I like to think we’re picking up on this parenting thing pretty quickly. I can change a diaper in low light at 3am without getting sprayed with shit. Meg can aim her boobs with sniper like precision when it comes to feeding. I’ve perfected sitting her on my lap while either on the computer or playing XBox and only dropped her once in the process. This baby stuff really isn’t all that hard.
But this bath thing is kicking our asses.
In the beginning, things were easy. Before her cord fell off, we were forced into giving her sponge baths. Those went fine; even the one time she shit on the kitchen counter wasn’t difficult to recover from. She’d happily kick and coo and grunt, and Meg and I were able to quickly move around each other to get it done.
Based on how the nurses, pediatricians, and books phrased it, the fact that we weren’t allowed to submerge her in water until after the cord fell off made it sound like a bath was the ideal venue for washing her. So it should come as no surprise that once her belly button was fully healed, we were more than excited to break out the bath (and for my enjoyment, the bath toys) and finally give the child a real bath.
Our excitement didn’t last long. Let me see if I can properly describe the situation. The bath we have has an incline on one side, at the bottom of which is a stump. The idea, or so I would have assumed, is that the kid lays on the incline, with the stump stopping her butt from sliding further down the tub and fully submerging her.
This is all in theory.
Realistically, the child, who can’t even crawl yet, can maneuver herself around the stump, sliding all over the damn place. The situation is exacerbated by the fact that once her butt has been soaped up, she’s got even less friction to keep her in place. She managed to swivel her hips enough to slide out to one of the sides of the stump and down the ramp. To those of you who understand jiu-jitsu, realize she’s going to be scary good at swiveling into an arm bar from guard.
Naturally, all of our frantic attempts to keep Leanne’s head above water prolong the length of the bath. That works against us; time is not our friend in bath time.
Sunday night, for instance, we were almost completely done with the bath. We had her whole body good and clean, as well as washing her hair. By the way, I tried to get pictures of a little shampoo mohawk, but her hair just doesn’t have the thickness. Yet. The minute I can, you can bet your ass there’s going to be a full gallery of shampoo mohawk pictures on this site.
I had just finished lifting Leanne up so Meg could wash the shampoo out of the back of her hair when I heard a very loud, very bass driven noise emanate from the tub. Meg, showing some restraint, says “Damnit.” I already knew the story before she told it to me. I quickly take Leanne out of the increasingly yellow/brown water and frantically look around for the closest place to sit her to protect against further expulsions. With no luck, I took off my shirt and wrapped it around her bottom; easier to wash a shirt than wipe shit off the refrigerator, stove, cabinets, and ceiling. It also didn’t matter because at bath time, Meg and I end up almost having taken a full bath anyway, so the shirt was already soaked.
This is the second bath in a row that ended up back on the kitchen counter as a sponge bath. And in case you haven’t already figured it out, the first time was due to the exact same reason.
So we’re on a research mission. Maybe she’s too small to be trying bathtub baths so soon. To all the mothers who have been commenting on the site, we’re looking for advice. I’m convinced the answer comes in the form of a cork, but Meg didn’t like that. And I’m not even going to tell you about the beating I got when I suggested using Achilles as an model for giving a bath. So both comments or using the contact link at the top are appreciated.