Monday, December 12, 2011

The Bath Time Rant

If there is one parenting task that I despise more than anything, it's bathing my kids. It always has been and will be until the day they are capable of bathing themselves, which will not come soon enough. In spite of the thought I have put into it, there seems to be nothing that I can do to make it less agonizing. Some days, it's tempting to throw them a bar of soap while spraying them with the garden hose, instead of allowing them the luxury of a warm bath.

To begin, they always crowd around the tub and get in my way while I'm running the water and putting the towels down on the floor outside of the tub - theoretically to absorb water they splash out of the tub but still manage to miss anyway. 

And they pee in the toilet that is directly behind me, coming perilously close to getting urine on me. I tell them every time to stay back until I tell them to get in, but since their impulse control is about as strong as that of an alcoholic in a liquor store, as soon as they hear the rushing water they charge forward anyway, like soldiers on a battlefield, yelling and screaming (I HATE screaming). 

Once they're in, I start washing them, and I try and always fail to find the elusive position that doesn't break my back while I am leaning over the tub - having the older two stand up does seem to help though. I also have this really weird sensory sensitivity problem, in which it annoys the absolute CRAP out of me to have a streak of water run down my dry wrist. It's a positively agonizing sensation and of course is completely unavoidable while washing them. Yes, I am very well aware that I am a freak, thank you. 

I also cannot stand it when I get splashed even a little bit with the bathwater, which inevitably happens as well. Not only is it annoying, but their bathwater is disgusting (I know Brandon pees in it) and when it gets in my face I have to hold myself back from going postal on them.

So while my back is cramping, my knees are hurting from kneeling, and butt-snot-urine-and-foot-contaminated bathwater is getting splashed on me, I'm also breaking up petty bath toy fights and keeping Connor from pouring water on Brandon's head or otherwise hurting him, as per the usual. Washing them is just as annoying because they never fail to do the things I have to tell them every single time NOT to do, like grab the washcloth when I am washing their hands or clench their butt cheeks when I am washing their cracks. 

They always freak out when a tiny bit of water drips in their eyes during the hair rinsing and scream for me to dry them, which is the most annoying thing ever because later, when they are playing, they do nothing but get water in their eyes and they never have a fit about that. And when they are playing, a fight always breaks out, so they're told to get out since they can't get along, then they cry and whine because they don't want to get out.

It's such a great time, everyone.

No matter how good of a mood I start bath time out in, by the time it's over, I am ready to punch a puppy. In the face. I've tried showering with them instead, but that is just as bad. The shower is enclosed in glass and tile and all it takes is one amplified shriek (which happens every time - always over something stupid) to blast my ears out and anger me beyond reason. The shower is not sized for 4 people, even if 3 of them are pint-sized, so there are flailing hands and feet everywhere, flinging water into each other's faces. Plus, the 5-year-old boy probably doesn't need to have the memory of showering with his mom. And, I don't want to give up that quiet time to myself. The shower is where I get to do my thinking and introspection, and scrub off the snot, crusty food, germs, and psychological torment my sweet darlings leave on me, leaving me fresh and revived anew.

Until someone screams.

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