By Charlotte Hilton Anderson, REDBOOK
Practicality demands we have a clear shower curtain (with a world map embossed on it!) in our house. With a toddler who loves toilets almost as much as she loves trying to shut herself in the refrigerator, for me to get a shower in at any other time other than late at night demands that I have to have a way to keep her in the bathroom and still be able to see her. Also, my older kids love to barge in the bathroom to ask me to sign their fieldtrip form rightthisverysecond or make them a sandwich or sign for the package that the UPS man is holding at the front door. I've never worried too much about these intrusions-it turns out South America is very strategically located-and my openness has always made me feel a little, well, proud. See? We're not prudes!
Leave it to Gwyneth Paltrow to make me feel low-brow.
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Thanks to an interview with Harpar's Bazaar where she says of her, Apple (7), and Moses (5): "We all get in the tub together" we now know that not only is she totally cool with her elementary-school aged kids in the bathroom while she's bathing but she lets them get in the tub with her. My first thought: How on earth is her tub big enough? But then I smacked myself and remembered this is Gwyneth Paltrow and for all I know she has an entire Turkish bath room. Logistically that would just not work at our house. But even if it did, honestly, I still don't think I'd bathe with my older kids.
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The first problem is that they wouldn't want to either. My 9-year-old has turned into the privacy police albeit only when it comes to him as he still has no problem asking me to quiz him on his spelling while I'm showering. (If only he'd ask me to spell the capitals of all the countries backwards; it's a handy trick I've learned since installing the curtain facing outward!) But the second problem is that I don't want to bathe with my kids. I don't think it's gross or improper or whatever. But for me I want to be able to shave my legs without nicking anyone. I want to be able to let the conditioner sit for the whole five minutes it says on the bottle. I want to maintain some semblance of separation between their needs and mine, even if it is just a clear piece of plastic.
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And for the record, I've never made anyone a sandwich while in the shower. Although I did open the peanut butter jar for them.
What are your feelings about co-bathing with kids older than toddlers? First one to use the "Europeans do it!" argument gets bonus points!
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