I grew up in a home in the Philippines where there was no shower or bathtub. Pail and dipper were part of my morning to take a bath. We didn’t have all the comforts in life like oven, air conditioned home, refrigerators, washer, etc. while growing. But I got used to live a life like that for over twenty years until I came over to America and be with my husband.
We just had our three-week vacation in the Philippines and our daughters experienced this kind of life.
We stayed at my grandmother’s small house in our town, Daet, it’s an eight-hour bus ride (without traffic) of southern Manila. My grandmother’s home has one tiny bedroom, a tiny kitchen, a tiny living room, and a tiny bathroom. Everything is tiny because she lives alone.
The night we arrived at her house the girls and I were tired, exhausted, and felt sticky. We need to take a bath, I told our daughters. I showed them where the bathroom was and they were hesitant to get inside because it’s completely different from what we have at home in America.
“Where’s the bathroom? Where’s the shower?” asked Marie, our oldest daughter.
What they saw was one big yellow plastic drum, one red pail, a dipper, a toilet without flush tank, and a tiny sink.
Let’s go girls you’ll take a bath, I told them.
“Where? Show me!” our youngest daughter, Olivia, asked.
I showed them again the bathroom. The light kept on blinking, there’s no bathtub, no shower. They just don’t want to go. Then they started crying.
Here we go. I didn’t listen to my husband to get a hotel room for the three of us so that our stay would be comfortable. I just want to stay with my grandmother’s house. Our girls will experience a lot of things and I’m sure they will never forget all of these especially right now that they’ve grown and can remember things—the tiny house, the tiny bathroom that has no bathtub, no shower, but with a blinking light.
I gave them a quick bath. I had both of them stand up while pouring water over their heads. They whined that the water is cold. Sorry no heater here, I told them. A few days later, the girls were excited to take a bath and I wondered why. The next thing I’d seen was they were inside the plastic drum, happy and didn’t want to leave.
It’s so much fun, Marie said!
It’s true they used gallons of water and half of it was wasted, but this kind of experience taught them how to say it’s okay to do this. It’s okay just to have this because a lot of people survive without things we’re accustomed to like a bathtub and a shower. There are more things to worry in life than these comforts. It will teach them how to appreciate life and be thankful for what they’ve got.
With or without a bathtub, as long as we can take a bath, right?
Hope your day is doing well!