When I posted this pic of my kids waving glow sticks in the bath, a friend commented, “Bath Rave,” and boy does that fit the situation. Both kids have been cranky for the last few days for different reasons. My daughter has been harboring a cold which has given her an earache today. My son is just in a crankypants mood. I fully understand that his crankypants is so much more manageable than many that I have seen, but in the midst of it, I still feel worn out by the quick meltdowns and contrariness. I guess this is the comeuppance that was due to me from my own childhood behavior.
Bath time can really be a focal point of these behaviors. Bubble baths and other distractions can help out once in a while, but they cannot be an expected part of the routine else their absence engenders more difficult behavior. Nor can they be held as only rewards for good behavior. After years of teaching and watching parents, I am a strong believer in many of the tenants put forth in Punished by Rewards. Fun in the bath is just part of life. It happens sometimes, and it doesn’t others. Tonight was one of those nights in which the energy could be turned to the dark or the light, so we turned out the lights and snapped the glow sticks my daughter won at a Purim carnival. The kids were mesmerized and joyous. So much better than the alternative.