A bear dance, of sorts

I marched the kids, shivering, right into the shower stall once we got up to the third floor. They stripped off their cold, soaking wet clothes and tossed them on the floor of the shower as we waited for the water to warm up. 


I liberally poured shampoo on their little heads and soap on their feet and they went to town scrubbing themselves from top to bottom. As they did so I dragged the big red plastic bucket over and tossed their clothes in. I hurried back to the room and grabbed the laundry detergent and handfuls of filthy children’s clothes. 

“OK you guys! We are gonna do some laundry!” I said as tossed the dirty clothes into the bucket and then poured detergent on top. I pushed the bucket into the shower with my foot. “Fill the bucket with water first!” I told them cheerfully.
Daughter One pushed the shower valve and the three kids struggled to get the bucket into a perfect location to catch the most water from the shower head. It took two pushes to fill it with enough water.

“Perfect!” I said as I looked in. “Now, pretend you are a washing machine!” I instructed the kids as I motioned with wind-mill arms and started to sing, “This is the way we wash our clothes, wash our clothes, wash our clothes…”

Well…those three little kids, bent at the waists, stuck their arms into the water and began to swirl and slosh and splash. Bubbles began to multiply and grow as they continued to work on the dirty clothes. It was a sight to see. Three bare bottoms dancing around in the shower. Giggling and singing. Water and bubbles flying everywhere! I sat outside the door, on the floor out in the hallway, resting my head against the wall. Who knew that washing clothes could be so entertaining? They kept at it for several minutes!

When the level of excitement seemed to wan I got up off my spot on the floor and told them it was rinsing time. We carefully turned the bucket onto it’s side and let the dirty sudsy water drain out. The water was a muddy light brown.

“Ewwwww,'” the kids squealed and hopped from one foot to the other to avoid the dirty water.

“Fill it up with clean water now,” I told them as I sat the bucket back up.

Two more pushes of the shower valve and then the second act began. It was much like the first, but without the bubbles.

“This us the way we rinse our clothes, rinse our clothes, rinse our clothes…”

It was unbelievable. They kept up the rinse cycle for another five minutes or so. Innocent, silly fun. I looked over my shoulder at them and began to giggle. Little imps dancing around, mugging faces, and singing at the tops of their lungs. They were completely oblivious. 

Himself came down the hall in his clean and dry clothes. He had a quizzical look on his face.

“What is all the racket about?” Himself asked as he came around the corner to investigate.

“The kids are just doing the laundry,” I explained as I shrugged my shoulders and smiled. He peeked into the shower stall behind me. 

“It looks like the bear dance!” Himself whispered to me, laughingly. “Or…maybe the bare dance?”

“The Bear Dance” by W. H. Beard



The kids caught sight of Himself and me as we both peeked around the door. Startled, they screamed and abruptly halted their antics as they bumped into each other comically. Daughter Two slipped and fell onto her bottom. 

“Daddy!” The kids cried out with surprise. They tore out of the shower, one after another, down the hall to their rooms, giggling, screeching and dripping as they went.

Himself and I looked at each other and shook our heads as we laughed.

“I will finish the spin cycle.” I said as tears of laughter spilled from my eyes.











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