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Yay, It’s Bath Time!

Since the early days of Justine’s now rapidly paced childhood, a fixture of the evening ritual has always been a bath.  We identified early on that she had an odd propensity for water bound behavior, at one point spending months submerged in a small sac of water entirely of her own accord. Naturally we wanted to capitalize on this character trait and incorporate it into “holy of holies” in childhood sleep therapy, the “night-time ritual.”

In the very beginning, bath time was more of quick step in the process, in large part because Justine at that point in her life was little more than a writhing bag of goo with eyes that did little but eat, sleep and poop.  We’d dutifully put her in the tub, proceed immediately to the task of scrubbing away the awful scents she picked up from the friends and family that had held onto her.  After a quick rinse it was off to the changing table for diapers and pajamas.

As time went on however, it became clear that our little one enjoyed her time in the bath, and we started making a more conscious effort to let her sit in there and play, beginning to augment bath time with a variety of bath toys.  At first, it was mostly items that we already had in the kitchen that happened to float – cups, sponges, old cans filled with bacon fat for example.  Eventually we purchased commercial bath toys – “fancy” bath cups, rubber duckies, and little squirters – the latter providing probably more fun for me than for her.  I enjoyed squirting things (the cats, the wife, the Wicked Witch of the West) while Justine instead preferred to put the thing in her mouth and squeeze out all the water.

That has always been a bit of a struggle for us – for some unknown reason Justine has also shown a proclivity to drinking her bathwater.  She’ll take cups, surreptitiously fill them, and then drink them, ending usually in some nasty coughs as she is still getting the hang of the “chug” she probably won’t fully develop until college.  She does similar things at the pool, which is even harder to police, especially when she’s over in her pool swimming her laps while you are in the hot tub.

The actual vessel of bath time has changed significantly over the months as well as the toys.  When she first emerged from the womb, we used to bathe her in a teacup, resting her on a soup spoon while we scrubbed her with some doll brushes the Indian in the Cupboard gave us.  Eventually we moved her into a “toddler bath,” a molded plastic affair that was designed to fit over the double sink in the kitchen.  This was ideal because we could give Justine her bath, and then use the leftover bathwater for other chores, like rinsing vegetables and making Kool-Aid for the neighborhood kids.

Now that Justine has gotten too large for the kitchen sink, she now happily spends her bath firmly ensconced in the S.S. Ducky McMallard, a large inflatable duck that fits in our large bathtub and comes complete with beak that unleashes a barrage of classic Australian Wood Duck quacks, which she adores. We are somewhat less enthused when we trip over the thing in the middle of the night as it takes up most of the bathroom when not in the tub.  Her time in the bath has increased significantly, now bordering on the half an hour mark, which is a bit more a struggle for the watcher, who sits idly by while she engages in splashing, standing attempts, bath toy tossing, and the SCUBA certification.

Where does the road lead from here?  Based on her current progression I would estimate that by her 18 month birthday she’ll be lounging out for a few hours every night playing with some 1:32 scale working tugboats in a large Turkish bath.

I wonder if they make those in duck shapes…

- MWF -

Fatherhood Friday at Dad Blogs

Posted in Day to Day Baby Living, Uncategorized. Tagged with , , .

  • Melisa with one s

    Great post! Your “account” of bathing her in a tea cup made me LOL!

  • Jason

    hahaha, My youngest LOVES bath time as well. The oldest is now a larger fan of the shower, more time for tv before bed…

  • paul(mytwodaddies)

    Our son looks forward to his bath. He calls it “bath bath”. When my partner takes him in to the bathroom..I’m sitting their waiting with bubbles and warm water and all his favorite toys. His eyes get big and he smiles, fighting to get his clothes off in a hurry

  • PJ Mullen

    Those squirt toys are the best and I certainly have more fun with them than my son does, much to my wife’s dismay.

  • Joel

    “At first, it was mostly items that we already had in the kitchen that happened to float – cups, sponges, old cans filled with bacon fat for example.”

    Congratulations. You’ve just one the “Funniest thing I Didn’t Say” Award for today. There is no prize money, or an actual trophy of any kind, but you should know that in my heart, you’re a winner.

    Great post. You’ve just locked me in, I’m a subscriber.

  • Otter

    Great post. Very funny. Our son likes his bath too but he can’t sit up yet so we are still taking short baths. He likes to kick repeatedly until everyone in the house is soaked.

  • Super Mega Dad

    Too funny! Both my kids LOVE their bath time (6 and 3) and they usually soak every square inch of the bathroom. My 3 year old STILL drinks bath water, much to my distress. I tell her it’ll make her sick, but she don’t care.

  • WeaselMomma

    I want a rubber ducky like that!

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