If any of you other mommies are anything like me than you will sympathize with my ever present need for a bath. Do you know the kind I mean? The kind where you fill the tub so deep that the water serves as a very warm, cozy blanket. The kind of bath in which you close your eyes, lay your head back & bask in the silence while your muscles melt like butter and your stress & tension get sent down the drain with the dirt, sweat & loose hairs. Aaaahhh...breathe in that lavender oil, envision those flickering candles.....mmmm! Sigh.....
Oh, but you know, fellow mothers of young children that this mystical bath experience is reserved only for the young, single woman or a mother with a VERY large house & a nanny! For us, the bath is nigh unto impossible!
I remember a time in my life when I used to shower every day. Can you imagine? That time in my life is clearly behind me...I've found that personal cleanliness (and *omygosh* personal appearance) is really a necessary sacrifice. If my clothes are clean & my skin only slightly sticky...well then sleep is a far better use of my time than a silly shower. But the time eventually comes when even mom needs to take the plunge (literally) and have a bath.
Now bathing during the waking hours in a home with children is a tricky thing (at least for moms) because you have to battle your need for privacy, relaxation & sanity against your need to ensure your children's well being and the well being of anything in their path. Do you hop in the bath, shut the door & sing "John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt" at the top of your lungs and cross you fingers that all limbs will still be intact & the house not saturated with chocolate when you're finished? Or do you take the slightly more prudent action of leaving the bathroom door open while the kids play in another room? This approach results in a lot of anxiety on mom's part because every strange noise leads to worry and the 'every-thirty-seconds' yell "IS EVERYTHING OKAY OUT THERE? WHAT ARE YOU DOING?" and the occasional, "STOP PULLING ON YOUR SISTER'S ARM! SHARE THE CRAYONS! FOR GOODNESS SAKES, STOP FIGHTING!!!!!" The third option for bathing during the day is to bring the children into the bathroom/bath with you. This is perhaps the safest option for the kids & the furniture but creates more stress than the hot steamy water can alleviate. My kids are currently 4, 2, & 6m and all girls...so questions & constant talking is a given. This is the approach I use more often. The conversation usually goes something like this.
Eden: "Mommy, can I take a bath with you?"
Me: "No, I want to take bath by myself today."
Me: "Because I want to relax a bit & shave my legs and there isn't enough room for all of us."
Me: "No, not today."
Jasmine: "Mama, can I take a bath with you?"
Me: "No, Jasmine."
Eden: "Mommy is going to take a bath by herself."
Jasmine: "I want to take a bath, Mama."
Me: "Sorry, baby, not right now."
Jasmine: "What are you doing?"
Me: "Washing my hair."
Jasmine: "Is that your shampoo, Mama?"
Jasmine: *pointing* "That's your soap, that's Daddy's soap; that one is Acacia's soap, and this one is Jasmine & Eden's soap."
Eden: "We all have soaps."
Me: "Sure, enough."
Eden: "Daddy is bigger than Mommy. Mommy is bigger than me. I'm bigger than Jasmine. Jasmine is bigger than Acacia. And Acacia is bigger than the cat. I'm the biggest girl in our family."
Eden: "Jasmine's not the biggest."
Jasmine: *Screeching at the top of her range* "DON'T SAY THAT, EDEN!"
Eden: "You're not the biggest; I'm the biggest & then you're the middle & Acacia is the littlest."
Jasmine: "I DON"T WANT YOU TO SAY THAT!"
Me: "Stop screaming!! It's okay."
Jasmine: "I don't want her to say that."
Me: "I know. It's okay. She won't say it again."
Eden: "But I was just saying..."
Me: "I know...you're right but you don't need to say it again."
*Brief pause, Eden talks under breath, Jasmine starts to calm down, I get my face washed & start shaving.*
Jasmine: "What are you doing?"
Me: "Shaving my legs."
Me: "Shaving. Shave-vuh-Shav--Ving." I emphasized the syllables so she could hear the 'V' was not a 'B".
Eden: "Mommy, why are you Shav-Ving?"
Me: "Because I don't want to have hair on my legs anymore.
Eden: "Why don't you want hair on your legs anymore?"
Me: "Because it feels gross."
Eden: "Why does it feel gross?"
Me: "Because...it just does, I don't like it."
Eden: "Why don't you like it?"
Me: "Just because."
Eden: "But, why?"
Me: *ignoring her*
Jasmine: "Mama, what's that? What's that, mama?"
Me: "A razor."
Jasmine: "It's blue. Why's it blue?"
Me: "Because I like blue."
Eden: "Why do you like blue, mama?"
Jasmine: "What's that, mama?"
Eden: (disgusted & superior) "You know it's water, Jasmine."
Jasmine: "Who made the water, Mama?"
Jasmine: "God made water in the bathtub & then He took a bath?"
*she smiles & squeals* I unplug the tub.
Eden: "It's sucking the water out. Why is it sucking the water out?"
Me: "Because its taking the dirty water away. We don't want the dirty water to stay in here and we can't take the tub outside & dump it out, so the water gets sucked down through pipes to take it outside."
Jasmine: "Pipes, mama?!"
*I stand there dripping*
Me: "Can you move, please?..I need to get out."
*still in place...not a budge*
Eden: "You're going to get out?"
Me: "YES! Can you please get off my towel so I can dry off?"
You get the picture. By the time I get out of the bath, I'm so stressed out & crazy from answering silly questions that I feel like I need a nice... hot.....relaxing..... Bath.