entertainment or embarrassment

Our only bathtub is broken. Wait, that’s too far in to the story. Sarah’s summer art assignment was a large body of work in a variety of media with a common theme. For reasons unknown to anyone, Sarah chose soup cans for her theme. The last week of summer, with her deadline for completion staring her in the face, Sarah hit a mental wall. I suggested that she change the texture of her cans or that she go through multiple processes to decompose the cans. She hated the ideas. I suggested that instead of putting other things IN the cans, she should put the cans in other things. Obviously, I didn’t think this last suggestion through before making it. The next thing I knew, our one and only bathtub was filled with soup cans and swirls of paint. Then, she dumped a bucket of large gravel from our driveway into the bathtub. She was thrilled. I was horrified. At the end of her day of bathtub art, someone, but nobody knows who, drained the water before removing the rocks and cans. Immediately, the drain was noticeably slower. Two days ago, it stopped draining completely. Which brings us to yesterday.

I patiently waited for Doug to fix the tub or tell me to bathe and then bail out the water. The clock moved faster and faster toward the time when I had to leave the house. Finally, I came up with an alternative plan. I started out by washing my hair in the kitchen sink. I wore a completely unrevealing blue robe and moved as quickly as possible. The very second that my head was completely wet, I heard Amy. “Oh, you guys have GOT to see what my mother is doing.” Out of the corner of my eye, I watched as Amy paraded every single neighborhood child through the kitchen to watch me wash my hair. I got a glob of shampoo in my eye and spent a quick minute rinsing my burning eye. When I looked again my eyes were blurry, but I think I saw the ice cream man, the mailman and Doug watching me. I squeezed my eyes closed and conditioned my hair so fast that my hair probably never even felt the moisturizer come near it. I wrapped my head in a towel and stomped my turban headed self through the living room packed with small children and toys that felt like razor blades as I stepped on them.

I locked the bathroom door. I know that my children have radar that causes alarms of insanity to buzz in their little brains whenever a door is locked, but I took the risk. I proceeded to bathe with a bar of soap and a washcloth in a shallow bathroom sink filled with warm water. Hands and feet are easy. Everything else, not so easy. The door knocking and doorknob rattling began. “Mooom? Mommy?” “Mommy is taking a bath. Please play with your cars for just a minute.” I tried to move faster. “Mom? Why is the door locked? Mom?” “Mommy is trying to bathe.” “How? Daddy said not to touch the tub AT ALL.” “I’m using the sink.” “Mommy, I think you’re too big for our sink and you’re gonna break it.” Did you know that it is impossible to shave your legs when you have goosebumps? Small fingers began shoving matchbox cars under the door. “Mommy? I get cars. Open door.” I always hear about people bathing and changing clothes in bathrooms. Why is this so difficult for me? Is there a how-to guide out there that I missed? I lowered my standards for cleanliness to “depression-era in the Midwest dustbowl” level and went downstairs to get dressed.

You know why that you-tube teen bathed in the giant fast food sink? Because he FIT in it. Truck stops have showers don’t they? I think I’ll take the whole family to the truck stop for baths tomorrow. The do-it-yourself car wash has a dog bathing area. I think that would work for the smaller children. How about borrowing the bathroom in a model home? Didn’t Bob Hope live in a model home in some old movie? I am NOT bathing in the creek.

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