The headlines are shaking the world. Every day, a different opinion grabs the bold print. As is typical in the current political climate, declarative statements trumpeted one day directly oppose those blared the next.
It's time to unpack the central question of our day. How often should children be bathed?
The recent debate has its roots, as most of the day's big issues do, in a celebrity podcast. While being interviewed by Dax Shepard and Monica Padman for the podcast, Armchair Expert, Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher unleashed a debate that is shaking the foundation of, uh, everything. In a shot heard round the world, Mila Kunis explained that she didn't wash her children every day. Rather, the Kutcher-Kunises declared that they bathe their children only “when they see dirt on them…otherwise there's no point.” Kristen Bell quickly offered her support and said she didn't think children needed a daily bath. Thus, the whirlwind has been reaped.
I did exhaustive research to index where celebrities stand on bathing frequency. Drew Barrymore: Five to six days a week. Dwayne Johnson and Terry Crews shower several times a day. But they didn't mention their kids. Mystifyingly, Chrissy Teigen hasn't taken a position on this issue yet. As I said, this research was exhaustive, so I was forced to take a nap. But I think I've demonstrated, without question, that this is a big issue.
Without the touchstone of a Chrissy Teigen headline, I was forced to check-in with non-celebrities for guidance. What does the so-called great unwashed think? After all, these are the people I share the line with at Kroger and sit next to, waiting to renew my license.
I posed the question on Facebook. Children should be bathed every … (fill in the blank.) Here are some of the responses:
Children should be bathed every….where. Indeed, Darin, indeed. Children should be bathed every… time they smell gross. YES! Stephanie, mother of three, KNOWS. Children should be bathed every… once in a while, says Iris. Though I think Iris is kidding.
Some friends are adamant and say children should be bathed every… day. My friend Veronica isn't alone when she says, “I can't imagine putting a kid to bed without a bath. Ever.”
Others fall in the Kunis and Kutcher camp, waiting until the dirt is visible. Alexander filled in the blank like this, children should be bathed every… so often. John advises that children should be bathed every…time they announce a new host of “Jeopardy.” Keri had this gem, “wash down as far as possible, wash up as far as possible, then wash possible.”
The general consensus in my circle was on the side of bathing kids every other day, with spot cleaning as needed. And this is all for children who haven't reached puberty. Once they reach puberty, it's best to move into a different zip code from your offspring until they've completed the process. What first seemed a comedic answer, children should be bathed every… moment had the ring of dire warning once those rug rats hit middle school.
Whether you are aligned with Kutcher or Barrymore. I support you. What I really want is us to move on, in peace, as one nation, indivisible, regardless of when our kids lather up. But it is clear as bathwater that what we desperately need is Chrissy Teigen's opinion. It is only when guided by her wisdom that we can hope to unite. Ms. Teigen, an anxious nation awaits your leadership.
Originally Published in Monroe News August 28, 2021