Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Do you want a toy bath or a fast bath?

In our home, we have degrees of bathing. I’ll explain.

First, we have the cat bath. This is usually performed with baby wipes, or maybe a damp cloth. Rarely is the child completely naked and rarely is the child thoroughly cleaned. This is usually done to get out the door quickly. Buzz and I often employ this type of bath before church on Sundays.

Next up is the waterfall bath. This involves lots of screaming from both kids because they both hate it. Who knew that water streaming down from the shower head could impose such torture on my two blue-eyed angels? In a nutshell, we put them in the tub, both naked, both standing at the same time, turn on the shower head, and spray them off. If we have time, we use a bit of hair/body wash. If not, no one really knows.

Ahh, a close cousin of the waterfall bath is the fast bath. The main difference is that instead of using the shower feature, we let the bath water run while the kids sit and/or stand (usually some of both). We quickly wash them down and instead of hosing them off with the shower. We use a cup to rinse them off. Spark doesn’t mind so much, but Flower has a screaming fit.

Finally, we have the spa deluxe bathing experience, aka toy bath. I fill the tub with warm water, often adding some California Baby aromatherapy bubble bath (which comes conveniently packaged with a bubble wand, so if I’m feeling especially loving and generous, I’ll blow a few bubbles and let them gently cascade down to my children’s noses). I get out the big bucket of bath toys and add them to the tub of water, bubbles, and children. I gently wash their hair, scrubbing behind the ears while they are distracted, and use a soft sponge to clean their 2000 parts. Even though Flower doesn’t care too much for a bath, Spark loves a toy bath, so he’s allowed to stay in the bath and play a while as long as he doesn’t splash water onto the floor or drink "butt water," which he tries to do over and over again. One night, in fact, we forgot he was in there for about 90 minutes. Talk about pruney fingers!

I have found the best thing about having these levels of bathing is that I can use it as a reward (bribe) or punishment (threat) for Spark because we’re all about bribes and threats in our household.

“Spark, you are doing so well at helping Mommy. You are going to get a toy bath tonight.”

“Spark, if you don’t clean your room, you won’t have time for a toy bath.”

“Spark, if you don’t stop dragging your sister down the hall, you will have to take a fast bath tonight.”

“Spark! You poured milk in the pencil cups on your art desk again??? I’m putting you in the waterfall bath NOW.”

You think I’m mad? Nah. These methods work surprisingly well for me. Spark loves his bath so much, generally, he’ll do anything to preserve it. Of course, I might have to explain why he has an irrational fear of showers when he’s older.

I'm participating in Works for Me Wednesday at We are THAT Family's blog carnival.


Beth said...

Nice! I think we need to implement that. Bathing is an Olympic sport around here with three little ones splashing and rotating in and out of the tub. Now I just need to figure out how to keep my 13 month old SITTING in the tub!

Everychapter said...

So funny! Thanks for the tip. We use degrees too- hadn't thought to use them as threats/treats though. :) Love your writing style- I'll be back.

Everychapter said...

So funny! Thanks for the tip. We use degrees too- hadn't thought to use them as threats/treats though. :) Love your writing style- I'll be back.

Hadley Coble said...

that was a great read!

sometimes we have the "get out of mommy's hair bath"~it includes bubbles and toys, but no scrubbing!

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