It's bedtime. Everyone is either in bed or in their bedrooms reading.
This is a time when I think it's safe ... I'm getting in the bath.
I run the water, throw in some lavender epsom salt or essential oil. I disrobe and slip into the hot water nice and slow. I take a deep breath and close my eyes.
"MOM!!! You're taking a bath?!!! Why??"
Ummm, because I wanted to!
I know what's coming next and I'm already rolling my eyes and gritting my teeth.
"Can I get in with you?"
Does anyone else have this problem? Or is it just me? Honestly, I just want one second to relax and it would be nice if I could pair that with no questions, or at the very least not have someone melt down in total hysteria because I got in the bath.
I'm already formulating my answer to the imminent question, even before it is asked.
If you, too, have this problem, maybe my reasons why the children can't get in the bath with me may help you.
Here you go:
1. Because you're: 6, 8, 10 ...
2. Because you're a boy - I feel really bad about playing the gender card, but boys of a certain age don't need to be bathing with their mother. It's weird and you may need therapy later in life.
3. Because I was going to shave my legs and I don't want to have to lift my leg up over your head. Awkward!
4. Because there's not enough room. I can barely lay down and, no, I don't want you to sit between my legs. Once you're out, you're out!
5. Because mommy would like to be alone. There, I said it! Just for five minutes. I need to think up new stories to tell you ... or just stare at the ceiling. Whatever.
After the fit that follows, usually including a question of my love for them, I usually conclude with the compromise of:
Here, you take it and I'll get out.
Happy bath time.
Jen Reekie was born and raised in Quincy and received a communications degree at the University of Kansas, which has come in quite handy as she communicates every day with four children who don't hear a word she says. This stay-at-home mom enjoys the challenge, though, and shares her experiences in this blog, "Mum's the Word." She welcomes your feedback, questions and stories about staying sane while raising kids.