Or I guess I should say ‘Showertime!’ since our bathroom is still (!!!) under construction. (But getting closer every day–honest! Seriously–I can see daylight in this matter!!!) Anyway, Squish has come down with a case of pee-pee irritation–it basically means she can’t hold her pee-pee for squat, and is going through clothes like you wouldn’t BELIEVE. The doctor blamed this on a lack of a bathtub (and I have to admit, I felt a certain amount of grim satisfaction when passing this info on to Mate) and told us to throw warm water on it and pat-pat drop. (I only wish I was kidding.)
But in the meantime, when passing this on to the babysitter, our bi-nightly shower ritual came up, and I realized (with a certain sense of wonder) why I had gone from bathing the children every night to every other night.
Like with so much of my life, I can blame Zoomboy.
Over the years, Zoomboy has developed a bath time ritual beyond compare–every step is exacting, and absolutely unskipable. It’s a moral imperative. Some of you are going to say “good mom!” for helping him come up with every item on this list. Most of them came from Mate. I would have Mate take over the ritual for a day or two, and I’d come back and it would be longer. Thanks, Mate!!! (He is a good Mate, isn’t he?)
So here it is– how to give a boy a shower.
1. Tell him it’s shower time.
2. PIck up his clothes from the living room or kitchen floor where he dropped them as he got naked.
3. Chase him around the pantry in a roaring game of ‘Dinosaurs’.
4. Chase Squish too–she’s naked by now, but her clothes are tucked somewhere in the mess of the living room where they will not be rediscovered until she has grown out of them.
5. Eventually aim the dinosaur victims down the hall, where they will crawl on our bed and put a pillow over their bare asses, saying “Look for us! We’re hiding under rocks!”
6. Pick up the rocks and say, “We found you!”
7. Stand in front of the mirror while EACH kid takes turns sticking their hands under your arms and saying, “Look–you have six arms! How did you get six arms!”
8. Allow this game to morph into Dinosaur-back-hiding, where you look in the mirror and pretend to look around saying “Where’s Zoomboy! Where did Zoomboy go!”
9. Reach behind you to tickle Zoomboy’s stomach, and say “There he is!”
10. Repeat the process with Squish. Natch!
11. All together stand in front of the mirror and pose for imaginary pictures, including, but not limited to, “one for serious’, ‘one for fun’, ‘showing off the muscles’ and ‘pretending to cry’.
12. Go into the bathroom to brush our teeth–and let the water warm up, because if there is any cold water on the floor of the shower when there is warm water coming out of the shower, the four horsemen of the apocalypse are released. They are later dragged back to the stables when the floor water gets warm again.
13. Put children in shower.
14. Leave them alone with toys for ten minutes.
15. Come back and give them bath sponges, some tearless shampoo, and explicit instructions for where to wash. If you forget to tell them to wash a place for any length of time, you will come back to it and find potting soil has sprouted. Uber-gross.
16. Give Zoomboy to the backwards count of 12 to turn off the water.
17. Hold up your fingers with his and count with him.
18. Hope you remembered to keep the bathroom door closed enough to build up steam because Zoomboy MUST stand on the toilet seat and draw on the steamy bathroom mirror when he is done.
19. Find clothes and lay them out so both children can change when they’re dry.
20. This takes a while, so I usually wander away and forget this step until, a half an hour later, both children are still naked, and the original batch of clothes has completely disappeared into the morass of my room.
21. Repeat 18. This time PUT THEM ON each child personally, in spite of the fact that the children supposedly can dress themselves.
22. Bless the invention of the Disney Video, leave the children for a minute of blissful peace, before going back to lay down with them and watch a little television before going to sleep.
23. Fall asleep before they do. Wake up because you need a shower and your bra is going to be digging a trench in your back-fat if you don’t put on a nightgown.
24. Wonder why you’re so damned tired.
25. Wonder why you no longer give them showers every friggin’ night.