My Son said to me last night that he wanted a bath today before he went to school. This is the norm in our home, to have a bath in the morning and not the evening, the children are usually busy doing other things to want to stop to have a bath, so it left until the last minute.
Today was like any other busy morning, I'd get up first and put the hot water on in plenty of time for it to get hot. I put as usual the hot water in first, then wait a minute before waking Daniel. Then I'd come straight down and put the cold water in for a second or two, for by the time he came down there would be enough water in the bath.
But, after I'd put the cold water in, I realized the water in the bath was cold! Oh no, not a problem, I quickly put four pans of water from the hot water tap, onto the cooker and turned them on full. Daniel came down a short time later and I explained he would have to wait about 5 minutes for the water in the pans to boil, as the water in the hot water tap was cold. He was not happy about this, he was very impatient, and didn't want to wait until any of them boiled. So as the water in the bath wasn't freezing, I thought maybe it would be OK, it wasn't. So I told Daniel, “As time is going, and I need to have a bath too, please just stand in the bath, soap yourself all over, rinse off and come out.” Daniel said he was not doing that! I said, “Just this once, as this had never happened before.” Still he refused. I said to him, “You don't know you are born, when I was just a bit younger than you are now, we didn't have a bath, our bath was in the evening, in front of an open fire, the metal bath tub was in front of the fire and the wooden clothes horse was in front of the bath, there would be a few clothes on it drying hiding our modesty, as the rest of the family sat relaxed behind the clothes horse!” I went on to tell him, I would have loved it to have a bath like this one in private even if I was told I had warm water to soap up, rinse and get out, than be in that little tub in front of the family.” It made no difference, he still refused, he said he was going to tell the school I was been cruel to him!!! I told him, “Good, and I'd tell them what I told you, that this was a one-off and you still had the choice to have a wash.”
He went to school and by the time it was my turn to have a bath, it was lovely and hot.
Kids! So many of them now wouldn't know how to survive. Everything has to be black or white, nothing in between. I lived on my own for many years, you learn things you can never learn while still living at home – and I survived it.