When Child #1 (let’s call her “Erma”) was about a year-and-a-half old, something happened where she went from loving baths to hating baths. If you are not a parent or your child abnormally loves bathtime forevermore, then you cannot comprehend the hell and fury of the screamfest a parent must endure for 10 minutes while trying to decontaminate a day’s worth of toddler debris.
For Erma, we attempted to rejuvenate bathtime with the following:
- Bath markers (fun for a while, and almost entirely removeable from tub surface)
- Bath tablets (changes the color of the water so that the water is now red or green or blue, but let us just say that child can change water color to yellow all by herself)
- Rubber duckies (surprisingly messy)
- Bubble bath (unsurprisingly messy)
- Fishing net and fish (used net to bang me in the head)
- Motorized duck in boat (scared the bejeezus out of her)
- Capsules that turn into sponge animals in water (too slow to grow)
- Foam blocks (less exciting than I had anticipated)
- Nonmotorized sailboat (also scared the bejeezus out of her)
- Adding another child to the bath (eureka!)
Don’t tell Sigourney that she was conceived only as a bath playmate, but you know, it worked. Bathtime is a lot more fun with two in the bath instead of one.
“Yay, bathtime!!!!” And then: “Wahhh! She’s splashing me, she’s splashing me! Wahhhhh!”
Still, Erma and baby Sigourney loved bathtime. The word “bath” would send both of them flying towards the loo, leaving a trail of clothing in their wake.
Until. One day. All of the sudden. For no apparent reason.
The instant Sigourney was placed in the tub, she started bawling. Sobbing. Hysterical crying. Standing up and trying to climb out of the tub. Tears mixing with yellow bathwater.
Back to the drawing board, we are re-consulting our list of gimmicks to enhance bathtime for Child #2. We started with bath crayons. They are great — apparently very tasty, judging from the fact that she came out of the bath more colorful than going in.
Meanwhile, Child #1 now insists that she only wants to take showers…