Bath time battles with Frank and His Friend

Curio & Co. looks at the timeless battle over bath time with classic comic Frank and His Friend.

What is it about bath time that sends kids into a panic?

Our favorite comic, Frank and His Friend, beautifully captured some of the best memories of being a child: endless days playing outside, make-believe games that just might be real, and stuffed friends so loyal and true. But artist Clarence ‘Otis’ Dooley also brought his own experience as a father of two to his work, and the comic presented some of the obstacles of childhood: time outs, vegetables, and the dreaded bath time.

It’s a stressful time for both kids and parents. The hiding, the pleading, the chasing, the bribing with bubbles. And the whole thing just has to be repeated again the next night. What is it about the bath that sends kids running for the hills?

It could be that for most kids, bath time comes right before bedtime, and the association is too strong not to feel some repulsion. After all, no matter how tired you may feel, bedtime is the ultimate time out.

But even if kids take baths in the morning or in the middle of the day, there always seems to be a mad dash around the house as they try to escape. Unlike cats, I doubt it’s the water. Kids always seem up for a trip to the beach or a dip in the pool, and bath time offers just as many opportunities for splashing and playing with water toys.

Maybe in the end, it just comes down to the obligation of it all. Bath time is mandatory, and therefore foisted upon children by outside authority. And no one likes being told they must do something, even if it’s enjoyable.

Of course, as Frank and His Friend captured so terrifically, once you finally get them in the tub, it can seem just as impossible to get them out!