Thursday, September 17, 2009

Mom Spa

Come with me to the “Mom-spa”

A few years ago, I was given a children’s book entitled Five Minutes Peace by Jill Murphy. In it, Mrs. Large, an elephant mother of three rambunctious children, decides to retreat to the bathtub for “five minutes of peace.” After settling herself into warm bubbles, complete with a cup of tea, her five minutes are interrupted one-by-one by her children, all wanting to share something with her. Eventually, all the children decide to join her in the tub, and Mrs. Large escapes to the kitchen, where she has “exactly three minutes and forty-five seconds of peace.”

As a single mom of two active daughters, I can relate to poor Mrs. Large, which is probably why I was given the book. (Well, that and the fact that I collect elephants…but that’s a whole other blog.) I’m can guarantee that I’m not the only one, either.

It is difficult, however, to even get to where Mrs. Large was in the book. As I climbed into the shower the other night, it struck me that it had been years since I was able to take a bath. Showers, yes; baths, no. In my childless youth, I loved to sink into a nice hot bath, maybe even with some soft music, candles, bubble bath, the works. That’s not really feasible anymore. Since preparing a bath takes quite a bit of time, you want to really make it worth the effort, but trying to take a chunk of time out at home – with pets, kids, phone calls and everything else – is next to impossible. And if you can’t stay in until the water is cold and/or you’re nice and pruney, what’s the point?

Wouldn’t it be nice if someone opened a Mom-spa? I’m not talking about a place where you drop a couple hundred bucks to sit in mud or be wrapped in plastic. I’m thinking of a spa for those of us who clip coupons, buy generic, and actually celebrate when we find a dollar in the pocket of a pair of jeans we haven’t worn for awhile. In other words, the Mom-spa would be affordable.

The Mom-spa would consist of several rooms with bathtubs where a mom could escape for about an hour. You call in and make your reservation. The staff would run your bath to a specified temperature and add whatever luxuries – bubble bath, salts, oil, rose petals, etc – you desire. The atmosphere would be to your request as well. If you want low lighting with candles and soft music, you could have it. Perhaps one or two rooms would have a skylight for an evening soak. A gentle chime would tell you when your time is up. In the Mom-spa, absolutely no one knocks on your door. (Unless the building is actually burning down, which, incidentally, is not equivalent to “the cat threw up on my shoes.”)

Of course, the Mom-spa would provide one of those turban towels to keep your hair dry and a nice, fluffy bathrobe to use when you get out of the tub. When you come in, it’s all ready and you can have a nice long soak. No children are allowed in the Mom-spa. There are no arguments in the Mom-spa. Cell phones do not work in the Mom-spa. Messages will be taken for customers whose family members have misplaced their math homework or need the correct spelling of “explanation.” Peace and quiet are the rule.

Unfortunately, the Mom-spa is just a lovely fantasy, but there is a place where a Mom can escape for a little while. The Kankakee Public Library has a number of programs for kids, teens and adults to have fun, learn something new or discuss a new book. The fall programming has just started. If you don’t receive KPL’s newsletter “The Mane Event”, stop in, pick up a copy, and see what events might be your “Mom-spa.” You can even check out a copy of Five Minutes Peace.

Teresa Cline
Adult Services


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