Thursday, October 19, 2006

Coming Clean

One of the first signs of depression they say (whoever “they” may be) is the failure to bathe regularly. I wonder if “they” were ever the parents of small children.

It is embarrassing to admit that my bathing habits have taken a hard hit during the last couple of years—basically since the baby got mobile—and I’m not as clean as I’d like to be, most of the time.
Fortunately I have “camp hair” as our friend Sheila calls it, the kind of hair that doesn’t show dirt, remains springy if not vibrant, and can be pulled into a pony tail on a bad day. But that doesn’t excuse the rest of me.
Luckily I come from non-sweaty stock, but still, ewww.
It is a question of priorities really. I could bathe more often, but someone always seems to be already in the shower when there is a moment sans small one, or I am having a writing moment, an artistic moment or getting some well-deserved sleep. Getting up extra early to shower is a fine idea but I seem to already get up extra early to write, get zen time before the treadmill starts and I’m always afraid Junior will awake, discover he’s hungry and decide to cook a meal while I’m covered in water.
He’s taken to magically appearing at odd moments.
One of the things I’m historically bad at (and aren’t most of us?) is asking for help. A few minutes of supervision by a sister is a small thing to ask, and requesting a scheduled shower with the wife on duty seems simple, until she’s scooting out the door, late again, or the sister is emotional about homework, hormones or helping.
Supervision is definitely needed. Our super child scales cupboards, climbs television cabinets and opens locks with lightening speed and no sense of possible danger.
So I’m bathing with him these days.
This is a good thing in that he gets bathed, and I get bathed, and we even get to pat ourselves on the back environmentally by sharing the water and electricity involved.
It is a large tub, so there’s not too much togetherness, and we tend to chat while bathing, which is a good thing for a three year old boy. He also considers this time as playing together, which is good for my emotional bank account with him, which drains during parent/child tussles and refusals to pull cookies out of thin air.
Before I know it he will be reliable enough to leave alone for ten minutes, with a few security additions, and I will bathe alone once more. But until then, bathing with company will do the trick and keep me clean enough for government work.
Or so I hope.

On the easel: Blue
On tape: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
On the nightstand: No Plot, No Problem—A Low-Stress, High-Velocity Guide to Writing a Novel in 30 Days by Chris Baty and Raising Your Spirited Child
On the desk: eHow to Undermine your Co-parent’s Authority
On my mind: my Nanonovel’s main character: Gillian Hale, surviving next week as a single parent, finding time to work, make a Christmas list

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