Lukewarm Reception

My husband likes to complain that I spend too much time in front of my computer. I tease him about the fact he's just jealous that my fingers spend more time stroking my keyboard than him, and he pretty much agrees. Yesterday, I was a little nervous about attending the family birthday party. I confess to having a hard time watching my neice and nephew grow older and blow out the candles on a cake that is now bearing one less name in frosting.

To combat my nerves, I did what any blogger would do. I blogged. I surfed the net, checking out new blogs that I generally do not have time for. Time slipped away from me, until I realized that if I was to attend this family function I had better get my arse out of my chair and start riding herd over my children. Who were happily absorbed in some video game and squabbling with one another.

As I hustled them into the shower, I reminded each of them that water was a precious resource and not to squander it. Don't forget to wash behind your ears and make sure you rinse all the soap and conditioner out of your hair. I nagged at them to make sure they washed all the parts of their bodies which included their privates and their toes. Standing in the streaming water does not constitute washing. Remember to use soap.

Satisfied I had nagged appropriately, I started tidying up and getting ready myself. I could hear the arguing over who got to shower first, the annoyed protests of hurry up! and the sounds of my children getting clean. After a few minutes (but who really knows because my idea of tidying up and getting ready at this point meant sitting back down in my chair and reading more blogs) one child slowly emerged from the bathroom and then eventually the other.

All scrubbed and shiny. Good as new. Looking at the clock, I noted how time was really moving and I better bust a move. After quickly reminding (translation: more nagging) the kids to dress appropriately, I hopped into the shower myself.

I should have realized something was amiss when I could barely see where the shower was. The steam was cloying and claustrophobic. But by now I was thinking of nothing but Bug and hoping I could pull through the party without turning into a mushy, weepy aunty.

I turned on the water and quickly hopped in. I didn't have time to adjust the water temp, I had to get my ass in gear. The spray of water hit my skin and I quickly grew goosebumps as big as my dog. I adjusted the water and waited for warmth. Except the water seemed to be growing cooler. I turned around once more, and turned the hot water on full blast. By this point my poor body is shivering uncontrollably.

Nothing. Just lukewarm water quickly chilling into an icy blast of winter. I waited for a second until I realized something.

The little buggers used all of the hot water. And now I was stuck with a cold shower.

By the time I was done having the world's quickest shower, my lips were blue, my teeth chattered so hard they about rattled out of my head and my knees were knocking together from the cold.

As I toddled off to my room to get dressed and regain feeling in my toes, my darling children commented on how quickly I managed to shower. Fric took it upon herself to ask if I had managed to remember to wash all of my body parts, including behind my ears.

Frac commented on how he loved a good shower as he stuck his finger in his (hot) water soaked ear.

Cheeky children.

As I chattered and shivered and tried to dress, I lectured them from my bathroom. About the importance of hot water and how it is imperative to make sure to save enough for the next person in line to use the shower. How consideration and kindness is a reward of it's own.

How if it ever happened again I would toss them naked into a snowbank and let them see how much they liked having a frosty shower.

My cheeky children just laughed and reminded me that in using all the hot water they had done me a great service.

"How do you figure?" I asked them, still trying to regain sensation in my skin.

"Think of how much water you saved, Mom. You had the quickest shower ever!"

It was hard to argue with that logic. But the next time those two hop into the shower, I fully plan on sneaking into that bathroom and dumping a big bucket of ice water over their heads.

I figure it will be the easiest way to teach them to conserve hot water. And the most fun.

For me, anyways.