"I gave her a bath," I said long ago to my husband, referring to our daughter.
"Great. How did it feel?" he asked.
"Um, good for her, I guess."
"You didn't go in with her?"
"Go in with her?"
"Parents in Sweden always take baths with their kids when they are little."
Well, bully for them, I thought. Baths for this Midwest, US of A girl meant, at its most collective, possibly three kids in the tub at once regardless of gender but, if memory serves, moms used this time to finish the dishes, the laundry, or a martini. The thought of my father undressing to join me or any one of my brothers in the tub is just so comical a concept that I cannot even get on to the point of icky. I keep chuckling just thinking about it. Dad and his underpants.
But over time I usually think about my husband's comments such as these, and think, well why not. I mean, being uptight, prudish and repressed has never really gotten anyone anywhere except maybe the state penitentiary for lewd and/or lascivious behavior, or in front of the camera asking for money on behalf of a television ministry, and then
the state pen. So I have learned to be a little relaxed about some things. Why, just two days ago when the youngest shot out of the house buck-naked except for her polka-dot rain boots to play in the backyard, I waited a whole five minutes before I told the no-longer-a-toddler, "Hey, get back in the house and get some clothes on."
Last night, when she asked if we could take a bath together, my eye twitched and I said, "Sure." It is a simple routine. We play a game of What Letter Am I Drawing on Your Back two times each and then I explain to her that I must go find my martini. Things were going according to plan, until I found this white, heart shaped bar and, thinking it was soap, started to rub it into my daughter's back as part of the "clean the chalkboard" part of our letter game.
This stuff was incredible. It felt something like wax, or more as if wax were mixed with softened butter. When you rubbed it into the skin, it was so easy to massage. Instead of the alphabet game we just took turns with the bar, on our arms and necks and faces, and then each others' backs. It wasn't until she was cozy tucked into her bed about to read a story, when we noticed the light on our skin. We were covered in glitter. Not subtle, "I am going out and I want my skin to shimmer" sparkle. No, this was more like, "Do you like my sequined sweater" glitz. I have taken two showers and I am still a party animal.
I am wearing a turtleneck to work. And this time, I swear, I will stop listening to my husband.