Yesterday, I gave the boys a bath, and it was a disaster. I dread bath time all the time, actually. Holden is that age where he tries to do everything big boys do, but without any of the coordination. So he loves splashing around in the bathtub, standing up, sitting down, dunking a ball in the hoop, turning over – all while being held in my two hands as I attempt to save him from himself. We have one of those bathtubs with the sliding doors on it, which means I have access to only half the bathtub while Holden has access to the entire thing. I am outnumbered and out-resourced.
Yesterday was especially bad and I spent the entire time nagging, admonishing, and yelling at my kids (“Don’t drink the bathwater! It’s icky yucky!”). After wards, I swore I was done giving them baths. “Sponge baths only for you two from now on!” But then, of course, as boys will be, they were boys and filthified themselves today in the backyard. So of course I gave them baths again.
And today, the boys were the same – Holden on the move, Brandon sucking down bathwater. But this time, I was calm(er). I laughed at their shenanigans and realized how much more fun it is not to ruin their fun. Kids love baths. I get it – what’s not to love? Baths are the best. But damn, I wouldn’t like them if I had some pissed off woman kneeling outside the tub nagging at me the entire time.
Not too long ago, I read this quote: “the difference between an adventure and an ordeal is attitude.” And if I remind myself of that, buckling them into their car seats, errands, hell, even bathtime is an adventure. I’m much too young for acting this damn old, after all. The rest of my life I can be grumpy and haggard. But not while my kids are still filled with joy. I don’t want to rob them of that during this tiny window of time called “childhood” where happiness is the norm, not the exception.