Family Friday: Magic bathtubs

I think bathtubs are magical. They have to be. Not only are they magical, but the type of magic changes as you age. Which makes them doubly magical, doesn’t it?

When you’re a little one, a bathtub can be anything: swimming pool, skating rink, ocean, gymnastics mat (moms don’t like that one), kitchen to make soups out of bubbles, magic cauldron, baptismal font for your cat (I didn’t try that one, but I heard the story), etc. You were limited only by your imagination. If you visited other bathtubs, at relatives’ houses or hotels, they were even better! This was a different bathtub! Maybe it had special qualities that yours didn’t have.

You get a little older, and a bathtub becomes that thing you have to clean. Hmm, not as much fun anymore. Well, fine, I’ll clean it. Didn’t I used to have fun in this thing? What happened?

You get a little older, and the bathtub shrinks. All of a sudden, you’re hitting your elbows on the walls or the doors, rapping your head against the shower head, knocking your head against the wall when you’re trying to wash lower extremities. I’m sure that the bathtub shrinks, because I haven’t grown since I was a teenager, and I didn’t have all of these bruising-myself issues in my teens. And don’t even get me started on shower curtains that billow into the tub during the middle of your shower and stick themselves to you like an overly-affectionate octopus.

You get older than that, and all of a sudden you have little ones. The bathtub has changed again! Now, it’s a place where the kid can drown or be burned or get frostbite. (Thankfully, the paranoia passed pretty quickly for me.) But, as soon as you have little ones, the bathtub becomes elastic. How does that happen? When I was in it, I was still doing the knocking-against-things routine, and it felt like it was only about two feet long and three inches wide. When I put a child in it, it expanded. Really expanded. Especially when I was trying to wash hair on the daughter who hated having her face wet. Somehow, this little girl could stay in the bathtub but be ten feet past the end of my arms. I’m almost six feet tall, so I have quite a reach. It’s a bathtub, not a swimming pool. How did she get that far away?

Yeah, bathtubs are magical. 😉

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