By a happy accident our house is constructed in such a way that the bathroom comes off a small landing just at the top of the stairs. This gives it a higher ceiling than all the other upstairs rooms so that the cold water tank can be accommodated. It also means that you can climb the stairs without being seen and then, if you lie down on your stomach on the landing you can wriggle into the bathroom undetected by the person or persons in the bath. This enables you to either spring up like a jack-in-the-box or pretend to have climbed up as though the bath were perched atop a high pinnacle...and to fall down again.
Once in the bathroom we can engage in a game of "Buttons, Butterflies or Bees" in which I adopt the persona of a homely Lancastrian woman who is uncommonly interested in their preferences from the short and bizarre series of choices she offers them. "So, loveys, which do you like best: hay, straw...or fish? Hands, feet...or spam?"
Finally, it's time to get out of the bath. They hate this and will do almost anything to prolong bathtime. Even when the water has gone cold. For months this was a major flashpoint that would end in tantrums and hysterics on their part and shouting on mine.
Once, with an utterly appalling lack of judgment and at a point of deep despair I said to them, "If you don't get out of the bath right now.....I'll die!" It felt to me as though it would be a blessed relief - at least I'd get to lie down somewhere quiet. To her great credit Lulu retorted, in a tone that was terrifyingly reminiscent of her mother, " Don't be ridiculous. You're not going to die if we don't get out of the bath!" I was forced to concede that it was ridiculous and, thankfully, normal service was restored.
Shortly after that I hit on a discovery. If I could get them to stand up I could simply lift them out of the bath, wrap them in their towels and no fuss would be made. I tried a variety of means to trick them onto their feet until I found one that worked. It required a bit of training and some occasional elaboration but it still serves nearly 18 months after I invented it.
What I do is this. Whilst they are in the bath I usually sit on the toilet lid and chat to them. When I think they've been in for long enough, I spring to my feet and shout, " I AM SPARTACUS!" Whereupon they spring to their feet and shout, "NO! I'M SPARTACUS!" and I lift them out of the bath.
Of course what wasn't simple was explaining slavery and the slave revolt to a four year old and a six year old. But that's for another time.