In the old west, bartenders and gunmen and every other able bodied gentleman or lady believed wholeheartedly in a common taboo: don't drink the bath water.

Few who lived would admit to anything but disgust at the filth and muck that ran off their skin as they bathed. Dirt and grime and all the treasures caked to their hardened bodies melted away, forming a nasty layer of germs floating in their wash basins. A cowboy might drain the driest, cheapest whiskey bottle in the county, but ask him to sip up some bath water and the fellow might wretch on your boots.

And so, I think it's safe to admit: Ain't one of 'em could out-drink my little Smiley. She pounds her apple juice like it's bottled water and could pour a gallon of OJ down her gullet without so much as an accidental belch. The natives round these parts call her Sahara, seein' as how she  soaks up liquids like an African desert, and she ain't yet drained a drop of any beverage that disagreed with her.

That includes a hefty shot of old fashioned bathwater.  But even she'll admit it carried a mighty wallop.

Perhaps it was the silky bubbles frothing at the rim... Perhaps it was the soapy aftertaste... Or perhaps she was unaccustomed to the torrent of hot water rippling through her mouth. Whatever the reason, she grabbed that cup in the tub and swallowed a gulp of nastiness I wouldn't touch for any amount of gold or jewels. She coughed and sputtered, having ignored my warnings, like some poorly built steam engine straining up a mountain. Her eyes bulged and reddened and began to tear. Her tongue, swollen and wet, leapt from her mouth like a vile serpent striking at invisible prey. In that single moment, she became something very different than the cute little Smiley demon we all know and love. Smartypants and I cowered in fear. But the moment soon passed. She set the cup aside, eyeing it curiously, but chose not to tempt fate twice during the same bath.

I reckon it's anyone's guess whether she tackles the bathwater bottle in the future. Let us hope she sticks to softer, gentler beverages. Thankfully, the smile has returned, as have her adorable, dastardly ways. Still, with her sippy shot glass locked and loaded, I suspect she'll prove a valiant foe to any who dare challenge her bathwater drinking abilities.

It is, I suppose, something a father ought be proud of.  And I am.  I think.


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