Father of 10 Turns Bath Time Into A Career

Guest post by Randy Imwalle

I was sitting recently on the side of the bathtub, studying my knees. Were those calluses? Before long, the answer dawned on me: The hardened spots had resulted from kneeling near the tub while bathing my children.

Early in our marriage, my wife, Lisa, and I tacitly agreed that I would be responsible for baths. Through the years, the chore became another task I do with little introspection. I still don’t tend to nearly half the work at home, even when I’m there, so I’m not complaining.

The calluses did make me wonder, though, how many baths I might give in my “career” as a father. (I’m a baseball fan, so statistics intrigue me.)

I bathe the kids about every other day (with Lisa pinch-hitting for me when I am on the road). Conservatively speaking, then, let’s say I give each child 162 baths a year from ages 6 months to 7 years. Six-and-a-half multiplied by 162 equals 1053 baths. And 1053 baths multiplied by the number of our kids – here is where my lifetime stats will diverge from the average – yields 10,530 total baths. I’m not one to overanalyze the work that needs to be done – I just do it – but the estimate seems daunting.

Yet there is good news in the figures: I am nearing the twilight of my career. Although, I’m still batting an average of 14 baths a week – tied with my career best pace – Matthew, my seven year old, will soon go solo in the shower league. With that “call-up,” the only players remaining will be (soon-to-be) 5-year-old Sam, 2 ½-year-old Daniel, and almost-1-year-old Luke.

The math, coming a bit quicker now with more use, goes like this: 324 baths to go for Sam, 729 for Daniel, and 972 for Luke – for a combined 2,025 baths remaining. Now 2,025 baths still sound like a lot of behind-the-ear scrubbing and shampoo lathering – and I suppose they are – but the number reveals that I’ve already given 8,505 baths. Put another way: I have completed more than 80 percent of my total estimated career baths. (In the words of Joe Nuxhall, the late Cincinnati Reds broadcaster, I’m “rounding third and heading for home.”)

While deep in thought about my stats, a tidal wave of warm water jolted me from my reverie: Duty called. I got the boys out of the tub, helped them with their pajamas, brushed their teeth, read a book, said prayers and got them to bed. I will spare you the calculations, but the teeth brushings were career Nos. 13,851, 13,852 and 13,853 of an estimated 18,250 total.

I felt my mind and body begin to relax as I walked downstairs, anticipating a little quiet time with Lisa to discuss the day’s events as well as the next day’s schedule. With luck, I might even catch the final innings of the Reds game on television.

The plan, however, quickly fell through. Meeting me at the bottom of the stairs, Lisa declared, “We’re out of diapers.”

Preparing to head to Krogers, I couldn’t help myself: “So let’s say eight diapers a day for . . .”

Randy Imwalle, 46, hopes for a new baseball glove on Father’s Day.

This essay originally appeared in the June 14, 2008 Columbus Dispatch. Find Randy blogging at Dad Of 10. Yes. Of TEN.

3 Responses to Father of 10 Turns Bath Time Into A Career
  1. cherie de castro
    August 10, 2009 | 3:20 am

    kudos to you, good father! your rewards are rich and waiting for you in heaven!

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