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Of Bath Time Schedules – A Comedy

Of Bath Time Schedules - A Comedy

Yesterday, I shared the different stages of motherhood I have been through, and many of you could relate to one or more of those stages.

And now I would like to illustrate how far I have come (drifted?) in my mothering journey with a true story of bath time schedules.

When my oldest child was under the age of two and an only child, we had a very strict bath time routine. In fact, it was more of a schedule, and I can say that with certainty because I actually wrote it down.

Let the overkill of that sink in. I wrote down on a piece of paper what was to take place during my baby's bath time.

I specifically remember the time my mother-in-law was babysitting so my husband and I could have a date night. It never occurred to me that the baby could skip her bath to make it easier on my mother-in-law. She had to take a bath every night. It was written down!

I showed the schedule to my mother-in-law (and I'd like to give her props for not busting out laughing), and it went something like this:

7:30 Begin bath. Free play with toys.

7:40 Wash hair and body. Sing "This is the way we wash our hair..."

7:50 Place foam ABC's in order around tub while singing ABC song. Flick off letters in order while repeating names of letters.

I made sure my mother-in-law knew how important it was to name the letters while flicking them off. "See there where it's written? Don't forget that part." (MAJOR props for not rolling her eyes)

This schedule was faithfully carried out each and every night for at least 2 years, or until some time after I had my next baby. Nothing helps Mama relax her obsessive compulsive crazy train a little like 2 kids under 2 who don't give a rip about what is written down on a piece of paper.

Nowadays, with 18 years and 8 kids under my belt, I have only one bath time rule. It isn't written down, but instead proclaimed whenever I deem it necessary to throw a couple of kids into the bathtub (when they are visibly grubby or noticeably smelly).

Use soap.

If there's one thing being in the refining fire of parenting will do, it is crystallize what is important and what is superfluous.

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  1. I don’t think I was ever that obsessive, but I did sit next to my daughter to entertain her. Last night my boys got a soak in the tub because they were covered in marker-I figured it’d help a little. One still has marker on his face, just not as dark now.

    • FYI – plain old toothpaste (not gel) will take marker off of skin. Wish I’d learned that with kid #1, not kid #5. :)

  2. I remember filling my bathtub weekly with a bleach/dawn solution to scrub all the plastic toys down….this also lasted through only one child and was last done in 2004.

  3. Oh my word. I don’t think I would have been friends with one-child Connie. 😉

  4. My 2 instructions to my children are ‘don’t get water on the floor’ & ‘please don’t use ALL the soap’

  5. You…..did…….NOT?! Connie you crack me up! You were NEVER that OCD growing up girl! Glad you returned to the real world! Haha. And way to go MIL! I wouldn’t have been able to keep my mouth shut or my eyes still! They would have rolled so far back in my head that they would have been stuck there permanently!

  6. Thank you for making me laugh out loud. :-) We have 7 now, and I know I have changed. (Thank God)

  7. Ha-ha! I have never bathed my kids every day, though my preteen sons are now in that groove. They get baths when they are dirty. Which is almost everyday during the summer. Isn’t it funny the things we thought were so important when we had one child, that have fallen to the wayside with subsequent kids.

  8. Oh my! You remind me of me 15.5 years ago with my 1st. Lol! God had to give us a few “more” to break us from our idiosyncrasies, eh?

  9. I don’t think I was ever that strict about bathtime, but during the two years that I only had one child I was a nut about her nutrition. I baked all of our bread (100% whole wheat), nursed her until her sister actually arrived, and made all of her baby food from scratch. NO SUGAR was my OCD point. When she was six months old, my dear MIL handed her an Oreo cookie. I blew up like the A bomb at Hiroshima. Dear MIL did roll her eyes, but she did not shoot me, thank goodness!

    I love your blog! You are so REAL.

    • Talking about family members not respecting ones decisions on feeding, my father gave my exclusively breastfed son a sip of water one night when I was visiting. I was not happy but I didn’t say anything. By very early morning, I received a call from my mom. My father had passed away. Imagine if I’d gone off on my dad the night before over a sip of water. Some things are just not THAT important.

      • You are SO right! But WAY back then I was very focused on the one thing. Now I have grandchildren who are older than my daughter was then, dear MIL has Alzheimers :-(, and my children have managed to serve me a little of my own medicine :-).

  10. Wow. What a bath routine. Bet Mother-in-Law did not follow it to the letter. I know I would not have! And yes, impressive that she didn’t laugh outloud or roll her eyeballs too badly! Bet she laughs over that one now.

  11. haha That’s hilarious! I should get me some foam alphabet letters soon. Now that my son is almost 7 months old, our routine is relaxed a bit more. When he was younger, I was more insistent (to the annoyance of everyone around me) that he nap, etc. around the right time. I’m glad I did, but I could definitely (and will) relax more with the next.

    Nicole @ WKH

  12. I love that you shared this! I was laughing so hard. There is video of me giving my baby his first bath where I was actually referring to a book for each step!

  13. Love this.

    Now I think my only requirement is, “Keep it in the tub!!”

  14. Hilarious! As a mom of 9, I relate! Are you ever a bit envious of women with smaller families who can still have such organized lives? I sometimes am!

  15. I love this! I thought I was obsessive by having a schedule for who goes in when (important when theres more people than baths and days of the week) and folding out each child’s clean clothes into neat little piles for that night to then take in with me when I bath them.

    I dont even think I was that obsessive when I had one, but having more children means more need for obsessive organisation as if there isnt any, there is chaos and everyone looks like feral children who were raised by wolves as more kids means more mess and chaos.

    Although one thing that gets less with the more children you have is those baby book things. The first is filled out all the way through, complete with stuck in photos, the second is done for the first few months, and the third and any more kids will either not get one, or someone buys one and it is still in the box untouched when the kid is off to college.

  16. Love it! SOOOOO true. Except my songs could vary to include “Row Your Boat”. 😉

  17. The only bath time rule I have for my grandchildren is:
    Me: “The water stays…”
    To which they reply: “In the tub!”

  18. This is too funny! Thank you for sharing a laugh! I only have 2 boys and I used to have a strict bath schedule (I had a specific time, that had to be on the dot, and a length of time in the tub, and what to wash, what soap to use…and it was written on the dry erase board lol) now…with the oldest being 7 yo, as long as they stay *in* the tub for 30 minutes and keep the water in the tub, I’m fine :) even if they take a bath right after lunch lol! And props to your MIL, I know mine thought I was crazy when I told her how long and when to give them a bath, but all she ever said was “Okay, will do” 😀

    Happy New Year!