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Mar 19

Baths

My kids hate baths. I hate giving them baths. I don’t know why. Once they get in there, sometimes, it’s actually pleasant. They play in the water, they get out and are all scrubbed clean and smell nice… but it’s never something they do willingly and I’d always rather make Marc do it. Unfortunately – Marc’s not around, really. We see him, but rarely. First thing in the morning, which is not the best time to strip the kids down and throw them in. And late at night, after they’re sleeping, mostly. The weekends are better, he’s around most of the time, but we’re busy doing other stuff.

I think it’s stems back to when Jess was an infant. I was very experienced with babies, I had eight or nine nieces or nephews by the time she was born, and had spent years taking care of other people’s babies. But was still somehow clueless about how fast a breastfed baby will poop. So I’d feed her, and then put her in the tub, where she (inevitably) pooped. It took literally weeks before I made the connection. And when she got older, she just hated it. She’d scream thru the whole ordeal – making me feel like a child abuser as I sprayed her down, scrubbed her up, and yanked her out. And Sam… he makes her look like a walk in the park. He literally vomited in the tub once, because he was crying so hard.

So I postpone and postpone. Jessie, I’m pretty good at getting her clean – she’ll shower by herself, and she herself has a vested interest in looking good, so I can pretty easily convince her. But Sam – it’s awful – he’s the grubbiest kid I’ve ever met. I mean, his face and hands get washed all the time, and of course, his diaper area gets a pretty thorough scrubbing several times a day… but it’s been a while since I’ve actually put him in the tub. He looks at me with those big brown eyes, begging to take a bath tomorrow, and I cave.

Then today, I told him he had to take a bath – and he was totally fine with it. Got undressed happily, picked out his toys, let me WASH HIS HAIR WITHOUT CRYING. Now I feel extra guilty that I’ve been letting him walk around all scrubby, telling myself I’m saving him the trauma. Apparently, you just have to catch him in the right mood.

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