Piper will do about anything to avoid the inevitable surrender to bed time. It begins with a shower, which is always too hot and too cold. If her teeth need brushed and I’m holding the toothpaste, she runs to her dad. If Dad has the hairbrush, Piper runs to me and begs me to wrestle her tangles. Until she decides I’m doing it wrong and runs back to Dad. And so it goes. Her stall tactics are epic.
Tonight she ran from the post bath lotioning ritual. “I need a hug, Mom. Dad’s putting on too much lotion. I’m all slick!” Piper slid into my lap.
“Ah,” she exhaled, wrapping my arms around her. “That’s the sugar!”
Piper’s dad has always been in charge of bath time. It’s not a soothing, calming, get ready for sleep ritual. It’s a play, splash, dump water on the kids time. Dad has a big plastic cup which he empties all over Piper’s head without warning. Much of the water ends up on the floor. We don’t have tear free shampoo nor bubble bath. Piper and Sissy grew up this way. When other kids timidly blew bubbles at swim class, our girls dove in. For better or for worse, this is bath time in our house. Last night I overheard Piper inquiring about his techniques.
“Dad, where did you learn how to give baths?”
“Well, you just kind of figure it out. Also, we took a childbirth class before Sissy was born. They teach you stuff like baths and diapers.”
“This is how they told you to bathe us?”
“I think so.”
“Dad, you might need a refresher course.”
Here’s a conversation I overhead last night when Piper’s daddy was giving Piper a bath.
I was, of course, hiding in the other room
checking Facebook catching up on work email.
Piper: “Dad, do you want to play 50 questions?”
Dad: “Do you mean 20 questions?”
Piper: “You’re right. That’s too many. How about 1 question?”
Dad: “Okay. One question. I’ll start. Do you ever pick your nose?”
Piper: “Yes. A lot.”
Giggle. Giggle. I think I heard Dad high five her.
Dad: “Okay. Here’s another one. What’s the last thing you think about at night?”
Piper: “My family. Or what I did at school that day.”
Dad: “Your turn.”
Piper. “That’s more than one question, you know. Don’t you know how to play this game?”