Cleanliness is next to godliness. My children being clean are miracles of God.
There are certain things the children here need to do. More often than not, whatever the task, I tell them the same thing: This can take 10 minutes or it can take three hours.
Luckily, my children’s showers don’t take three hours. It may feel like three hours to them. For as long as my children have been taking baths and showers, there is some type of mysterious power that makes them forget English, or maybe it’s just the soap and shampoo in their ears.
The process starts innocently enough. I turn on the water. I tell them to wet their hair. This is where the wheels come off. They need a washcloth. The water will get in their eyes and sting them. They’ll jump in the pool without hesitation but water coming out of the showerhead can impair their vision.
Remember the part about forgetting English? We are mastering “Close your eyes.” Basic stuff. I’m still trying to figure out how to say it in English. Maybe there’s water in their ears. I’m not sure. Whatever the problem, the children don’t quite understand what to do in this situation. This is when The Boy runs out of the shower to the closet for a washcloth. If it’s a good day, Spider Man or Paw Patrol are right on top and we can resume. The wet footprints lead him back to the shower, which is now too hot and we have to spend a few more minutes adjusting the temperature.
We get the right temperature (it’s the same one as when he left it but I let him think he fixed it). He has his washcloth and I am ready to wash his hair. But wait. He has to get the washcloth wetter than it was. I’ve already started to wash his hair and he is trying to put the washcloth under the water. Shampoo gets in his eyes. He’s blinded for life for the third time this week and he hates his dad. Screaming. Mayhem. I wipe his eyes with one hand while holding the washcloth under the shower with the other. I wipe his eyes while being told I’m the one who did this to him.
Shampoo is done. A little conditioner. Rinse out the washcloth for the second round. We need a break because he can feel “it” running down his forehead. I try to say, “Close your eyes.” It clearly came out wrong or it was the conditioner getting in his ears. He can’t see. He’s blind.
We’re almost home. I just need to help washing. I reach for the soap. The Boy turns and grabs the body wash. There’s still conditioner running down his fore head and the ground is wet from the running shower. I’m dying one thousand deaths while trying to hold on to his arm while he is reaching for the body wash. Conditioner gets in his eyes. He’s dying. I’m mean.
I finish washing and rinsing. I turn off the water. The Boy turns the water back on because he was supposed to turn off the water. He turns off the water. He runs to his bedroom. I follow him with the towel hoping no one is at the front door, which just happens to have a view of the open bathroom door.