. . to repeat itself. One of the most vivid memories I have of my Dad is of our nightly bathtime, when my sisters and I would pile in the tub together and Dad would wash the hair and break up the fights. Occasionally, things would get cut short by another slip-and-fall and a busted up chin. Looking back, I sometimes wonder if Jaime fell on purpose to avoid the inevitable shampoo induced cry-fest that was otherwise the zenith of the night's excitement. The hubbub was so predictable you could set your Swatch watch by it. I think the girls would actually start crying when Dad's hand first made contact with the shampoo bottle, and it would continue long after he finished drying their hair with the towel. I wonder if they remember those bathtimes the same way?
Anyway, since the decision to stay home I give Lily most of her baths, except on the rare occasion that she asks for her Mommy to do it. Avery is self-sufficient when it comes to bathing now, so whatever antics Lily's engaging in now are not to show out, as I originally suspected. No, instead I'm convinced that it's a genetic code, buried deep in the Slovick family's "Y" chromosome, which more than likely dates back many generations. As Lily aged, it began to surface in towel-drying her hair, which is only objectionable to her if I'm the one assaulting her scalp with the terrycloth. Mommy gets absolutely no lip during or after a bath, just me. Not long after my best trick to turn the towel-time tears into laughter had lost its magic, she started crying when I would shampoo her hair. No change in technique, product, or the length of my fingernails . . just turned into a good time to be fussy. Whatever, keep it brief I told myself, this too shall pass. Ha! Let's see if I can get my head any deeper into the sand. Now she cries at the sight of the towel! But only if I'm the one wielding the towel. Mommy gets none of it. It is strictly Daughter vs. Daddy.
So that's how I came to the genetics explanation . . by way of rationalization. To the remaining Slovick males who have not yet been blessed with baby girls, I offer this as my suggestion to you. Put yourselves in position to avoid bathtime for this particular period of your daughter's life . . you won't change the genetic code, but you can spare yourself the misery.