She Sunk Your Submarine

When kids are young it’s so easy to control their water usage. I can bath all five of our littler kids in three inches of bath water and Master8 can still manage to ‘up periscope’.

But as they get older their bathing needs change.

As a teenager, my eldest son could shower for an hour and still not wash his hair. Furthermore, he could shower for an hour and still swear black and blue he didn’t realize his allotted four minutes was up.

We had all sorts of trouble trying to teach our teenagers to be water wise. At one point we installed a shower timer, but whenever they had a shower it was mysteriously ‘broken’.

And now, from the sounds of the chat I had with my sister-in-law tonight, my brother and his wife look set to embark in their own bathroom naval battles with their kids.

Nephew13 had been in the bathroom for 20 minutes last night before my sister-in-law noticed the bath was still running.

Bang. Bang. Bang. “Turn the water off now!”

It got to the point where my teenagers couldn’t even hear me banging when they were in the shower, or know what the banging was for if they did.

“But it’s not full yet,” Nephew13 called back. And fair enough too.

One thing a teenager can’t abide is a half full bath. Water must be all the way to the brim, to the point where it sploshes over the side when you get in. I mean, everyone under twenty knows that. It’s just plain teenage sense.

“Turn it off or I’m coming in.” My sister-in-law isn’t a teenager anymore, so she doesn’t get it.

“Don’t come in! It’s not full. I’ll turn it off when it’s full.”

She went in.

To find he was right. It wasn’t full. After 20 minutes though? My sister-in-law took a closer look.

It seems that while Nephew13 sat on the toilet reading his Kindle, the tap continued to rocket water into an unfillable bath.

Unfillable because the plug wasn’t in.

“At least he was reading,” I said, feeling obliged to help my nephew out a little.

“He said he was reading,” said my sister-in-law. “But then he was awfully distracted and he is a teenage boy.”

Master8 usually waits until he’s in the bath before he puts his periscope up. Again, it must be a teenage thing.


When not typing away over here and checking his stats every two minutes Bruce Devereaux hangs out at his ‘BIG FAMILY little income’  Facebook Page.

 ’raising a family on little more than laughs’


  • With a 14yo girl and a 16yo boy, I sympathise. Bathroom door gets locked and water goes on, then a minimum of 1/2 hour later either one will emerge with dry hair! The downside is we have instantaneous gas hot water so the gas AND water bill are ridiculous! And yes a bang on the door always results in a grumpy WHAT??

  • I had 4 minutes as a teenager too, Dad would turn the pump off (cold water) if I was too long and I’d end up scalded! Didn’t take me long to learn though and we still laugh about it now 😉

    And yes, I still take forever in the shower!

  • I actually find turning the hot water on elsewhere in the house has a great effect. Nobody wants cold showers, especially in the middle of winter!

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