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Chronicles of Parenting

Chronicles of Parenting: Bath Time Hazards

by Jocelyn Jane Cox
As much as you (and they) may want to avoid it, your kids have to get cleaned every once in a while. Whether you tackle this project at the end of the day, or first thing in the morning, you have to stay alert because there are risks involved. Here are just a few:
Tsunami: Prepare to get wet. It’s advisable to suit up in a raincoat, umbrella, galoshes, swimBath Time Hazards 2 goggles, and maybe even a snorkler. But who has time for this? At the very least, you are definitely going to get a serious case of Wet Sock, so keep a dry pair in a secure location. What ever you do, DO NOT bring expensive electronic devises such as a phone or a laptop within a 20-foot radius of this event. Or at least keep your phone tucked safely into your pajama pocket.
Prune Fingers: If your child stays in the bath for a long time, their hands and feet will shrivel up, leaving strange patterns on their skin. This will either terrify or delight. The only guarantee is that you will have absolutely no idea how to answer their question, “Why did my skin do that?” Hmm, flummoxed again.
Knee and Back Injuries: Kneeling beside the tub for an extended period of time might interfere with any plans you may have of ever walking again. Standing on your feet and bending forward to scrub your little bundle of bubbles isn’t exactly comfortable either. Older parents across the land can attest that putting a chair by the tub (if your toilet isn’t already located right there) is the only way to remain injury-free while your kid bathes.
Soap and Rinsing Resistance: Scientific studies have not yet determined which is more challenging – the child who will not allow soap to touch their skin, or the child who will not accept that it has to be rinsed off. Researchers have confirmed that the soap resisters can be tricked into cleanliness with soap-based bath bubbles. The rinse resisters eventually agree to getting doused with water once the soap makes painful contact with the eyeballs. Unfortunately, they then switch over to the No-Soap-Ever-Again group.
Bath Toys are Mold Bombs: Those super-fun toys your kid loves to squeeze and swim around with as if it’s the pool party of the century? The inner surfaces of these toys are apparently breeding grounds for all manner of nasty molds. So while you think you’re getting your child clean, you are actually making them more dirty and, yes, possibly sick. Of course, without these toys, there is absolutely no chance of luring them in there.
Excrement Soup: Parents quickly learn that babies pee in the tub, or many of them do, anyway – the warm water can activate that function almost immediately. So parents become inured to a little urine in the water. What’s not so easy to ignore is: poop. The problem with this unfortunate occurrence is that the parent not only has to drain the tub and start the bath process all over again, they may feel compelled to call in a company specializing in toxic waste. And their rates really soar during non-business hours.
Child Hates the Bath: It will be a struggle to get the child into the tub. As referenced above, you will get wet. You might incur knee and back injuries. You might trip over a moldy bath toy as you “escort” your child to the tub, causing your phone to fall out of your pajama pocket and directly into the sudsy water.
Child Loves the Bath: Similarly, it will be a struggle to get the child out of the tub. You will get wet. You might incur knee and back injuries. You might trip over a moldy bath toy as you “escort” your child away from the tub, causing your phone to fall out of your pajama pocket and directly into the sudsy water.
Unexpected Joy: If, for example, your child places a pile of suds on his head and also on his chin, so that he suddenly looks 80 years old, or if he does anything else that you find adorable and funny (not to mention brilliant), you will smile, then laugh, and possibly get a few sentimental tears in your eyes. You’d love to capture this moment with a photo in order to remember it forever. Too bad your phone probably got ruined in that bath Tsunami.

Jocelyn Jane Cox. Photo Credit: ©2015 Dave ZornowFreelance writer and author Jocelyn Jane Cox reports on the Great State of Parenthood with advice you never knew you needed and the chuckles you know you really need every other week in the Chronicles of Parenting. Her 2012 humor book on life in the New York suburbs, The Homeowner’s Guide to Greatness: How to handle natural disasters, design dilemmas and various infestations, is available on Follow her on Twitter at @JocelynJaneCox.

The Chronicles of Parenting are sponsored by children’s performer, Danna Banana, DannaBananaLogowho plays “music for kids that parents can stand.” He’s written for Disney and Nickelodeon and played the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. For parties, songwriting, or to learn more about this composer, performer, and Nyack resident, go to Or


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