17 Simple Steps to Bath Time, Also Known As World War III

Motherhood is awesome, minus a few annoying things. Obviously, lack of sleep, potty training, and tantrums all come to mind right away. But fourth on this “cons” list has got to be bath time. This cruel, yet necessary, task is sneaky in its awfulness because you’d think it wouldn’t be so hard! In fact, most of us look forward to our baby’s first bath, documenting it with pictures, laughing at spilled water and peed-on towels.

WW3 bath time baby
I mean, come on! How cute is this little guy?

But that sweet little baby who looked so adorable in her tiny baby tub grows up and becomes a toddler who treats the bathtub like their personal swimming pool, complete with diving board. Bath time becomes the most dreaded night of the week. But since never bathing our kids isn’t an option, we all succumb to the inevitable 17 step routine:

  1. You fill the tub with the perfect temperature water, because if you don’t get it just right, you’ll be hearing over and over about how cold it is or be feeling guilty for having burned your kid’s butt.
  2. You try to not overfill the tub because too much water means overflow as she get in, but not enough means she might try turning on the water herself. And even the “just right” amount may not end up being enough once she’s splashed most of it out, anyways.
  3. You’ll probably have forgotten the perfect toy or the washcloth or the towels and will have to dash like a crazy person to the hall closet to get what you need before tantrums begin.
  4. Your legs will definitely fall asleep as you sit on the toilet nearby, to monitor that no one is drowning.
  5. The sentence, “Stop splashing!” will be yelled so many times, without being heeded, that you’ll consider just recording yourself saying it and then playing it on repeat. That way, you can save your breath and turn it up louder than you’d have the energy to yell it.
  6. Because the splashing won’t stop, the whole bathroom will get soaked in a matter of minutes. Which means you are getting drenched, too, since you’re still perched on that damn toilet.
  7. Since you have a kid who’s still too young to wash her own body well enough, you’ll then have to kneel on the hard floor (that moist bath mat only gives the illusion of padding) and lean over the tub in the most uncomfortable position ever. You’ll have to chase down the kid that doesn’t want to stop playing to get washed, which usually results in getting more than just your hands wet, since she won’t stop sliding all over the place.
  8. Your kid will cry and cry about the water on her face, yet refuse to close her eyes longer than two seconds or tilt her head back all the way. So you’ll just have to push through the tantrum, all the while lying about how “almost done” you are.
  9. As you go to wash off all the soap, you’ll wonder if rinsing with the same dirty, sudsy water she’s been sitting in the whole time is counterintuitive. But you’re not willing to waste even more water and time refilling the tub, so you’ll shrug it off. She’s cleaner than before, so it’s still a win.
  10. The water is now clammy cold, no matter how hot you had it to begin with. This makes reaching in to get the last toy or runaway washcloth that much grosser. And yet, despite the lack of heat and overall crinkliness of her skin, your kid will still insist on playing longer.
  11. But now you’re done. You are so done with bath time. It’s been 8 minutes, but to her, it feels like 1, and to you, it feels like it’s been 20.
  12. So then comes the tantrum about having to get out; that fight is always fun.
  13. You’ll grab the towel (which might feel damp because, again, splashing) and pull your soaking kid out of the tub, since she refuses to get out on her own, even after the water is long drained.
  14. You’re not sure how it happens, but while you’re drying your kid off, your arms and legs will get (even more) wet. When did she sit on your lap? Did she? Why must she shake her head like a dog? You’ve given up on trying to stay dry anyways.
  15. You’ll brush the tangles out of her hair, which will make her complain and yell again, but who cares. You’ll either tune it out or yell right back at her. It’s been a long 20 (reality: 8) minutes.
  16. Lastly, it’s the normal bedtime routine, which is honestly a struggle of it’s own.
  17. And then, when the kid is finally in bed and you’re ready to go relax, you’ll pass the bathroom and remember you didn’t clean up the bath time massacre. The puddles of water are everywhere, the washcloth is still clumped in the tub, the towel was abandoned by the toilet.


You’ll handle it tomorrow.

Oh, and I didn’t even mention the possibility of this:

WW3 bath time meme

Heather lives with her husband, daughter and son and has learned to accept that Utah is now her permanent home. Before becoming a stay at home mom, she taught elementary school and loves to use that background to create fun activities to entertain her children. Though staying home with the kids is great, Heather has always enjoyed finding more ways she can keep herself sane, including elaborate cross stitch designs and playing with any puppy she can find. She particularly loves to read and write and prides herself in always remaining honest in her posts about life as a wife and mother, even when the truth is sometimes embarrassing.


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