Here lies Ariel, Queen of the Sea.


She was a good friend.

A great one, really.

Given to Ali for her birthday two years ago by her chosen future husband, Ariel has been a constant reminder of the love and tenderness that exists between Ali and Ethan.

After all, every girl wants a sensitive guy – a guy who can appreciate the value of a Princess.

Ariel has thenceforth been a wonderful bathtime friend, allowing Noah to suck on her head and Ali to shampoo her hair, preferably in that order.

Although her hair didn’t exactly change colors like her box claimed, nor did her fin exactly have magical designs appear when wet, she was nevertheless an invaluable part of every bath, few and far between as they may be.

But yesterday, tragedy struck Ariel.

After having her head sucked and her hair washed, she was innocently floating along in the bathwater, dodging soap bubbles and conditioner floaties.

Noah was busy enjoying his screams against the bathroom echo and splashing the bathwater with tsunami force, and I was combing Ali’s conditioner-filled hair as I dodged Noah’s giant tidal waves.

And then he stopped.

He concentrated, leaned over and stuck his butt out toward Ali and the lazily floating Ariel.

OH NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

But it was too late.

And lamentably, he wasn’t feeling especially constipated that day.

The bathtub was quite suddenly colonized by a horrifying amount of floating objects, some looking way too reminiscent of the previous day’s dinner.

I started screaming at Ali.


She was facing the other direction, and looked at me, in her un-hurried fashion, very puzzled.


She looked behind her. She gasped and I could see it in her eyes: this nightmare had gone directly to her long-term memory, where she would be holding this moment with bitterness and rage against her brother until they were both enjoying the care of a retirement facility and Red Jell-O Lunches.

She jumped out of the bath right before the first piece of flotsam reached her.

Still yelling, because it seemed like it would somehow help the situation, I commanded for her to run to my bathtub and wait for us there. I pulled Noah out and had him standing, leaning against the Tub-That-Shall-Not-Be-Named, completely naked and hopefully intestinally empty.

I began scooping the largest chunks out with the bathtub pourer, also later tossed due to the tragedy. I then took a breath, held it, closed my eyes, and reached into the pit of Complete and Utter Diabolical Hell and pulled the drain plug.

I tried to hold back my own vomit as I looked at what I was going to have to clean up later, then carried The Evil Culprit to the other tub.

I mercilessly scrubbed both children, then stuck a diaper on Noah and stuck him in his crib, hoping that his incarceration would prompt some soul-searching and penitence for his heinous* crimes.

* no pun intended.

Then I did what any mother would do: I took a photo of what was left behind in the bathtub and texted it to my husband, demanding Triple Mommy Combat Pay for the entire day.

(I fully expect bountiful thanks for holding you in too high of regard to traumatize you with that photo.)

Then began the cleanup. It involved a copious amounts of cleaning solution, an entire bottle of hand sanitizer, and many, many rinses with near-boiling water.

But Ariel – nothing could be done.

There was no way that I could possibly ever trust that mess of tangly red hair to not be housing eighty-nine different forms of bacteria a la feces.

She had to go.

I considered whether or not I should tell Ali. Sometimes out of sight out of mind is a valuable parenting technique.

But Ariel deserved more respect than that.

She took the news well, far beyond the maturity of her years. Or possibly because she now found the victimized Princess just as disgusting as I did.

And as for the perpetrator of Ariel’s death?


He denied everything.


But his evil cackle exposed his complete lack of remorse over the burial of Ariel.


Ariel the Bathtub Princess

2010 – 2012

35 thoughts on “The Death of a Princess.

  1. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you. Laughter is the best way to start the day.

    All of our princesses were either beheaded or missing a limb when they met their demise. Victims of our Giant Schnauzer puppy.

  2. I have a memory of taking a bath with my brother and seeing something float by that shouldn’t be there. I don’t remember my mom being all that fazed by it, but I certainly was screaming for her to get it out.

  3. I needed that loud belly laugh this morning! Brings back memories from long ago in the past when I had 3 “Noahs” in the bathtub! The 4th boy in our house never got to take baths… he began in the shower and has continued there to this day!

  4. We’ve got that same Ariel (still living, luckily never bathed in poop) and you know what the problem with the colour changing fin was? COLD water. You need to put her in cold water. And who the heck bathes their kids in COLD water??

    Sorry. It’s good to get that off my chest.

    While I am sorry about Ariel’s demise, I feel worse for you! I probably would have locked the door and sprayed air freshener at it until my husband got home.

    1. You made me giggle out loud, at which I had to explain to Ali why I was giggling, and she also giggled. And agreed that we should have let Daddy clean it up.

  5. It’s funny how the only posts I see posted by you are ones that have to do with something excruciatingly painful or poop related…Or maybe those are the ones that grab my attention because I’ve lived these experiences and love hearing that I’m not the only one. ?
    Poor Ali. That is such a traumatizing experience. Give her a hug for me. ;)

  6. Rachel, I can always count on your stories to make me laugh…I know I tell you that all the time but it is true. When is the book coming out? Noah sure is different than Ali, what a character. Poor Ali or maybe poor Ariel.

  7. OOOOOH NOOOOOO!!!!!! Say it isn’t so! What will I tell Ethan? What will he say when he realizes that the precious princessy symbol of their love has met her untimely demise…and in a pile of bathtime poop, no less. Egads, woman! A young boy can only take so much trauma!

    1. Yes, it’s true. I do apologize to Ethan, but some things just can’t be saved. I hope that one day he finds it in his heart to forgive me.

  8. Haha, great post! I would have been laughing harder but the all too familiar description was leaving me with a little PTSD from the MANY times this has happened to us. Although the “heinous” crimes did get me to laugh out loud. :)

    I always just keep tossing water over everything till all the little pieces go away. Then I spray everything with antibacterial, then remove the toys and put them in the dishwasher and then re-spray and clean the tub again. Yuck. Thankfully we haven’t had one of these episodes in several months and hopefully we’re done with them…at least until new baby comes! Then we get to start the fun all over again!

  9. OMG the funniest story I have read in AGES. I mean, I’m sure it was NOT funny at the time. But now? Now can we laugh? Because I am laughing. Hard. :D

  10. BAHAHAHAHAHA! teeheeteehee! that was the best. i love gross stories. you have the best stories. and by the way, i would have also sent a photo to my husband, which he would have hated. what did your husband think?

    rest in peace ariel.

  11. Why am I the only demented one that wouldn’t be bothered by seeing the photo. But then again, I’ve had similar experiences and send those photos to my unsuspecting friends. ;-)

  12. I am so thankful that this happened to you and not me :) Ella freaks out at the sight of fuzz in the bathtub, so she would become completely unglued if Maggie pooped in the tub. Now, hasn’t Noah pooped in the tub…or am I just imagining a blog post about his previous tub adventures?

    1. Yes indeed. This is his second pooping instance – the first time was, although easier to clean, a double whammy. But it was also when I had him in his baby tub (I think), so it didn’t affect Ali.

  13. Oh wow, poor Ariel!! And poor mommy!! Yuck, yuck, yuck!! We have trouble with Wade flushing and closing the lid so Davis doesn’t have a heyday in it. :(
    After reminding Wade twice, I heard the dreaded splashing and walked in to Davis splashing the pee everywhere and Wade standing there with his pants at his ankles WATCHING him!
    Life with boys = always interesting!

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