Then it came. My nightly torture: Bathtime.
Bathtime meant prying the baby girl’s arms from the jungle gym and yanking the baby boy from the blowup pool. Then lots of “Mommy I got soap in my eyes.” Followed by, “No you can’t dump the water on the floor.”
Husband: “You need to give the kids a bath tonight.”
Me: “I just gave them one last night.”
Husband: “They’ve been running around all day. They look like sweaty little pigs.”
Me: “Its baby sweat. It doesn’t even smell.”
The kids are so smart. Show one chink in the parental armor and they dig in with their sharp little nails. “I don’t want to take a bath.” Then the parrot, “Me too.” Then the Husband, “Why aren’t the kids in the bath yet?”
At the end of Bathtime, I was the only one ready for bed.
I could have consulted with parenting.com article on Making Bathtime Fun Again. I could have bought more bath toys, given formal notification before pouring water over their heads, or filled the bath with only an inch of water. Really?
Maybe I should have consulted my mother. You know her generation had to bathe their children in water carried in from the well. What do we modern-moms have to complain about?
So, what did I do?
I threw out the advice and did it my way. I brought the bath out to them. I placed the blowup baby pool on the deck and filled it with warm water (used a good old fashioned hose for that). Then, I handed them a bottle of no-tears baby shampoo, sat on a lounge chair with a glass of wine and watched the magic. The next night we used the kitchen sink.
Bathtime turned into bubbles, laughter and shampoo-hair dos.
From that night on, I had the cleanest kids on the block. And I never had to clean the tub again. Win-Win.