As 7pm rolled around I felt myself becoming more and more irritated. I realized that the girls would NOT be asleep by 7:30 and I still had to conquer bath time, story time, and the dreaded wait–for their little legs and arms to stop squirming and finally rest for the evening. As all moms know this is the time of day where you can see the light at the end of the tunnel but you know far too well that tranquility will not come gently.
As I ordered my oldest girl to head to the bathroom and undress I wrangled my littlest who was at the moment resting all of her weight onto our mini dachshund (Aoki) and squealing, loudly. I could tell Aoki just loved this (not) by the way she was trying to army crawl out from under her. As I lifted Little Woman 2 into my arms she clinched onto Aoki’s fur with both hands. Poor dog. I switched on the bath water and began loading the two girls in. I like to do bath time like an assembly line. I usually give them about 10 minutes to play and splash then it’s time to scrub and jump out. About twice a week I allow them to get all prune-y and drown the bathroom floor in sudsy bath water, but not most nights. The evenings are “my time”. The time where I try and recoup my sanity, catch up on work, and enjoy silence. I love my girls to no end, but they know how to wring every little bit of energy out of me, especially when their papa is out of town. I promise you, my 3 year old is ready for a lead position with the FBI. She is a machine-gun interrogator that takes her “7 am till whenever her curly locs hit the sheets” job seriously. And she does not accept one word answers. She want’s to know who, what, when, where, why, explain further and if she can do it too. By 6pm my brain is feeling the burn and ready for a water break, or in my case wine and mochi break. So once dinner is done I’m ready to wrap up story time and tuck them in ASAP.
But on this particular night as I began barking my typical orders, a radical thought came to mind. Why not get in the tub with them? I quickly tried brushing away the thought. But it wouldn’t leave. I thought to myself, “Well, I’m going to need a shower anyway. And who knows the last time I’ve actually sat in a bath tub.” So I did just that. I told Little Woman 1, “I’m getting in too.” Her eyes widened. Have you ever seen that look on a kid’s face when you do something oh so, kid-like? Where you see your child realize that you’re not just mommy, but somewhere inside you, a fun goofy lady? Like when they catch you sneaking sweets from the pantry or see you do a cartwheel. That look. She was so excited. She scooted her little bum over and told me that I should sit between her and Little Woman 2. And that’s just what I did. I squeezed my booty right between the two of them. Yep, we were crammed like canned sardines in water but they didn’t care. Little Woman 1 asked if I wanted any toys to play with and I said, “sure”. I played around for a bit with them and then washed each one slowly. Finally washing myself. And surprisingly, it went smoothly. There was no fussing when it was time to get out and I actually felt more calm. Who would have thought?
It’s so hard as a mama to take each moment as it comes. We so often are looking to the next task and with good reason. There’s so much on our shoulders and many tasks that won’t get done if we don’t initiate or follow up on them. So don’t feel bad for not bathing with your kiddo or getting down on the floor to play with them, but the next time you get a little nudge on the inside to do something that will lovingly shock your kiddo, I would encourage you to go with it. Who knows what may come from it?