Until I discovered this colorful toy, bathing my kids was a total nightmare.

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Target

My husband and I used to play pretty intense games of rock-paper-scissors before bathing our kids. (The winner got a pass!) That's how miserable bathtime was. The 3-year-old would scream and cry when we tried to wash her hair. Both kids would get rowdy and slosh water out of the tub leaving puddles on the floor. They'd fight over who got to sit closest to the faucet, as well as whether to put bubbles in the water (honestly, what kid doesn't love bubbles all the time? Mine!).

And all that nonsense was after we managed to get them in the tub. The witching hour, which in our house starts around 6 p.m. and peaks at bathtime, is no joke—and that means convincing my kids to take a bath used to be more difficult than taking them to the pediatrician's office for flu shots every year. 

We put up with the chaos, trying not to lose it, and rewarding the kids anytime they kept their cool. Nothing really stuck. Then I stumbled upon a solution during a random Sunday afternoon shopping trip to Target.

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My preschooler and I were browsing the place for decorative objects for my new office and the deal was that if she helped me (read: didn't whine and held a throw pillow or two while I steered her stroller around the store) she could pick out a small treat before we left.

We wandered through the toy aisles but of all the cool stuff there, the one thing she had to have was an inexpensive bath toy from the baby section: Munchkin Falls (target, $8).

I was willing to spend more—she was that good, despite the crowds, the heat outside (and in the store), and not having had a nap—but how could I argue with a cheaper alternative? She cradled her package in her lap as I pushed her stroller home, absolutely delighted with her new plaything.

When we got home, she showed her big brother (who's 7) and he was as excited about the toy as she was. That night, nobody argued when it was time to hop in the tub. There was no crying about washing up. Water actually stayed in the tub. In fact, they were so thrilled with their new toy that they didn't even notice I was scrubbing them down while they happily played together. 

It's been weeks since we bought the toy, and my kids are still having a blast with it. They love that they can stick the little buckets to the wall (away from the edge of the tub), and pour water through, watching the spinner wheels go. I have to admit, it is pretty soothing. And hey, we're all for it. Anything that makes the witching hour less painful? That's a total win for us all. 

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