By Contributing Mama Karen Palmer Bland
I’m sure that most moms out there would admit (after a glass of wine or half a box) that we all have little “secrets” regarding things we let our kids do. In this case, it’s about things I let my kids NOT do. As in taking baths.
Sometimes I hear friends talk about their daily routine. “And right after dinner, we head to the bath and that’s another 40 minutes….blah, blah, blah.” I always pray that the conversation doesn’t turn to an informal poll about how often we bathe our kids. (I’d hate to lie to people, but jeez, I don’t want a visit from family services either.)
The family next door has a nanny and every day at 4:30pm when we are outside on the swingset, she announces, “Gotta run, it’s afternoon bath time.” I think to myself… hmmm…. I only say that on Wednesdays. Yes, it’s true – I do not give my kids a bath each day. Or even every other day. (It’s all based on the lunar calendar. We are big on giving baths only when there is a full moon.)
And in the summer, moms at the mommy water cooler talk about how it’s such a pain because daily baths are necessary after being outside so much. Don’t these women realize that swimming and sprinkler play count as cleansing? People, summer is the time to REDUCE bathing. Don’t you care about wasting so much water and the environmental hazards of all of the shampoo?
Three kids ago, when I had only one kid, a bath was a fun activity to do. My husband would get in the big spa tub with Rory and we’d have a little party in the bathroom. Three kids later, it’s more like washing the dishes. Get ‘em in, get ‘em out. There is assembly line in our hall with towels and clothing, and it’s anything but fun. It’s about the checklist – get the box checked – get the baths done so that your kid doesn’t become the smelly kid at school.
When I hear the water draining, it’s like sweet music – music that I don’t hear too often.