Bathing: The Musical

There are things I didn’t know I’d have to do when I became a parent.

Like teaching children how to bathe.

Or, rather, I knew I’d have to teach them.  Just not how specifically I’d have to do it.

I knew I’d teach kids how to wash their hair and how often to wash in general.

I even knew I’d have to tell kids to wash their private parts.

What I didn’t understand was that there is no room for nuanced instructions during bathing lessons.

For example, I really thought that “OK, now you need to wash your private parts with soap” would be adequate information.  And, in my defense, it worked with my eldest.

Sadly, that wasn’t the case with my next two children.

When Kids 2 & 3 were about preschool age, we moved toward more self-sufficient bathing.

Following the successful bathing model we’d used with our oldest child, we taught hair-washing.  We taught neck, behind-the-ears and knee washing.  We taught leg, elbow, arm and belly washing.  Heck, we even taught between-the-toes washing.

And, for obvious reasons, we told Kids 2 & 3 to wash their private parts.

The thing is, we didn’t monitor this part too closely.  We opted instead to politely turn our backs to model modesty.  We thought we ought to not give our children memories of their parents being way too focused on their… ahem… personal moments.

So imagine my surprise when I noticed that my children were rather odoriferous.

And, by odoriferous, I mean that they stunk.

Like stale pee and residual poo… that most gentle of port-a-potty smells.

Clearly, it was time to go back to the drawing board and be a tad more specific about our training.

So, with our guinea-pig older children well-trained with the knowledge that washing your butt does not, in fact, mean butt cheeks, but instead all the way down the crack-ola and around the poo-hole, we felt equipped to teach our newest trainees to wash themselves.

Cael and Cai, age 3, have taken to this training like…

like fish to water

like dirt to three-year-old twin boys

like slippery to soap

…you get the idea.  They like it.

Cai, in fact, likes it so much that he’s put his new skills to music in an original song that you can listen to here.

In case you missed them, the lyrics are as follows:

I washing my HAY-er.

I washing my HAY-er.

I washing my HAY-er.

I washing my HAY-er.

I washing my HAY-er.

I washing my HAY-er.

I washing my ARM-pit.

I washing my NUDDER arm-pit.

I washing my PEE-nis.

I washing my BUTT-ho-oh-ole.

I washing my HAY-er.

And there you have it.  Bathing: An Original Musical by Cai.

Next step: teach Cai not to go back to the hair after the butthole.

A parent’s job is never done.

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ABOUT BETH WOOLSEY I'm a writer. And a mess. And mouthy, brave, and strong. I believe we all belong to each other. I believe in the long way 'round. And I believe, always, in grace in the grime and wonder in the wild of a life lived off course from what was, once, a perfectly good plan.
9 comments
  1. Funny Fiona! We use the word “bum” around here instead of “butt”. Didn’t know it was just as offensive!!!!
    Hilarious as always, Beth!!!

  2. Much mirth here re the washing of the PEE-nis and BUTT-ho-oh-ole! 😀

    I’ll be showing this helpful resource to my own bath-shy 3-year-old, you can be assured. Thanks for the giggle!

    xo

    PS My mother is also very opposed to the use of the word “bum” (the UK equivalent of “butt”).

  3. Wait until they are 13, and you think you have them taught very well….but then you start to notice that lovely parfum de latrine when they sit next to you. You cannot take them into the shower and show them where they are missing, nor can you do it for them…

    Luckily, my children have a mother who wanted to be a doctor when she started college, and still has all her textbooks…the ones with the great pictures…of trench foot, gangrene…

    Yeah, they wash now. 😀

  4. OMG that was GREAT!

  5. […] TOTALLY appropriate to assign that stuff to a 4-year-old, don’t ya […]

  6. 🙂 LOL!

  7. PRECIOUS! Yes, definitely need to teach the nothing after the butt-hole bit.

  8. And now Judah is singing the song. Except he says “Bottom”. Because he is his Grandmom’s grandson. 😀

    1. Go Judah!

      Yeah – I should’ve left in the disclaimer at the beginning of the post that informs the reader that use of the word “butt” is not only NOT my mom’s fault but also expressly against her rules for raising children. Children who don’t say things like “butt” are much more socially prepared for grandparental interaction.

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