Charles M. Schulz once said: “I have a new philosophy. I’m only going to dread one day at a time.” Well, in my house, I dread one bath at a time. Honestly, you have never seen anything quite like it. When Hope and Charlie hear the bath water running, they both disappear. Together. Now, they don’t always particularly like each other, but on bath night (don’t judge, you wouldn’t bathe them every single night either), they become a dyed-in-the-wool coalition of two against me. After choosing which of the unlucky souls shall be the first to be baptized in the big claw foot tub, I have to literally drag the booger into the bathroom. Who knew legs and arms could stretch so far? And how can little fingers grip so tight? At times, Hope has managed to clamp down on one side of the tub with her hands while pressing her feet against the top of the other side of the tub. It’s like she’s been ‘Gorilla Glued’ in that position, buck naked, hanging in the air facing down towards the water. Determined NOT to go in. And she stays like that for a long time with me trying to pry her fingers and toes off the side of the tub. You’d have to see it to believe it. She’s been in the water hundreds of times and knows the routine, so what is the problem? As for Charlie, I don’t have a difficult time getting him into the tub since he is still so small, but I have to nearly get into the tub and sit on him to keep him there. As soon as his fanny hits the water, he’s up….I push him back down….and he’s up again….like a super skinny red-headed jumping bean. It’s been this way with both of them for years. For years I tell you. After each of their baths, I am so ready for Calgon to take me away (dating myself a bit there—if you don’t know what it means, google it!).
Does this sound familiar to you? If it does, I am so sorry….but I am also giggling a little bit. Because it really is funny that we wrestle those bare bodies into bath tubs when we could just give them an old fashioned spit bath with a wet wash cloth and be done with it. Now you’re probably smiling, because we both know we’ve done it a few more times than we’d like to admit. Being a parent of a special is a journey, isn’t it? Well, on those nights when the spit bath won’t do….when the crud has turned to crust and the dirt smell has turned to….well, you know….and you feel you MUST tackle the bathtub, here is a tip that might make it easier to bear:
He’s our bath time frog. He only comes out at bath time and has a ridiculously silly voice. HE is the one who hunts the children down. HE is the one who drags them into the bath. And HE is the one who gets doused with soap and scrubs their little dirt laden bodies until they are somewhat shiny and clean again. I do this for two reasons. First of all, with all kidding aside, the bath experience is sometimes traumatic for Hope and Charlie. Keeping Freddie front and center helps me avoid their linking me to the battle. Second, Freddie is fun and cooky, so it has to be difficult for Hope and Charlie to take the whole thing too seriously. Bath time is scary, but Freddie is a total blast. He croons songs that make no sense, he dunks into the water and frantically swims around like a frog on caffeine, and he hops up and kisses their noses at the most unexpected times…you get the picture….Freddie makes them laugh. They don’t want to laugh, but they do. And they get distracted. And in the arduous process, they also get clean.
Just a tip from me to you!