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It’s Mother’s Day today, and, in honor of my wife, I thought I’d share a little white lie that has helped us shave off half an hour off our daughter’s nighttime routine. For those who are not familiar with the wee one, she’s a sparkly, mischevious two-and-a-half-year-old who was a duck in a previous life. Or at least that’s what both the missus and I believe, as she loves nothing more than splashing in the bathtub until she resembles a giant raisin.

Calvin and Hobbes | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's book

Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson for Feb 20, 1987, GoComics.com

Yep, that’s her. Heck, she even admits it: we once caught her jumping up and down in a muddy puddle happily yelling, “I’m a duck!”

Saved By The Easter Bunny

So, how do you get a duck out of the bathtub?

Mary Natalie, Easter egg hunting | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's book

A satiated chocolate egg hunter

Here’s where a desperate parent’s ingenuity shines through. At Easter, we hid away in the garden half a dozen chocolate eggs. She had such a lovely time searching for them, that we then hid a couple more around the house. She discovered them all but one. So, as I was giving her her bath, I mentioned that fact to her. Right away, she darted out of the bathtub and went looking for it.

A lightbulb went on over my head.

Since then, while I’m giving her her bath, Electra “hides” away a chocolate egg (it’s not really hiding, I guess, as we want her to find it rather easily). Then, once we’re done with the bath, I casually ask the wee one:

So, do you think the bunny has hidden any eggs for you tonight?

Zoom! Problem solved! Our bath time is now down to 10 minutes from over half an hour, and our bathroom has never looked cleaner!

Oh, and speaking of ducks, have you seen James Veitch’s hilarious sketch on Conan?

So, what white lies do you use – or did your own mother use while you were growing up?

While I wait for your stories, let me wish you a Happy Mother’s Day!