First of all, some readers may find this blog post disturbing. This is my real life. Not a ficitional tale. And because of that, I feel compelled to tell it like it is. And this story is exactly that. My life, like it is.
Joey drinks bath water. There, I've said it out loud. Sometimes when I admit not-so-adorable things about my children I feel embarrassed, guilty, or ashamed. Today I just feel relief. My son drinks bath water. I've tried to stop him. I tell him it's "yucky," and not to do it but I'm pretty sure that just makes it more appealing to him. So I ignore him as he announces, "My drink the water, Mom." I continue to act as I can't hear him when he says, "My like it, Mom. My like the water." He'll even go as far as saying things like, "It's not yucky." I've come to learn that this is simply an attention-seeking behavior and the best way to deter him from drinking bath water is to ignore the fact that he is doing it.
He does not drink bath water during every bath. Only on days when he feels like he is getting less than his fair-share of my attention. Yesterday was one of those days. So the drinking of the bath water took place in full attention-seeking fashion. Whatever, life goes on. It's not pretty, I know. But there are far worse activities that my son could (and probably will) engage in, and I'm picking my battles. I bathed all three kids, pulled them each out of the tub to begin getting ready for bed and pulled the plug. As the water drained out of the tub, I tossed the toys into the hanging basket. A duck, a boat, a little pirate guy, some various cups. They all went into the basket. I continued cleaning up as my husband corraled our sweet-smelling children for dressing. I pulled up a corner of the tub mat, gave it a yank, and hung it over the side of the tub to dry. As I did this, something flung off of it. A toy I forgot. Distracted by the noise my children were making in the next room, and thinking of my frazzled husband, I reached for it. Only it wasn't a toy. Nope. It was a poop. A small, marble-sized poop.
"Um, honey? Are the kids dressed yet?" I called to my husband.
"Because I think we should rinse them off."
"There's poop in the tub. I bathed them in poop water."
My husband's answer was that of any typical dad with three small children who would do anything to avoid undressing each child, rinsing them off in non-poop water, and dressing them again. At bedtime. He said, "Well it was probably Olivia's poop, and she was the last one in, and didn't spend much time in there at all."
I responded, "Hmmm. Well that's true. And I had already rinsed Joey off at that point, so he only sat in the poop water for a few minutes before I got him out." This way of thinking was completely rational to us both.
"Right," Ron said. "I think they're fine," he assured me.
We proceeded to put the children to bed, then as we were relaxing on the couch watching American Idol, (in horror) I began wondering if we did the right thing. It was at that moment that I remembered the drinking of the bath water. So today I write this to admit that not only does my son drink bath water. He drinks poopy bath water. And I let him.