9 February 2011, by Daphne Ling
I’ve finally thrown out my bathtub. Not the baby or the bathwater, but the entire bathtub.
I’ve been wanting to do it for a long time now, because it’s been accumulating algae and fungus at the bottom from being left on the moist bathroom floor for two years. I know the responsible thing to do is to scrub it and hang it up in a dry place after every bath but that happens up to 4 times a day (2 for each kid) in my house and it just seems like an exercise in futility to keep cleaning it and hanging it up and taking it down when I can just leave it there.
At first, when I was still obsessed with de-germinating every surface my newborn came into contact with, I would scrub the tub at the end of every day. Which turned into once a week, then a month, then never. Now it just sits there on my bathroom floor with its algae and unscrubbable dirt, just taunting me.
The only thing that’s been keeping me from chucking the tub out are these happy moments of peaceful coexistence.
That and the fact that my attempts at making them bathe standing up haven’t been entirely successful. They are like 80-year-olds with arthritis whose legs give way after 30 seconds of standing in the shower and they end up sitting on floor. And they keep harassing me for bath toys because “momma, you can’t expect me to just stand here for 3 whole minutes without any toys, right?”
Last Saturday, during our weekly clean up of the house, we decided it was time to get rid of the tub and replace it with a tiny stool for them to sit on during their bath sessions. My bathroom suddenly looks so HUGE and I don’t have to navigate past a minefield every time I need to pee.
And here’s why a stool is so, so much better a bathtub.
1. In and out in 3 minutes flat.
Bathtubs encourage prolonged soaking. A quickie bath defeats the very point of having a tub full of water to soak in. You spend 5 minutes filling the tub, throwing in bath toys, adding a few drops of that organic bubble bath, and you feel like you need to make it count. But with standing showers, the whole point is to do your thing and get out of there in the shortest time possible.
2. 4 words: Poop in the tub.
This is every bit as EEEEWWW GROSS as it sounds. It’s happened to me enough times to make me hate tub time. Once, it happened during a particularly bubbly bath and I didn’t even notice it until I was pouring the soapy water into the drain when I discovered several brownish lumps which I presume have already disintegrated after having been swirled around for half an hour. This was also after I got them all dried and changed. Immediate re-shower.
3. 4 more words: Pee in the tub.
This could be better or worse than having poop in the tub, depending on how you look at it. The good thing is that pee is always less gross than poop – it’s colorless and mixes fairly well with bath water so much so that you usually can’t tell if it has happened. But not knowing for sure means that there’s always the chance they could be walking around all day with a layer of pee residue.
4. Slimy squirties.
They always make these bath squirties look so cute and colorful and you think of how awesome these would be in the bath, squirting fountains of water in all its majestic glory. But what they don’t tell you is that it is nigh impossible to squeeze out every drop of water from these sneaky little water traps. You’ll either be the sucker who spends 15 minutes squeezing squirties after every bath or the sucker who has a bunch of slimy algae-covered squirties after a month; your choice.
5. Save the earth.
Save water, save the earth. Do I really need to explain this? Didn’t think so.
Daphne blogs at www.motherinc.org