The bathtub: Where family traditions come to soak and eat Oreos

I love my family. We are one big bunch of quirkiness trying to play it cool, and keep crazy under wraps and mostly succeeding, I think.

But every once in a while, something weird pops up, as it does in most families.

The latest:

My husband, daughter and I were out to dinner with my mother and stepfather. At the end of the meal, the waitress brought the check, and tucked into the folder were five peppermint candies. I handed two to my daughter. Not because I’m nice, but because those things are nasty.

Based on her reaction, you would have thought Christmas had come early. “Oh, thank you Mama!” she breathed. “I’m going to put these in my bathroom right when I get home!”

Apparently, my daughter has a collection of hard candies in one of her bathroom drawers.

Why? Well, she explained, “I eat them when I need a treat in the shower.” And isn’t that the most obvious answer?

My granny has been known to eat cookies, a candy bar or the occasional dish of ice cream in her bath. My mother claims she only drinks wine in the bathtub, but I think she just didn’t want thousands of readers knowing she eats Oreos in the tub.

I say, own it Mother! Embrace this weird family thing!

I myself stick to tried-and-true cupcakes. Sometimes I also have wine with my cupcakes, because there are some days when the only thing that will make things right is a bath, a glass of Stoney Mesa Winery’s Rojo Del Mesa, a blueberry-lemon cupcake made by my friend Jill the Cupcake Extraordinaire, and the beautiful sound of silence, broken only when my glass clinks against the tile and the cupcake wrapper falls into the trash can.

And apparently my daughter eats hard candies.

If my great-granny Ruby were still alive, I think she’d be really proud of us. I mean, this is the woman who dedicated an entire drawer of her dresser in her bedroom to packages of peanut M&Ms, pecan clusters, squares of Kraft caramels and other candies. It was like Halloween all year long when we visited her at the assisted living facility.

She also had quite the collection of calendars featuring half-naked men, usually firemen, adorning her walls. That’s what’s called a role model, y’all.

My mother and grandmother never taught me that bath time was also snack time. I never saw them eating or drinking in the bathtub. I certainly never helped my daughter turn on the shower to the appropriate temperature and then hand her an unwrapped candy.

And yet somehow, the four of us — possibly five, given great-granny Ruby’s penchant for sugar — all find it completely normal to have a quick snack in the bathtub.

I never realized this was a thing that our family did. It must be in the DNA.

Although it has skipped the men: my grandpa, dad and husband all just shake their heads, half in disgust and half in embarrassment. But the men in my family have their wood shops and bowling alleys in which to relax.

The womenfolk just gather ‘round a steaming bath with their dessert of choice.

After dinner the other night, after my mom and I were laughing about this weird thing we do, my daughter, having listened to the conversation, asked, “Can I have my leftover pizza in the bath?”

Good grief, Addison. No you can’t have pizza in the bath. I mean, we need to draw the line somewhere, and that line is Italian sausage and tomato sauce.

But then I gave her a cookie and sent her upstairs. And she was happy, as happy as an Oreo in a bathtub can be. Which is pretty happy.

Not as happy at Rojo del Mesa, but she’s a little young for that particular joy.

Email Kami Collins at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


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