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How To Bathe Boys [Humor]
My First Lesson
It was early spring. The morning sun cast misty shadows on the floor, as it streamed through the fingerprints on the window. Wesley bounded out of bed, leaving a trail of blankets and toys in his wake. He climbed on a chair and pressed his nose to the window for a look at the ground. The puddles were crusted over with ice, but shiny, meaning it would be another glorious day of snow melting into mud!
Stripping off his jammies, he stepped into his snow boots and headed out the door.
I watched in amazement as he cracked the ice on the first puddle and sat down in the stiff sticky mud. A look of pure joy covered his face, as icy water saturated his soggy diaper. His boots lost all function as he packed them with globs of mud. The sun rose higher, melting the icy fragments who shared the puddle with him.
Soon the snow began to trickle and the puddle grew. Wesley moved on to a clear section of the lake, leaving his muddy boots and diaper behind.
Bacon, eggs sizzled in the pan as biscuits rose tall in the oven. Breakfast would soon be ready. I called my little son to come eat, gingerly picked him up, and took him to the tub for a quick shower. However, after a few moments, I found that some of the mud was stuck fast. My washcloth was covered in grime, its color no longer recognizable, and repeated rinsing was not helping. At. All! Grrr… “Honey! Turn off the skillet!
Glancing around, I spied my fingernail brush. Grabbing it, I began buffing his hands and face. S l o w l y the mud fell off in chunks, clogging the drain. The muddy water began to pool around his feet. Feeling, in the form of needle pricks, returned to his toes. He sent up a howl.
Cringing under his ear piercing screams, I franticly scrubbed his body. His neck and shoulders appeared, then his arms and tummy. Just as I began to perceive victory, the mud quit coming off.
I scrubbed harder. The water has now risen over his toes and feeling must have reached his knees – judging by the way his screaming increased. My poor little brush was choked with mud. My husband was at the door, a look of horror on his face and a question about breakfast on his lips.
I grabbed the blackened washcloth, fished the mud away from the drain, and lobbed chunks into the trashcan. Drenched and out of patience, I looked around for anything that would remove the remaining mud from my son’s body. Like a caveman, frantic for a hammer, my gaze swept the bathroom – the toilet brush!
Forcing the mud-ball to stay in the tub with one hand, I lunged with the other, and got my prize! The stiff brush was made just for scrubbing away gross, untouchable things -- it worked beautifully!
As pink skin appeared, I cleared the muddy chunks off of my long-handled wonder tool with a bang, cleared the drain again, and found a clean washcloth. Through the mist of victory, I realized that at some point, my husband’s screams had joined those of the baby’s….
Sensing an end, or was it the screams of his father? Wesley calmed down, allowing me to soap and polish him. As the last traces of mud disappeared from his body, he smelled the food for which he had been called, and became docile. I wrapped him in a large towel to soak the excess water from his drenched body.
Hugging him close, I could smell pure boy; despite the lavender scented shampoo. Over his sweet head I surveyed the damaged bathroom, and vowed to find a better way. In the background, like a distant memory, I could make out a man’s voice rambling incoherently… something about cold biscuits, toilet brushes not intended for bathing and the cost of replacing plumbing…
Desiring him to shut up, I inhaled lavender (it has a calming effect, you know), sighed, smiled at my husband, and asked in my sweetest, most endearing voice, “Would you prefer to bathe him next him?”
His droning turned to sputtering as he offered to reheat breakfast while I finished with the boy.
**No toilet brushes were harmed in the cleaning of this boy.**
What I Learned
This incident* took place several years ago, as Wesley just turned eight; but, that morning I came to two important conclusions:
- No mud before breakfast, even if it takes a deadbolt to keep the children in.
- Remove as much grime as possible OutSide!
*This storey has been somewhat fictionalized, for lack of thorough note taking.
As infants, the only difference in bathing boys and girls is the return shower option sporadically available on boys. Therefore, if you are bathing an infant boy, I recommend you hold his feet in the warm water and wait until he has blessed his diaper, before you fully undress him. After that, he is ready for his bath, and you won’t need one in return. For further information on bathing infants, see here.
As infants become babies and babies toddlers, the differences between boys and girls begin to emerge. Boys are magnets for dirt, collecting it from every source, even perfectly clean floors.
Bathing Supplies List
By the age of two, I highly recommend the following list of cleaning supplies for bathing your boy:
- Garden hose with spray nozzle
- Safety Goggles
- Wire brush
- Scrub brush
- Old towel or burlap bag
- Lye soap
- Wash Cloths
- Bath Towel
Over the years (I have five boys under the age of 10), I have put together an effective system for bathing boys:
1. Inside, run a tub full of warm water, set out the lye soap, washcloths, shampoo, conditioner, lotion and soft bath towel.
2. Outside, spread the tarp out near your back door, as a mat to protect the lawn or patio from mud.
3. Set your brushes close at hand, along with the Goop and burlap bag.
4. Attach spray nozzle to garden hose and turn on the water.
5. Call boy for bath time. Have him take off all muddy clothing, put on safety goggles, and stand on the tarp.
6. Using the garden hose, remove as much mud as possible, working from the head down. The wire brush will speed removal of clay baked to the boy by hours in the sun.**
7. When nearing the skin, switch to the scrub brush and continue hosing and scrubbing until you can tell the nationality of the boy you are scrubbing.
If, at this point, you discover you have been bathing your neighbor’s boy, send him home to his mother, and whistle again for your son.
8. If grease seems to be part of the goo attached to your son coat him in Goop.
9. Grab the burlap bag or old towel and use it to wipe the remaining mud off your son.
10. Leaving the muddy bag on the tarp for later, escort your son to the bathroom, and into the tub.
Do not allow him to touch anything along the way.
11. Begin with lye soap, and scrub until he is his god-given color. Continue as normal.
12. Your boy is clean, but before allowing him to dress, apply an ample layer of lotion to counteract the drying effects of mud and lye.
I realize this may seem excessive, but remember, not every step is needed every time. Use your own judgement, and get that boy clean!
** Avoid scrubbing too many layers off. Contrary to popular belief, boys do not enjoy bleeding.