Thursday, 30 March 2017

Most People's Kids Just Take Normal Baths.

If you have been a shitty person here on earth, and your final destination is the, uh... "bad place", I'm pretty certain I know what your eternity consists of.  And I'm sorry to break it to you, but it's giving my toddler a bath.

Harry loves taking a bath.  At some point in the evening, he will announce that it's time for a bubble bath and hopefully you're ready to give it to him at that exact moment, or there's going to be a problem.  One night, Harry decided he was ready to have a bath but George and I weren't quite ready at that precise minute.

Harry:  "Bubble bath?"
Me:  "OK, sure, we can do a bubble bath in ten minutes."

At this point, Harry started stripping off his clothes in the middle of the living room.

Harry:  "Bubble bath??"
George:  "Yes, buddy, just give me a minute and I'll take you for a bubble bath."

This was unacceptable.  Harry wandered over to the corner of the room, pooped directly on the floor, pointed to it, and firmly shouted "BUBBLE BATH."  We ran upstairs and dropped Harry immediately into a bubble bath.

It probably seems like giving a bath to a tub-loving toddler is not a way to spend eternal torment, and truthfully, the bath part itself isn't so bad.  I mean, you're going to get wet because of all the excited splashing and the fact that the manufacturers of bath toys for children all seem to exclusively make items that either squirt water or act as a scoop to assist in throwing even larger quantities of water out of the tub, but you'll get through that.  The real "fun" begins when bath time ends.

Whether Harry has been in the tub for 15 minutes or 3 hours, it hasn't been long enough.  He's not ready to get out, and so help you if you should try to take him out without draining the tub first.  If there's still water in there, he is not leaving it, and trying to pull him out while he's wet is going to be as effective as trying to catch a slimy, wriggling eel with your bare hands.  If the eel was also covered in soap.  And you were blindfolded for some reason.

Once he hears the sound of the tub draining, he's going to realize what's happening.  Stay calm.  He may try to stuff the plug back in the drain a couple of times, but eventually he will stop and instead plant himself face-down on the bottom of the tub in some sort of futile attempt to soak up the last of the water.  Wait it out and have a towel ready.  Once the water is gone, quickly throw the towel over him and attempt to pull him out of the tub.  But be prepared: he's not going to go easy.  He will flail his limbs and clutch at anything he can grab.  Try to keep him far away from the faucet; he's going to turn it back on repeatedly as you try to hoist him on to the bath mat.

© 2017 AJ Filopoulos

When his feet touch the bathmat, he will crumple to the floor in an act of passive resistance and throw aside his towel.  Do not be fooled.  He's not giving up.  You will attempt to wrap him back in the towel, at which point he will spring back into action like the bear from The Revenant, except that he also kicks and I don't think bears are usually known to kick, which makes him even more dangerous than the bear.

This is the part where most parents would apply lotion, maybe some baby powder, throw on a diaper and some pyjamas, and prep for bed.  You should be so lucky.  Skip all of that and take him directly downstairs to the couch.  Once he is no longer on the same level as the bathtub, he seems to forget what he was fighting you for and will sit happily on the couch while you attempt to drip-dry and forget the horrific battle you just endured.

Once your frayed nerves are sufficiently calmed, begin to mentally prepare yourself for the next bath time.  It's coming, and it will be here sooner than you think...


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