Bath time with two toy-a-holics like my kids can be fun, but trying. Each night it’s a battle of time and patience versus distraction and toy distribution preferences. Often it becomes a fight that leaves me irritated, wet and discouraged, but there are glimmers of success that keep me going, and a few ways I’ve learned to manage the mess.
First of all, we have strict rules about what can and can’t go in the water. The slightest deviation or hesitency on my part is detected and becomes grounds for tantrum.
Second, no splashing. Splashing may seem like fun, but it gets daddy wet, brothers cross and floor tiles ruined. Any hint of splashing must be dealt with immediately. Give an inch and you’ll have an inch of water on the floor.
Third, organization is key. We have two net bags hanging from the towel rack that are filled with bath crayons (ammunition), sponges (WMD delivery devices), foam things that stick to the walls (limpet mines) and small random plastic things (caltrops). When they need a distraction, I upend one of them and dive for cover.
We also have plastic boats that make nice buckets to hold the assortment of larger weapo..er.. toys like cars, subs, water guns and bubble blowers. (Notice I didn’t translate any of those into military items? There’s no need. Vehicles and guns are weapons already!!)
Armed with these rules of engagement (and a few other common sense ones—don’t rub your eyes with soap on your hands!), girded with all the patience I can muster, and wielding two bottles of pump dispensed shampoo, I fight back, hoping that somehow the boys get clean, don’t push each other over the edge and that we don’t mess up the plumbing too badly.
I didn’t cover any new ground here… any mom or dad who handles the baths for two boys knows what I’m talking about. The point is to set up the rules, stick to them, and be patient when it doesn’t work out. If the kids wind up in bed ten or fifteen minutes late, they won’t explode (what was in that shampoo, anyway?). It will only be an issue if you let it be.
So let it be.
Anyone else have some war stories they’d like to share?
This post was inspired by the topics requested in a Bucks2Blog campaign. I was compensated, but it’s the least they could do. I mean… I give my kids baths every night!