I had the following conversation with my 16-year-old last Saturday after leaving Gabe with the 13-year-old, who went out to shovel and left Gabe in the care of the 16-year-old (all quite acceptable to me).
Phone: Ring, Ring
Teen: Umm, where are you?
Me: At Dana's, painting.
Teen: When will you be home?
Me: Not for hours.
Teen: Gabe messed his pants and it's down to his knees and up his back and on his neck.
Teen: (after a long pause) What should I do?
Me: Clean him up and give him a bath.
Teen: How do I give him a bath?
Me: (thinking, "really? you're asking me this question? he's 4 years not 4 months.)
Umm, it's just like you taking a bath only you put him in the tub.
Teen: (very dejected) OK......bye.
The fact is, he didn't really need to know how to give a kid a bath. He was desparately trying to find a way to get out of a very unpleasant task and what he really meant was, "could you please come home and relieve me of this way too grown up responsibility?".
In the end, Gabe got clean. He was even pre-rinsed, the tub was filled and then emptied, filled again and Mr. Gabe was washed well.
So, there's something to put on the resume--able to bathe a head-to-toe-soiled four-year-old.
Next lesson--what to do with the soiled laundry of a four-year-old....