwell on what you've lost but to protect what you still have, and that's precisely what I did.
I paid off the poachers with cartoons and the unhealthiest of snacks, and for a short while it worked. On a good day I was afforded ten minutes of solitude in the shower. I even managed the occasional nap. What? If you're not supposed to fall asleep in a shower, why would they make the glass panels so comfy to lean against?
But it was all to no avail. Because without wanting to drag this analogy way beyond its merits, as any creature faced with extinction will tell you, the biggest threat to our very existence is both man-made and invisible. I'm talking pollution. And on an industrial scale.
You see, I announce I'm going for a shower out of politeness. What can I say, it's the way I was brought up. And yet for reasons that remain a mystery, everyone else in the house takes this as their cue to take a dump? If you'll pardon the pun, it's the shittiest of shitty queues you really don't want to be at the back of.
But I wasn't giving up without a fight, so I attempted to turn the poachers into gamekeepers by restocking their Nerf guns on the condition they kept out the worst offender when it comes to the dumping of toxic waste; Janet.
It was short lived. Attacking their mother soon became attacking each other, and attacking each other inevitably became attacking me. From the toilet. Whilst pooing and discussing Minecraft. Or in Luca's case, singing, which does sound infinitely better were it not for the dramatic pauses. Pauses that could be a prelude to the chorus or just a particularly hefty strain.
I have thought about sneaking up without telling them, but taking a shower should be a fundamental human right, not some seedy secret vice.
And even if by some minor miracle I do manage to shower undisturbed and it's not a post poo apocalypse, I can still hear the conversations happening downstairs. Conversations that inevitably end with me shouting 'both of you, hands in the air and don't touch a thing, I'm coming down!' Conversations such as,
"DADDY! Don't come downstairs but do we have any carpet coloured felt-tips?"
"DADDY! We're going to make our own breakfast ... sorry, the milk was heavier than we thought."
"DADDY! How many eggs do we use to make pancakes?"
"DADDY! There was someone at the door but I've let them in!"
Oh dear God, please tell me it's not the Jehovah Witnesses. Again.
Or what I overheard the other day when I knew they were on YouTube,
"Luca, you don't have to type the whole of 'Teen Titans Go' in, just search for Teen Tit"
"LUCA! DO NOT HIT SEARCH!"
But I refuse to give up hope.
Just because I don't have the advertising budget of a snow leopard doesn't mean I'm giving up on my fight for the right to shower in private.
So whilst my application to have the shower designated as a World Heritage site is still pending and I await a reply from Chris Martin as to whether he'll act as patron to my Keep Showers Sacred Foundation, there are still many lesser celebrities that I'm sure will take up my cause and highlight my plight, although seeing as I've been blocked on Twitter by the entire cast of TOWIE, my 'come watch me shower' campaign may need a little tweaking.
In the meantime I'll just have to accept that what was once a place of solitude will remain a zoo-come-circus for the foreseeable future. Like an elephant riding a unicycle, there's little dignity in pressing your bum up against the shower door, however amusing that might be to a five and six year old.Suggest a correction