Teaching our children to tilt their heads back during baths has been a long, tortuous haul. They’d much rather scream and thrash and claim drowning than be calmly complacent for a shampoo.

But lately, the fighting has gotten shorter, the tears less and their cooperation more generous. In fact, tonight Tess didn’t even question my request for her to look up. Instead, she readily turned her face towards the ceiling and began to recount what she could see in the peeling paint. (Yes. We have peeling paint. Have since we moved in. That was 6 years ago. Things like that make me want to pull out my hair. Ugh. Another story for another time? Anyway. . . .)

“I see a princess. And a pony. And a horse. And another pony. And a cat. And Monday. And I see dad doing everything. . .”

She rambled on and on as I soaked her head, lathered the shampoo and rinsed. However, I stopped listening when I heard what she said about Jac because it was so true.

At the moment, the great hero is snoring beside me, head propped up on couch pillows and the remote poised in his hand. It’s not late, this shut eye is well deserved. He has been getting up in the middle of the night, after dreaming dreams about new babies, missing airplane flights, car troubles, etc. (true stories), to take Ellie potty so that I don’t have to have a mental breakdown over stripping a bed. He plans dates and baby sitters, makes breakfasts, drags us to confession, eats leftovers for supper and is handling every last detail with the boy’s popcorn sales. He cleans the kitchen while I’m away, loads kids into the car on crazy co op mornings and starts loads of wash without being asked.

While Tess was distinguishing her paint-less splotches, he was right then supervising a child-who-shall-remain-nameless in removing boogers from the freshly painted bedroom wall while he scrubbed orange marker off the back of the kid’s room door. When he was done with that, he moved on to scrubbing all the doors in the hallway. I have been fantasizing about doing this for weeks now but never have the energy, will power or flexibility to do it. HE READ MY MIND. He also heard me when I mentioned I wanted hooks hung up for backpacks and coats and put those up tonight as well.


It’s true. He DOES do everything. Come to think of it, I’m pretty sure he’s the one who taught the kids to tilt their heads back for shampoos. For that,for all he does, I’m thankful. We all are.