Thursday, December 9

My children are at war over how often to wash. The only thing you agree on? I am disgusting | Zoe williams

IIt was the last full day of a summer vacation that never took off the brakes, weather-wise, but felt endless and elegiac, and the 12- and 13-year-old decided to celebrate the occasion with a bitter refer to frequency. with which you should wash your hair. He wouldn’t have made it to his high-ranking fights (in order: who is more spoiled? Does nature contain math? Can you be a vegetarian except on Fridays? My satisfaction, with the line “no dog Sun, therefore no there is TJ’s year of the dog “, the oldest, although I still agree with H that the dog is 35 years old. I find the role of Solomon exhausting and refuse to perform. that).

This could be their longest discussion though, stretching from the moment they woke up, to the two baths, which may or may not have involved shampoo, to the afternoon when I dropped them off at their dad’s house. “They’re fighting,” I said cheerfully, “and now it’s your problem.” “Stop fighting,” he intoned hypnotically, and they did so immediately, but I took off with all the confidence that they would start again in 30 seconds.

The source of most of their discord is TikTok or Instagram (unless it’s, and sure enough, a big dispute over cleanliness is all the rage among Instagram celebrities, spanning the gamut from Ashton to “I wash my armpits and crotch every day, and nothing else.” Kutcher to Dwayne “I shower three times a day Johnson. I’d say it’s pretty obvious that’s a figure for a conversation about masculinity. Kutcher is the type of man who is so manly that everything about him smells delicious (except his exceptions). Johnson is the type of man who produces so much manhood that only on his outer extremities can modern plumbing keep up with him. I would lean towards the Kutcher model. Some friends recently went to Berlin just to go clubbing, but coincidentally they came for a leather fetish weekend, where the gorillas in every bar smelled your bones to make sure you they were not wear deodorant, on the grounds that it was sexier and fetishist to smell yourself. My first thought was that I would like all gorillas to do that. I shared this with the children to distract them, and they paused in their discussion only very briefly, to join in the opinion that I am disgusting. Maybe they are right.

The hair washing debate is more complex than body washing; There’s a school of thought, and it’s been since I was a kid, that the more you wash it, the greasier it gets, and true nirvana is achieved when you stop washing it altogether, after which it starts to self-wash. This is what H. thinks. The counterpoint is that hair washing is a myth; You could spend months looking like a greasy monkey to disprove it, or you could just wash your hair, which only takes 30 seconds anyway. This is what TJ thinks. Personally, I am of the opinion that any of these poses could be true, but not for teenagers, that they can produce fat, especially on the head and face, while you are there looking at them. They can also change the age of young children to 35 years and change the personality from a pure empath to an angry sociopath, as if someone has hit quickly. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t change anything except to make a basic upgrade to the operating model, which would stop fighting all the damn time. “No one needs to be right,” I said, “just do what’s right for you. In Berlin they have a saying, ‘never comment on another man’s mustache, even if he is dipping it in his soup.’ “Never,” they replied in unison, “say one more thing about Berlin.”

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