I shower religiously. As in, I shower as though obeying an unseen hygiene deity with whom I do not have a personal relationship beyond blind obedience to the cardinal rule: the sun shall not set upon the unbathed. Or something like that. And when the weather is hot, as it finally is, I sometimes indulge in such ablutions twice.
"Katie... how do you do it??" you ask in amaze. Lucky for you, I am finally ready to divulge the secrets of my ritual cleansings:
Plan A: Wake up before everyone else.
- If you succeed, the noise of the water will wake them up anyway.
- In other words, you're gonna fail. So never mind this one, try:
Plan B: Wait till you are alone in the house.
- But you live with four kids!
- Hahahahahaha... Yeah right... Waste time like that on a shower?!? I'm crazy but not insane.
Plan C: Turn on Yo Gabba Dora Dora Caillou. Make sure this show is followed by the equally beloved Ni Hao Charlie and Peppa Pig.
- Note placement of kids in front of screen, ascertaining that they are surrounded by mounds of their own toys, games, play-doh, and semi-washable acrylic finger paint.
- Remove open containers of bleach, large steak knives, or any choking hazards. Get distracted and start tidying up the house in general. Spend 20 minutes doing this.
- Spend 10 minutes settling fights over whose identical doll is whose.
- Realize they have already started their second show, so commence the following steps:
2. Put on bathrobe. Settle dispute where baby chewed on remote and changed the channel. Oldest is thirsty. Get her juice. Youngest wants some too... But now you are out of juice. Get more from freezer, add water, find sippy cup, deliver juice. Get oldest a refill.
3. Return to bathroom. In a fit of optimism, finish disrobing and turn on the shower. Test water with hand.
4. Answer knock on bathroom door. Preschooler needs the potty. Toddler wants to go to. Break up fight over who gets to use the toddler-sized pink potty. Position both on appropriate potties. Praise them loudly and encouragingly. Wipe their bottoms. Replace their soiled undergarments. Deposit them back on couch. Realize its time for another show... Find Wow Wow Pocoyo's Princess School for Tools.
Run to shower. Jump in.
5. Squeal with cold. See that toddler has magically appeared and is gleefully flushing the toilet. Repeatedly. Because you left the door open in your impious haste. Hand her a bottle of shampoo you know she can't open, hoping to distract her enough to shampoo your own hair.
She opens it readily, squirts it over her person, the toilet, and the floor. Slips, falls, screams. You realize you handed her your Pantene Pro-Omega 3 Power-Punch Perfection and are currently applying Suave Strawberry Shortcake scent to your split ends.
Preschooler bolts in to yell: "Mom! The show stopped! Mom! Baby's crying! Mom! I want to take a bath too!"
6. You see the writing on the mirror, done in a azul toothpaste hue. Decide you can dig out some leave-in conditioner later. Surrender the tub to your brood whom you supervise for an hour-long warm bath, in which you forget to do anything with your hair at all.
7. Repeat daily.