When did bathtime go from being an event to being a (dare I admit it) chore?
I remember when Nolan was a baby, and bathtime was this fun occasion, with bubbles, and toys, and lots of time. Singing, squirting, and waiting until the water got cold to get him out.
I carried on that special time with Ben. We all had fun.
Enter Ryan. Hmm, how do I pull this off, I thought. It was simple...rubadubdub, three in the tub. Sure, it was starting to be more of an assembly line, and there were less toys, but we still played and had fun with soaps that we could paint bodies and the tub with. Afterwards, I'd give Ryan his little baby massage, which he loooved, and rub the bigger boys feet with peppermint foot lotion from The Body Shop--you know, the one that they recommend you keep in the fridge so it's even more aaahhh? It was still a good time, although it took longer. Just seeing those little clean faces and smelling that awesome post-bath baby smell was reward enough.
And then there were four. Four don't fit in the tub, so the big guy was convinced to try the shower instead. Or I wound up doing it in shifts. First the big two, then the little two. Sometimes we'd mix it up, for variety. Ryan had eczema, so I couldn't leave him in long anymore, and bubbles couldn't always be used, so I started buying those tablets that change the color of the water (but leave all other things unaffected). But there were no more toys (no room) and the water was still warm when I got them out.
Now, it's ALL assembly line. I color the water on occasion, but it's pretty much "move 'em in, clean 'em up, move 'em out" then get 'em dressed. And this works, too, unless Nolan decides to take a 25 minute-I'm-the-only-person-in-need-of-hot-water shower. Believe me, I thank God for indoor plumbing everyday, because if I had to resort to the pioneer boiling of water on the stove for a bath way, the only time they'd bathe is when it rains.
I'm embarassed to admit it, but only Audrey gets lotion anymore, which is ok, because the boys, well, aren't into it. Yeah, yeah, they're boys. While they like the shower poufs, they just aren't gonna let me grease them up anymore. I do my part for the smelling good, however, with their shampoo:
Hi, my name is Anna, and I have a problem.
I love shampoo. My kids have too many bottles of it. We could probably wash the heads of Ryan's kindergarten class for a week, and still have some left over. I also love the purple Johnson's baby wash. I have extra bottles of that stashed too.
I am a toiletry addict. I admit that I have a problem, and isn't that the first step to recovery?
I consider it doing my part to instill the joy of smelling nice in those boys, because on some days, they definately smell less than sweet. Don't get me started on how bad their room can get after a hot summer day, extra kids over, with their door closed.
There's a reason that I'm looking into getting that hazmat suit.