Monday, July 17, 2006

Kelly's World: Rule #247

Bathing your two neediest children while you bathe yourself is NOT a lesson in efficiency. It is just plain stupid.


Saturdays are the days when I prepare for Sundays. In our house, that means choosing church outfits and getting them ironed, sometimes preparing a meal, and getting all the children bathed. And of course, normal every day activities on top of it.

My 3 middle kids: Noah, Caleb and Libby, can all shower by themselves with no problem. Whenever I feel like it, I simply tell them to "go take a shower" and it's done. No work there for me to do.

However, Asher still needs baths.

And, of course, there's Michaela.

Michaela is not the easiest child to get clean. This has always been the case. For example, when she was little, she hated getting her head wet. It was almost always a huge scream-fest to get her hair and face washed.

Time has passed and she's still not too keen on the idea, but she doesn't scream anymore. However, the older she's gotten, the bigger she's gotten, and the more inable she's become. And as time has passed, it's become obvious that the only way to really get her clean without putting my back out was to be IN the shower with her. Forget baths. Anyone with as much hair as her cannot get in the water--hair takes up all the room.

So we've been doing it this way for a couple of years now. When I take my shower on Saturday, she comes in with me. It works for us.

When you've got a 60-something pound child with the mentality of a 3-year-old and the physical capabilities of a 1-year-old, you do what you gotta do.

You adapt.


Well, this past Saturday, I was feeling pretty lousy, kinda sluggish. Not too uncommon in pregnancy, but overall, not condusive to life with 5 kids. I ended up puttering around until after lunchtime, when I finally found the wherewithal to get into gear and get my stuff done.

On top of that, the kids had just finished PB&Js and Asher was a MESS.

A grubby, tangle-haired, dirty-diapered ball of Toddler. There was no way he was getting out of his high chair without a complete overhaul.

And in the meantime, Michaela was still walking around in her PJs, wreaking of urine, soaked with drool.

Chris calls me to say he's on his way home.

I HATE letting my husband see me and the kids and the house like that.

Something had to be done, quick.

So I had a "bright" idea.


"Noah, I'm gonna need you to get Asher after I'm done washing him. You'll have to dry him off and put a diaper on him, OK?"

"K, Mom."

So I get us all in there.

Mind you, we don't have a big bathroom.

So me, Michaela, and Ash are trying to get undressed, and I manage to get Asher disrobed first.

He decides to pee on the floor.

O-k then. Clean up the floor.

Then I get Michaela all ready, me all set, and the shower running.

Problem #1: Michaela has a hard time climbing into the tub. This usually isn't that big of a deal because I brace her and help her in. But now I have an Asher in my arms, so I'm half the woman I usually am. I'm starting to think this was a mistake.

But I can't turn back now.


So I'm trying to get Asher all sudsed up quickly. Meanwhile, Michaela's standing in the back of the tub, starting to freeze from the little droplets that happen to hit her every now and then. So I one-handedly try to guide her down to where the warm water is.

Problem #2: This is no easy feat for a two-handed person, nevermind someone with only one available appendage. Poor Boo has a hard time moving her feet in cramped spaces, and oftentimes gets "stone feet syndrome" where the top part of her will move, but her feet are like stone and stay put. I finally get her to the other end of the shower (mind you--3 feet away) after much cajoling and maneuvering.

But it's slippery down there, and stone feet turn into rubber legs.

Down she goes, falling half way out of the tub.

Ohhhhh, this was a BAD idea.


After much ado, Boo gets uprighted, Asher gets clean, and miraculously, there still seems to be enough hot water for me to take care of myself.

But Michaela prefers to get out of the tub instead of waiting for me to finish, so I help her out and into a towel (Noah's gotten Asher out of the bathroom by now). I firmly instruct her to remain standing on a towel on the floor while she waits for me. Our bathroom is tiled, and I know that her lack of stability on a slippery wet floor would be treacherous at best.

But, like most days, she doesn't listen. And I'm stuck in the shower, all but helpless to go grab her. Noah, who knows she's not supposed to be wandering around with just a towel on, tries to herd her back into the bathroom and onto the "safe" towel.

But on the way she slips and falls.


Not only can Noah NOT get her off the ground, but I'm still in the shower with soap in my hair. Thankfully, she landed on her rear end, and there we left her, until I could get out and hoist her up.

No harm, no foul.

Unless you consider my nerves.

They were officially shot.


Some say rules are meant to be broken.

In MY world, rules are meant to help me keep my sanity.

I've lost so much already, I need to hold on to what I can.

Hence, Rule #247 is on the books and shall remain there until we start seeing gray hairs.....

...on my kids.


Dana said...

Thank goodness for Noah, he is such a little man! Poor Michaela and poor you. Thankfully you all are no worse for the wear and I suppose have learned a lesson from your new rule ?!? At least in the end your goal was accomplished, you all were clean and unharmed!

Brooke said...

What Thank God for Noah! :) It sounds like -if you could make room for it -you need a bath seat for her and one of those grippy mats. And a new back for you. :) Luv you, Kel!

baSfsoGp said...

And I suppose Rule #247 is that you'll be bathing the kids one at a time from now on?

Kelly said...

Actually, I think I'll just stick to my normal routine:

Asher gets a bath in the sink, NOT with me and Boo!

jaim said...

Too funny kell, you make me feel better.We have one of those days a couple times a week. But we live through them,huh,and can even smile and laugh the next day!!!!!

JeniBeans said...

Fun post, Kell, though I'm sorry it was at your expense. Did that make sense? hmmm.

Love you man...and isn't it nice to have "big helpers"?

FloraBeth said...

How does that statement go...

"Two steps forward 3 steps back"

It seems everytime I try to get in a hurry at work I leave later than if I would have just slowed down and get things done at a normal pace...But us women have a tendency to "superwoman" things...What can we say...We try...Right?