Heart Reflections Live
Wednesday, January 31, 2007
The Problems with having a Bertram in the Bathtub
Here is a funny true-life tale from the Roberts family to show you what just might happen when someone tells your children things that aren't exactly true...
Our children have always had a bath at Grandmother & Poppy's place on Sunday evenings, before we take them home. I can't quite remember how it started, but for some reason or another, but with the best of intentions, I expect, my Mum at some point, decided to explain the gurgling noise you get when you pull the plug out of the bath like this: Bertram the frog lives down there. You can't see him, but you can hear him when you pull the plug. Hence, Bertram was born!
Initially, I felt a little uncomfortable with this. After all, our girls don't believe Santa puts the presents under the Christmas tree, or that the Easter Bunny delivers the Easter eggs- get my drift? It was kinda like "lying"- but wait ...this is my Mum, right? So she's not really lying... She's telling them a fantasy!! I reasoned... Totally harmless...
So the Sunday baths came & went for many a moon & the girls believed that Bertram lived under the plug hole. We moved to a tiny house for 12 months, where we didn't have a bathtub- just a shower-so they really looked forward to their Sunday bath. One day, I was bathing them at Mum & Dad's & they were having such a good time that they stubbornly refused to get out. Now I know I should have smacked them, but in a moment of weakness, looking for a peaceful solution (always a cheap substitution for true obedience), I said, "Who wants to pull the plug & listen to Bertram?" They eagerly pulled the plug, looked down the hole wide-eyed & promptly hopped out of the bath. Hey, I thought, in a pinch this Bertram thing really works! It can't really
hurt, can it?
Anyway, time passed & God blessed us with our current spacious home, with a bathtub-wonderful. Bertram wasn't mentioned because as we are on tank water & as our girls, being girls, don't get too dirty, I was saving the bath water to top up for myself later on. Anyway, one night, as the girls were happily playing in the bath, Zara who had been playing with a toy boat down the plug end, accidently submerged it & the top of it caught on the plug handle: SLURP!!! Zara screamed & shook like a leaf with fear- Bertram was out to get her!!! The poor little mite was genuinely terrified of this imaginary frog that lived under Grandmother's Bathtub- He had suddenly moved to our house and wanted to EAT her!
She kept saying she was "scared of Bertram". So I had to explain my Mum's harmless (?) explanation to my husband. He firmly told them that Bertram wasn't real & the scientific explanation for the noise. Zara skipped one bath night, & was OK from then on, though I left it a while before I pulled the plug in front of her. She's fine now.
I explained to Mum that weekend, why Bertram was no longer & her amazed reaction was "Whoever would have thought that would happen!"
So the moral of this funny little story is: Don't tell your children cute things that aren't true- you never Know what may happen. And that my friends is true!