Excellent Blog
2007 Inspiring Blog
Rockin' Girl Blogger

It Shouldn’t Take a Genius to Give a Kid a Bath

January 31st, 2006

So, bathtime. I had this notion, pre-kids, that bathtime would be snuggly, warm, happy time. I would visit with them, read them bath books, we’d splash a little, then dry off with Disney towels, get powdered and ready for bed. Hardy har, single girl with big ideas.

Rule One: No baby powder. Baby powder is Evil. It goes in their little lungs and noses and if they have eczema? Forget it. The pediatrician had it on her list of “Stuff You’re Not Supposed to Do.” And the baby nurse? Told me not to use the baby lotion we got Wacky Girl when she was born. (She was way overdue, and that amniotic fluid was not kind to her little feet, hands and arms.)

“This is for irritating skin,” the nurse told me. As if her sweet, soft skin could ever be irritating! The diapers, now those were irritating.

Turns out bathtime isn’t so much fun. Wacky Girl and Boy want to stay in forever, then complain that they’re getting cold. I refill the bath, it’s too hot. (It’s tepid, OK? Tepid is inherently not hot.) The water won’t empty all of the way out of the three baby squirty turtles and their mommy. (How the hell do you get the icky water out of bath toys? I finally cut slits in the bottom of the Barney toys, but they still wouldn’t empty out all the way. Shelf life on these things? I mean, six months’, four months’, two weeks’ worth of stinky gross water, then you toss them? Help me out here, people.)

They kick each other, they try to drown each other — separate baths? Then they cry and bitch because that means one of them isn’t in the tub.

Where was I going with this? Bathtime makes me grit my teeth. I get soaked. The bathmat and rugs get soaked. If I get in there with them they kick me. Plus, hello? They’re big now. There’s not enough room. We’re getting dry rot from the gallons of water that get dumped over the edge of the tub. (It’s a clawfoot. Too much space around it.) (Also we’re growing mushrooms around the downstairs shower stall again, but that’s a different post.)

Bathtime makes me feel stupid. As in, “How can I be a mother of two and have such a tricky time figuring this out? This is not hard. This is supposedly fun time.” My best trick — When I’m frustrated with the kids I hug them. I mean, when I’m a little frustrated. When I’m angry. When I’m furious. When I’m so ready to scream that I need to lock myself in the bathroom for a timeout, so frustrated that I want to spank them (we’re not spankers here — I was hit by angry, frustrated parents when I was a kid and all it taught me was “Get mad, hit!”)… anyway, hugging can be great.

Especially when you have a rowdy little almost four-year-old who loves being physical. I gave WG a big hug after she had her bath, brushed her hair without any tangles or tears, and sent her on her way. I am really loving having a kid who’s big enough to dress herself. She can shower by herself, but still needs a little help with that and the baths.

Then, how to deal with wet, flailing WB? I wrapped him all up in a huge bath towel, tousled his hair so hard (which makes him wriggle like a puppydog. Like I said, he’s a physical kid), then scooped him up. I held him so close and just snuggled him. He melted up against me and kind of cooed. (These crazy physical out of control boys? They are also cooers and melters and big lovers. Makes no sense.) Then said, “Good Mommy. Huggy.”

See? Huggy. All better.

1 Comment

  1. MommyGoddess says

    Ooooh, how I look forward to bathtime about a year from now! My little man is only 2 1/2 months old, and bathtime is in and of itself aleady the most devastating time of his poor little life… I think at this point, I’d rather deal with gallons of water poured onto the floor than the *screaming* dissertations he gives the entire apartment building all about why bathtimeis NOT for future rockstars…

    February 2nd, 2006 | #

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.