Friday, September 13, 2013

We May Not Be Clean, But We’re Happy

The kids are bathing less frequently.  So am I.  In fact, the only being in our house who gets regular showers is Tony.  Buster only gets a bath when I can’t stand him anymore, which is not as often as you might think.  I should probably brush his doggy teeth more often, though.


It’s a consequence of having more than one child: you have to let go of some things.  The boys have the same bedtime, even though Jamie stays up later than Charles right now, getting out of bed and running away from me as if it were all a giant game while his brother passes out instantly, and he gets up earlier, letting Charles sleep until he just can’t stand it anymore and then climbing to the top bunk to wake him up.  Charles is never very pleased with that.  I’m tired in the morning, I’m tired at night, and I’m always busy with something.  Bathing is just not priority number one.


Ahh, but I remember the good ol’ days when Tony would take Charles up to the bathroom and be there for half an hour with him while Charles splashed around with his toys.  Now it’s fifteen minutes of horseplay, at least one incidence of crying because somebody kicked somebody else in the balls or threw somebody’s favorite bath toy at dad’s head, and one loud admonishment from Tony to “knock it OFF!” before they are both summarily rinsed and have a bedtime story taken from them in punishment (“No, daddy, I’m sorry, please let me have four stories, please!” “You should have thought of that before you put soap in your brother’s eyes.”).  Not exactly the relaxing and enjoyable half hour it used to be.


So we just don’t do it very often anymore.  The boys exist with layers of sunscreen and dirt and sweat and grime day in and day out until we have time to do bath or I coerce one of them into the shower with me.


My standards of cleanliness are perhaps higher than most other moms: I prefer a clean sink, a made bed, streak-free mirrors, and clean toilets.  I outsource the toilet cleaning and I try, really try, to vacuum every day or two.  The dishes get done several times each day, and I pick up dog poop in the yard on the regular because I don’t want the kids to step in it.  You’d think that I would let those standards fall, and not the standards of personal hygiene, right?  But with the advent of dry shampoo for me and the realization that not only do the boys not care about bathing, but also that they are probably healthier because they let germs fester for a few days on end, well, the choice sort of just happened.  Almost every meal is homemade and I can’t smell myself, so I prefer to think that everyone wins.


I try not to think about it being short shrift for my second child.  He is as much loved as Charles was, he’s just not as clean as Charles was at that age.  I think we might attempt family swim again tonight, if only to let the chlorine do what I can’t motivate myself to do at home.  Hopefully we won’t shut the pool down this time… but that’s a different story altogether.

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