Santa doesn’t like stinky people (aka my ugly parenting moment)

Forget a lump of coal. We need a bar of soap!

I often hear people say they just “make” their kids do things. This perplexes me. I mean, it’s fairly easy with my fifteen month old, but nearly impossible with my three year old. She’s strong when she’s mad. I mean, super strong. And besides, physically forcing my child to do something against their will is a bit traumatic (unless it’s taking necessary medicine, then I just sit on her). Oh yeah, I also threw out my lower back, and hubby was gone, so physical force really wasn’t an option.

So, when my eldest daughter refused to take a bath, I was beyond frustrated. Bath refusal is something new. Here’s how our little exchange went:


Honey, it’s bath time. Please get in with your sister.

No, I don’t need a bath.

Yes, you do honey. You didn’t take one yesterday, so you really need one today.

But, I don’t want to take a bath.

I know, honey, it’s not always fun to do things we don’t want to. But you’ll feel better once you do.


Yes! You’re getting in this bath now. You need a bath.

But why? (Why? Why? Why? Why?!)

Because you’re sweaty, and you have lollipop in your hair, and you have old bandages dangling from your skinned up knees, you peed yourself outside, and your feet are muddy.

But we can just wipe me down with a washcloth.

No, you need to sit in the bath. I’m going to count to three…

But wash me in the sink.  You can even wash my hair in the sink.

(Parents, if you don’t have a plan for “after 3,” don’t start counting. I had no plan, and she knew it.)

Anna, you are really stinky. Do you want to be stinky?

Yes, I like being stinky. Stinky is nice.

(Oh Lord. I was going to have to pull out the big guns.)

You know, Santa is watching you right now. And he wants you to take a bath.

But why? (Why? Why? Why? Why?!)

Because he only brings toys to little girls who listen to their mommy.

I’m listening. I just don’t want to take a bath.

You HAVE to take a BATH!!!!

But why? (Why? Why? Why? Why?!)

Because Santa doesn’t like STINKY people!!!


Wow. I still can’t believe I said that. I immediately apologized. “Mommy shouldn’t have said that. Santa likes all people. Even stinky ones.” We compromised on her standing in the bath while I rinsed her down. This will go down in my parenting hall of shame. It can only go up from here.