Bathing is something we think about surprisingly often as mothers. Sponging kids down after each diaper explosion, spaghetti dinner, and marker incident. Wondering if playing in the pool for five consecutive hours counts as a bath for the day (the answer: yes). Doing the math to calculate the last time we showered ourselves (during the newborn days: don’t ask).
I think my youngest holds the record for most sponge-baths in a day: six. Four days is the longest I ever went without showering. I remember my youngest screaming from the pack and play in my master bedroom as I rushed to rinse the shampoo out of my hair but at that point I was all, “You can either have a grumpy mom with stringy, greasy hair right now or a happy mom in five minutes if you just chill and wait for this conditioner to do its work.”
Lately, I’ve been thinking about bathing even more than usual because:
1. I recently went back to showering at night.
2. my kids have replaced baths with showers.
They say you should write what you’re thinking about, and people, THIS is what I’ve been thinking about. Welcome to being thirty-two-years-old with three kids five and under and YES it is always this glamorous. So let’s get to it.
I am not a morning person. Have not, am not, never will be. So anything I can get done in the evenings to free up the morning is genius territory. I want to sleep until the last possible second and roll out of bed only to wash my face, brush my teeth, change my clothes, and run a straightener through my hair.
I’ve been a night shower kind of person for most of my life. All throughout high school and college and even during my early working days, it made so much sense for me to shower at the end of the day. I’m not sure when or why I stopped. But recently I realized that getting up thirty extra minutes just to shower and do my hair in the morning was annoying. I’ve heard that some people like to take showers in the morning because it helps wake them up. Not me. A warm shower makes me want to do nothing more than crawl back into bed. And then all that business about having to get ready. It’s too much, too early.
Showering in the evening after the kids are in bed is glorious. It’s magical. Mamas, there is NO ONE to interrupt you for a snack or ask where their favorite toy is or to ask you personal questions like “where’s your penis mama?” It’s quiet. It’s beautiful. To step into a hot shower at the end of the day is like a mini-vacation. I have time to do a face mask. And then I dry my hair and go to bed (clean!) and in the morning I wake up and I’m pretty much good to go. Life. Changing.
Two things I will never miss about itty-bitty kids: 1. Diapers and 2. Bath time. I know, I look back at the photos, too, and ooo and ahhh over how cute they all were sitting in the tub with the bubbles and the toys and the naked bums.
But there was always all the splashing. And the aftermath where it felt like there had been dolphins doing tricks in my bathroom instead of just a couple of toddlers. Also, they got bigger. And while my kids aren’t all that big — twin five-year-olds and (an admittedly larger-than-average) three-year-old — that’s a lot of kids in the tub together. And sure, we tried bathing them each individually, but then bath time just d-r-a-g-g-e-d on. For an hour. Or more. It was a whole thing.
One night I suggested to my daughter that she could try showering in my bathroom as a special treat. To my immense surprise, she said yes. Then my boys overheard (because of course they did) and said they wanted to shower, too. And…we haven’t looked back.
I never thought we’d be done with bath time this early in the parenting game but I am HERE for it. No more splashing. No more waterlogged bathrooms. No more bath toys cluttering up the tub all day every day (because you know we never got around to picking all that -ish up). No more fights over who sits where in the tub, who gets to play with what toy, and screaming over who gets their hair washed first.
That all vanished. Literally overnight. And it’s the best.
So there you have it. We’re a household of shower-ers at some time of day or other. We’re here. And we’re clean.