Bath time in our household has now evolved into a complex routine that future ethnographers will no doubt ascribe a huge amount of ritual significance to. Now that all three kids are properly mobile, invariably don’t want to do what you want them to do and just sheer bloody minded, it can take an inordinate amount of patience and effort on my part.
Bath time is normally done in strict chronological order. starting with Ned and working our way up to the older kids. Ned usually fights to get in the bath, demands to play with toy boats, is happy to have his hair washed but has to be threatened with the shower to get him out. While I pop into his bedroom to get him his PJs, Ned almost always makes a bid for freedom, dashing the down the stairs and out of sight- the only way I know where he is is by the shouts of “I naked naked” drifting up the stairs.
Fifi, as is typical for a girl, goes in the bath easily, and only has to be endlessly harassed about not leaving her room looking like a crime scene. And believe me, I know what a crime scene looks like since we were burgled last year. Her bedroom was the only room in the house that actually looked tidier after it had been ransacked.
Last but definitely not least is the boy. The first part of the struggle is getting him up the stairs. This often involves weaselling, threats, and physical manhandling. The second part of the struggle is getting him to get undressed. This can take anything from 5 minutes to half an hour. The third part of the struggle is getting him into the bath- last night for example, he decided to make it a quest to fart in every single bedroom (apart from his own) when he should have been getting in the bath. Once he’s in the bath, it’s often difficult getting him out again. This isn’t because the boy has a fetish about being clean, rather he’s an adept at prolonging the bed time routine and not going to bed.
I must admit on occasion I’ve ended up stomping downstairs part way through the routine, shutting myself in the study and having a bit of a shout because it can get rather too stressful. All in all, the process can take as little as twenty minutes or as long as an hour. No guesses for which it tends towards…