Why must my children act like they are being flayed every time we turn on the bath tub? We had a short window where my eldest liked splashing almost all the water out of the tub, which entirely incidentally got him clean. But outside of that, there have been tears, screaming, and evasive maneuvers out of both of them at each and every bathing.
I do not mean that they whine and appear unhappy while they are being bathed. I mean that my two year old spends his entire bath time trying to escape. He climbs whichever parent is in what we like to call “charge,” flings himself out of the bathtub, screams at the top of his not inconsiderable lungs, and makes sure that everyone and everything in the bathroom is at least as wet as he is.
My eldest child is in charge of cleaning himself, but once he turns on the water, he starts shouting “NO. I DO NOT WANT A BATH. I DO NOT LIKE THAT TOWEL. I DO NOT WANT TO WASH MY HAIR. WHY DO I HAVE TO DO THIS. I JUST DON’T LIKE GETTING WET.” By the end, he has worked himself up into a bigger lather than the soap. No toy, no bribe, no enticement of any kind makes a dent in this unrelenting negativity. If I were the kind of mother who put her naked children on YouTube, we would all be famous by now.
I have bathed many children in my years as a baby sitter. I also actually was a child at one time and I had a sibling, so all told I remember a lot of kid bath times over my life- and I know- I KNOW- that bathing children is sometimes accomplished without anyone acting like their parents are trying to burn them at the stake.
Strangely, their contempt for water isn’t absolute- they LOVE the hose, and they find and enter a mud puddle with the speed, accuracy and precision of a raptor swooping down on its prey from the air. As in, one minute you are loading dry children into their car seats, the next minute you are hit with a wall of muddy water that flew up in the wake of your now sodden and filthy child. Talk about super powers. Oh, and yes, my toddler would be perfectly happy to be head down in the toilet bowl at ANY time. (Yuck. We keep the door shut.)
Could we attach the hose to the shower head? Create a prosthetic mud puddle? Forbid them to bathe? Fill the toilet bowl with shampoo? SOMETHING HAS GOT TO GIVE PEOPLE. If you need me, I’ll be locked in my room whispering “THE HORROR. THE HORROR. THE HORROR” while I stress eat all the chocolate chips from the baking supplies. I’ll leave you with this: