A regular fixture in this dedicated dad's day is the meeting of soapy water and shampoo with the slippery eels that are twin boys.
I say slippery with much justification – not only are they able to dodge even the most well aimed sponge but also just getting them into the bath can be like negotiating an arms control treaty.
That's odd, because as we all know most small children like water. In fact, nine times out of ten once they're in the bath negotiations have to start again to get them out of it. But of course they ruthlessly exploit their advantage – the bath is run, I want them in and the concessions can begin (sweets or lollies in the bath; just five minutes more of Oggy and the Cockroaches; the whirlpool).
Ah, the whirlpool – we have one in the bath.
But the last time I let them use it I went to make a cup of tea and they'd emptied the whole bottle of bubble bath in and all I could see when I came back up was a huge wall of foam and two snowmen.
Other times it's a flood that could have launched Noah's Ark, and water fights that have me running in and out to mediate disputes every 30 seconds. As for hair washing, elaborate precautions involving flannels and towels have to be in place to avoid the merest drip on anyone's face.
At least these two aren't really scared of water – I recall my oldest son writhing like a cat to avoid any contact with the bath whatsoever when it was hair wash time.
And I can be very, very thankful now the time has gone when I'd find, let's say, a little present at the bottom of the bath when I came to empty it.
But at the end of the day, there's a lot of satisfaction in having two clean boys - until a fight breaks out over the only clean pair of Ben 10 pajamas.