(Bath) Bombing My Intense Kids

My children normally take showers. On a typical day, by the time Dave and I force them to put down their book/Star Wars figure/sibling, there’s only time to coerce three children to take showers, brush their teeth, and get to bed. Plus they decided at some point that baths were for babies, so they wanted to take showers.

My six year-old-son, however, had developed a permanent stain on all of his toenails, apparently from the brown dirt at the camp playground this week. I thought this might warrant a soak in the tub. So I helped him get the tub started and asked if he wanted a bath bomb.

A: “It’s a bomb? Is it going to explode in the water?”

Me: “Well, yes it’s called a bomb, but no it doesn’t…”

A: “Cool!”

He was slightly less excited after I explained what actually happened, that you dropped an enormous round ball in the tub and it fizzed. But, he was cooperative and got in anyway. H and E, his older sisters, heard the commotion and demanded a bath bomb experience as well. I handed each of them a “Lush” bath bomb, and between both tubs in the house, everyone got their turn in the water over the next hour.

As a background, our family is always more relaxed in water. We spend a great deal of our time swimming year-round, and the surest cure for our cranky, irritated family is to get in the pool. (The ocean, interestingly, has the opposite effect – too much imagination – we like to see the bottom of where we are swimming.)

I was interested in how much the entire experience served as a balm to their various intensities. The process of floating in the tub, watching the bath bomb fizz away to reveal some inner secrets, and the sensory immersion of the water and the aroma, was intensely enjoyable to them. They were more relaxed than I’ve seen them all week.

These two weeks are some of their favorites of the summer: they are all at a GT camp during the day, where they can explore and excite their intellectual intensities in a really fun way, with other kids like themselves.  The downside, though, is being constantly around other intense children all week. It puts my kids’ emotional and psychomotor intensities on overdrive. And makes my fuse pretty short.

We spent the rest of the Friday night relaxing after their tub soak. They definitely smelled a ton better, and A’s feet were clean, too. They could finally calm down enough to tell us more about robotics, poetry, science and Harry Potter.

So I think I’ll bomb them again next week, too.

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