There are certain parts of parenthood that should be easy, but they’re not. Because there are a million components to every event that you don’t even think of, and that no one could possibly tell you to expect.
Things like bathtime, which should be effortless and relatively quick. Except that it’s not.
The other night I wasn’t even planning to give anyone a bath, preferring instead to keep them as dirty as possible (or at least their hair as dirty as possible, because, remember, lice like clean hair) but they were rolling around in the leaves in the front yard and so, just, you know, there could have been a spider or something in their hair. I had to wash it. Plus, I kind of felt like it might be weird to send them to school the next day with little pieces of leaves and twigs and stuff tangled up in their hair. So fine. Up to the tub for a “quick” bath.
First things first, though, the obligatory fight over who “gets” to sit in the front of the tub and who “has” to sit in the back. (Somehow bathtime seating location is, apparently, a fight to-the-death, life-altering event.)
On the bright side, the laundry is in the bathroom with the tub so I was planning to bang out two birds with one stone. Except while I was paying attention to folding someone’s skivvies, my 4-year-old dumped the entire bottle of kid soap into the tub. The bottle that I just bought the day before. Sure the overflowing bubbles were kind of cool, but I knew that trying to rinse their bodies and hair clean was going to be a nightmare of epic proportions (like it was the last time she dumped the entire bottle into the tub.) Nightmare. But whatever. Wash, wash, wash. Rinse, rinse, rinse. Done. Quick fight over who gets the “good” towel and who gets the “crappy” towel. A little crying thrown in there for good measure…and MISSION COMPLETION. The quick 15 minute bath took 45 minutes, there is water everywhere, and removing the soap scum that is left over in the tub is most likely going to be the death of me. But they are clean. Their hair is dry, their jammies are on, and they smell yummy. Except…except…wait…what was that? What did I just hear a little voice say down the hall? Did I just hear the words “hair” and “gel” in the same sentence? Oh hell no. No. Nooooo! Run back to the bathroom, but too late. The 4-year-old, who is usually quite normal when she isn’t dumping entire bottles of soap into the tub, and who was JUST standing on the stool admiring herself in the mirror, has decided that a little hair gel might be the way to go 5 minutes before bedtime. And if a little is good, a lot is GREAT. I’m talking a handful of hair gel in the front of her hair (just the front), which is parted in a weird way (and will now be shellacked in that wierdly parted way probably forever.) And just like that, the 45 minute bath was all for nothing. There is nothing to show for it except one clean 6-year-old in the other room, a trashed bathroom, and soap scum. Tons of soap scum. Somehow bathtime has made even more work for me to do. Because EVERYTHING makes more work in the end. That’s the part of parenthood that no one tells you. *sigh* I should have just let her go to school with sticks in her hair.
Here she is in all her gelled-up glory. I assure you, she really is quite normal…
No, seriously. She is. Oh, and did I mention that she put eye black tattoos under her eyes? And I can’t get it off?