A: Yes, really. We live in a 2.5 BA colonial, and obviously the .5 bathroom does not have a tub. Somewhat surprisingly, the bathroom in the master suite does not have a tub either, just a shower. The only bathroom with a full tub is the one that might be referred to as the main bathroom, the hall bathroom, or as we call it, the kids’ bathroom.
Q: How does that work out?
A: Pretty well, honestly. I very rarely take baths, whereas two out of three of our children take baths exclusively (the eldest goes back and forth). The kids’ bathroom is where the kids take their baths, so it lines up fairly neatly. The only major challenge comes on those semi-frequent occasions when my wife wants to take a bath.
Q: Why is that a challenge?
A: Because before she can take a bath she has to excavate about a metric ton of stuff out of the tub.
Q: What kind of stuff?
A: Playthings. Our kids consider bathtime to be an extension of playtime, and in fact it is sometimes difficult to convince them to put down the toys long enough to soap them up, despite that being the ostensible main purpose of a bath.
Q: OK, they love their toys, but a metric ton? How many toys do they really need in the tub?
A: Need? Not that many. Want? As many as will fit.
Q: Can you break down the kinds of objects that might be found in your bathtub at any given time?
A: Absolutely, let’s do it by category:
I'M GOING IN! (We had this exact toy at one point. I think we got it at a dollar store. I think it lasted about three days before it broke irreparably.)
Toys, Actual Bath: Squirt the sea turtle from Finding Nemo, a floating book entitled Elmo Gets Clean, various assorted pirate wall clings, various assorted alphabet animal clings
Toys, Beach: a purple pail in the shape of a castle tower, a plastic speedboat
Toys, Not Intended Specifically For Waterplay But Whatever: small plastic sea creatures from a set of 40 (5 each of sharks, dolphins, octopi, seals, crabs, lobsters, starfish and moray eels), Imaginext explorer (used to be a dinosaur rider, maybe?), various assorted Dora the Explorer character figurines, anthropomorphic dump truck
Instruments, Musical: You know those shaker egg things? One of those. No idea how it became a designated bath object, but there it is.
Implements, Kitchen: at least three slotted spoons, one miniature and intended for use in a toy kitchen, two real but long since probably rendered unsuitable for cooking
Q: Can you talk a little more about the alphabet animal clings?
A: Sure. They are big foam animals with letter inserts that pop in and out. The letter corresponds to the first letter of the animal name.
Q: Do you have a full set?
A: Ha ha ha ha ha no. At this point we have, like, the alligator, the bear, the crab, and the J, X and Z. It’s like the first page of a nursery school primer crossed with endgame Scrabble.
Q: Speaking of reading primers, do you have any bathtime-related books, the cardboard and paper kind, not semi-inflated floaties?
A: Glad you asked. We do have a book called Splash which is a very simple picture book. Right now our youngest is pretty into it. It is also a case study in how ridiculous the English language is.
Q: How so?
A: The following pictures come up in the following order near the beginning of the book: frog, fish, starfish, seahorse. Little kids can grok the difference between a frog and a fish pretty easily, I imagine. But then it’s like a deliberate effort to confuse them. Here is a starfish, which looks nothing like a fish. In fact it looks nothing like a living thing, more like a block from the shape sorter. But it’s a living thing. But it’s not a fish, even though “-fish” is right there in the name. Then over here is a seahorse, which looks nothing like a fish. But it is a fish! But it doesn’t have “-fish” anywhere in its name. It has “-horse”. It’s not a horse though, it’s a fish. I think.
Q: So, at some point in the future, when you buy a new house, will the number of bathtubs factor into the decision-making process?
A: I mean, ideally I’d love to have a master suite bathroom with a shower stall AND a soaking garden tub with jacuzzi jets AND a double vanity. But if we find a nice 4 BR that happens to once again have 2.5 baths and only one tub, and also met a lot of other criteria we deemed necessary, then I think the tub thing would be a minor to non-factor overall.
Q: Eventually all the kids will outgrow baths and just take showers with toys anyway, right?
A: Right. And then we can look forward to them all being teenagers at once and fighting over time spent in the bathroom and privacy and all that. Thanks for reminding me.
Q: You’re welcome.
A: That’s not a question.
Q: You’re … welcome?