Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Bath Story

I do not give my kiddos a bath every day.

I know I am probably violating some sort of parental code that dictates the evening bath is an important part of your child's bedtime ritual.

It is just not happening here.  I am flying solo at bedtime most nights, so I have streamlined our "routine" to make bath time optional.  And by optional, I mean when mommy feels like doing it, maybe a couple of times a week.

There are a number of things that make the daily bath an unattainable expectation in this house.  First of all, I don't think they get very dirty.  Especially right now, in the dead of winter, when the most dirt they are exposed to is that which I have not yet vacuumed off of my floor.

When bath time does come around, the girls bathe together.  I cannot see the point of using enough water to fill two tubs, when they both fit in the same tub now.  I also do not have the time in the evening, to give them each a bath.  It would 10PM before Little Diva got to bed if that was the case.  She would love it. I would not.

Even getting both baths done at the same time takes a while.  One set of grown up hands can only wash, dry, diaper and pajama one kiddo at a time.  No bath often equals earlier to bed which means mommy gets a little extra grown up time later on.  I mean Glee is on tonight, right?

Having a five year old and a one year old in the tub at the same time, creates some interesting dynamics that I cannot deal with more than a few times a week.

Some times they just like to irritate one another.  Little splashes, little pokes. It just ends up in a lot of whining - my favorite.

Other times, they get along fabulously and like to proclaim their congeniality by screaming in unison.  This is awesome at the end of a 12 hour day, when mommy may or may not have a migraine coming on.

Some times, they find splashing fun.  They start with little scoops of water, and end up showering each other, me, and the rest of the bathroom.  It escalates very quickly, and I have no tolerance for wiping down every surface in the bathroom on a daily basis.  And, if I did, I would save that energy for actually cleaning the bathroom everyday.  Yeah, right.

There are a few other tub behaviors that I either annoy me or gross me out.

Little Diva loves to play with Barbies in the tub.  I am over getting mad about the ensuing mess of their hair after a few trips to the tub.  I have just warned Little Diva that I have no intention of trying to brush out that gooey tangle of synthetic doll hair ever again once those Barbies hit the bath. So those Barbies live in the bathroom now, and that is fine.  But what gets me every time, are the wet Barbies getting draped over the side of the tub, dripping MORE water all over the floor.  I end up having to build sand-bag style towel rolls along the side of the tub to prevent little floods all over the tile. The end result is more laundry later, another one of my favorite things.

The Baby is at the age now where she wants to drink, lick, suck water off of every items that floats by here in the tub.  I try to keep all of the cups and cup-like toys out of reach, but it doesn't matter.  She will suck on a washcloth, or one of those little foam letters.  I think it is disgusting, and it is not as if I don't hydrate the girl all day long.  I totally don't get it, and have not found a way to curb the habit. She gets really mad if you take her stuff away, like screaming-bloody -murder mad.  So much for the relaxing, soothing power of the bath.

So with all that in mind, I am convinced that non-mandatory bath time works for us better than trying to deal with a daily bath for the sake of routine.  Sanity is a big part of effective parenting, right?

Do any other mommies ever feel the need to sacrifice a little of "what you're supposed to do" in favor of "what prevents you from going nuts?"


  1. Yes! There are always trade-offs. I try to let the kids know about them (I don't want them to get the upper hand), but some things are done for sanity's sake. My kids don't get baths every night either. But, honestly, I don't do the baths. Apparently, I'm no fun and I freak out too much. That and I'm not regularly home at bath time. One thing I do for sanity's sake is not double check the teeth brushing in the morning. At night, I help. In the morning, it is do it yourself teeth brushing because mommy can't handle any more after having spent the previous half hour begging a 4 year old to finish peeing. Does it really take 30 minutes to pee?!?!?!?!

  2. This is so funny! My two youngest do not take baths everyday either, about twice a week. They are in the tub at the same time, too. I have given them a bath with no hubby but it is hard. A 3 year old and a 1 year old at the same time. It is hard to pick which one to wash first. If I do the 3 year old first then the 1 year old is trying to stand up, turn on the water, dump water over 3 year old's head, etc. If I do the 3 year old second, she is mad that she didn't get enough bubble, etc. etc.

    Glad I'm not the only one!

  3. I have a 3 yr old and twin 1 yr olds and a hubby that works most nights. Baths in our house happen whenever he is around to help- maybe a couple of times a week.
    I also stopped doing books at night because when I am alone with all 3 before dawn, I am at the breaking point when bedtime comes around. Now, we read during the day to help streamline the bedtime routine and keep me from losing it.

  4. HEY you do what you have to.. I usually just shove the gremlin in with me every day.. lol.. Swinging by to thank ya for the follow and follow back.. I look forward to reading more..


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