“It’s bath time kids.”
My children hate hearing this as much as I hate hearing “Daddy, I’m kinda hungry.” If only they knew that I hated bath time just as much. Honestly, I don’t have much to complain about, I can’t remember the last time I gave the kids a bath. The boy takes showers now and the wife usually handles scrubbing the girls down. The cleaning, soaping, and scrubbing isn’t so bad. Sure, there is a little whining when you dump a bucket of water over their head, but getting the kids in (and out) of the tub is much worse.
The fun begins with trying to get your kids out of their filthy clothes. Young children don’t understand that pants and socks come off easier if you sit down to remove them. Instead, they will stand erect, put their right foot on their left pant leg and perform some sort of tribal dance in hopes of the Denim Gods aiding them in their quest to remove los pantalones.
Eventually, the child will fail to please the Lords of Levi’s and fall to the floor. This is when they realize it would help to take their shoes off. This breakthrough doesn’t happen over night. It took the boy until the ripe old age of five before he figured out that shoes should come off before pants. The order is reversed for getting dressed, but we’re still working on that.
Once the bottoms are done, it’s time to move the party upstairs. You’d think removing a shirt would be pretty straight forward. You’re wrong. I’m not sure if there is scientific evidence to back up this theory, but here it its: Raising a child’s arms in the air and covering their eyes, flips some sort of “drunk” switch. They start swinging their arms around, knocking towels down, and running into the toilet. Basically, everything ends up on the floor, except for their shirt.
Once the madness of undressing is over, the real fun can begin. But before you can start washing, rinsing, and repeating, the kids have to decide what color their bath water is going to be.
It doesn’t matter what color it starts out as, the water will always be some shade of dirt by the time your kids are done. With the water a bright neon yellow, or blue, or red, or a secondary color, or some sort of new color unknown to man that involves throwing the entire contents into the tub, it’s time to make an even tougher choice.
Which dissolving capsule do I choose? One of the Serengeti animals? An insect? Creatures of the Ocean Deep? It’s tough having to make such important decisions at so young an age. Now that the formalities are out of the way, you can actually start chipping away at the funk that has infested your children.
As I said before, washing isn’t that bad. You’ll have to lay the law down when it comes to splashing, but watching your child freak-out when you pour water over their heads is quite enjoyable. There are plenty of products available to make washing easier, but I say, sit back and enjoy tormenting your children a bit. They’ve done it to you all day and payback is hell. I should know because my parents warned me that one day I’d have kids just like me. They were right. And it’s often hell.
Getting out of the tub is an adventure in itself. From what I’ve seen, there are two methods of coaxing a child out of the tub. One is to sit patiently on the toilet as you let the child sit or stand in the tub, shivering, while he watches the tub drain completely. Why the boy prefers this method, I do not know. The other is to crouch down like a professional baseball catcher and hold the towel open in the same fashion as a group of firefighters waiting for a high-rise jumper. This is the girl’s preferred exit.
There is no calm, in between. Your child is either a sloth, making sure the water is completely gone lest he slip and thump his head, or a dare-devil, trying to set a new long-jump record from the top of the rim. In spite of all the possible headaches that come from bathing, there is a silver lining. Once the kids are cleaned and put into their pajamas, it’s bedtime.