Bathing Children 101


My children are filthy. Urpling especially seems to be a dirt magnet. You know, if dirt was metallic and could be attracted by a magnet…or if there was a special magnet that somehow magnetized dirt and then attracted it…that would be Urpling. But the other two are pretty dirty too. I meant to give them a bath last night, but as events unfolded we ran out of time. I decided having more to eat than bread with peanut butter and some bits of chips from the bottom of the bag was more important. I digress. This whole experience led my brain down a checklist of ways I “bathe” my kids when they are starting look (or smell)…………ripe. So here it is, my introduction to bathing your children.

1. The Classic Bath: This is the standard bath you usually envision when you think about your kids taking a bath. It involves water in a bath tub, some from of cleaning product (whether it is chemical free, tear free, or scent free) a washcloth or sponge, and…of course…children. You scrub the kids down with aforementioned cleaning products, rinse them off, and then dry them. This process is usually quite lengthy, and everything gets wet. The floors, the ceiling, the counters, the rugs, the mommy. Yet it is still the classical way to clean your children.

2. The Bubble Bath: It’s similar to The Classic Bath, only a step beyond. You add bubbles. This is intended for fun, but I have actually had a child (or two) who found the bubbles terrifying. Not sure what they thought would happen but I suppose if it looks as though something had invaded the water and made it disappear, who’s to say the same thing won’t happen to them.

3. The Shower: This is actually now my favorite. No standing water for kids to poop in, or marinate in all the dirt you were just trying to wash off. Instead, they all splash around, the dirt (you hope it’s dirt anyway), and they all still get clean. Of course, it helps that we have a ginormous shower (wow…ginormous even registers as being spelled correctly in the spell check…how the world is changing) so all three can fit easily in, and we have a detachable shower head which makes hosing them down easier. Trying to grab kids covered in soap and rinse them off is like mud wrestling a giant trout. Much easier if you can spray them down without even touching them.

4. The Sponge Bath (AKA The Washcloth Bath): Sponge bath sounds better, but if we’re honest it usually involves a washcloth, or wet paper towels…or your finger and some spit. Basically you look at your kid and realize they have huge smudges of who knows what smeared all over their faces. Not wanting to look completely negligent (ignoring the left over sucker residue in their hair…it’s not noticeable so long as you don’t try to brush it) you do a quick once over. Rub off the worse spots so they look only slightly dirty instead of terrifyingly so.

5. The Dog (or Pet) Bath: No muss no fuss. You don’t have to do anything, except direct your adorable little puppy to the small ones face. They’ll get the leftover food off in no time and you’re set to go! (Please, please, please….please, insert the sarcasm font here. I really don’t need a bazillion comments informing me how this is unhealthy, disgusting, whatever…this IS, believe it or not, sarcastic. Although the dogs do lick our kids…often…hmmm…)

6. The Conditioning Spray: Whoever invented this is a genius. This is best used in combination with the Sponge or Dog Bath. This spray helps get rid of nasty tangles, and smells amazing. Just coat their hair in it, and they smell like fresh strawberries and their hair suddenly looks presentable instead of like a ball of yarn that escaped, rolled around a field, then tried to reassemble itself unsuccessfully.

So there you have it…just a few of the ways to keep your kids from looking like they live in an abandoned mine in those moments when you have to leave the house. What are your tricks?


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