No, the spa night wasn't for me, but for the kids.
M, all four years of her little being, has taken an extreme dislike lately of bathing. She has ultra-curly hair and in order to avoid impossible tangles, we have to shampoo frequently. At least every other day. She hates it, I understand, the brush hurts, the shampoo irritates. One evening last week, I came up with a plan.
We had spent an hour or so playing her favorite game of "Beauty Parlor," which involved nail polish and makeup. I said, "Little M, Little Me, we're at a spa. My name's Clarissa." Her eyes lit up and I knew she was remembering the word used by her aunt, who sells body lotions for a living. One time we had a party at my house, we had bins of hot water for our feet, colored, scented soaps, lotions, towels...we were all at a makeshift spa.
With M trailing behind me, we went to the bathroom and lit a green, perfumed candle, pulled out a pink terry-cloth robe from my closet, and clicked on instrumental Chinese music on the portable cd player set up on the toilet. I dimmed the lights as she came in, carrying her fluffy Barbie chair...I smiled and welcomed her to the first official Spa Night. Ooo la la!
Faster than I could say, spa soap, M was undressed and in the tub that was full of bubbles. We spoke softly to one another in the low light, I told her new persona, Ms. Chloe, to relax, to meditate, and I managed to wash her hair and soap her little body with narry a complaint. Even A got into the game. He brought M fishies in a toy tea cup to add to the ambiance. When she was done and robed, I quickly threw HIM in the tub and he was happy to meditate, too. I gave him a special eye pad, meant to reduce the puffiness, and he lay back in the water, cucumber-colored, foamy plastic on his eyes.
M happily sat in the Barbie chair, enveloped in the too-big robe, and let me brush the tangles out and dry her hair.
Not too long later, the kids were asleep...it was all so easy, so sweet. I almost felt as if it had been me in that spa.