"splish, splash I was taking a bath..." Bobby Darin
I remember when I first found out I was pregnant with Max that I approached it with apprehension, excitement and my usual m.o. of reading and prepping as much as possible (yeah, yeah control freak or whatever). My husband and I even took a child birth/child rearing class. It was 2 days at NYU Hospital, where I would deliver, and it was by far the best thing we could have done. I never baby sat and as an only child had almost no experience with babies. My husband is the youngest in his family and had nothing to add on what we were going to do when we got home post-delivery. The class was perfect for this level of lack of knowledge. I learned about breathing, epidurals, going without them or when to get them, nursing, diaper changing and host of other really useful tips for when we brought the baby home. I used and shared most of these learnings with other new Moms.
One of the things that intimidated me the most with my first son was bath time. I mean holy shit what if I dropped this small person? He could barely hold up his own head at the time. What if I boiled or froze him? Got soap in his eyes, water in his ears, or otherwise damaged the little guy? Luckily for those of us who have baby showers a bathtub was given as a gift. Small, blue, plastic tub which basically you could not drown the child in even if you were spastic or scared stiff. Max and I both survived his first experience, though they did not warn me about covering his penis when I put him in water and so he baptised me the first time we went through this ritual.
Since then I have never asked our nannies, when we had them, to bathe either of my children. Life was a bit more hectic for a while, even more than the usual chaos that you have when you have 2 children under 3 years old in the house, with having to bathe them in different places (baby in plastic tub, bigger boy in bathtub). Once they were able to be placed together in the same bathtub though it has been the greatest. They play, collection of toys and imagination go wild and we (me sitting on the lid of the toilet) have a lot of thoughtful conversations in there. We also sing silly song and tell even sillier made up stories.
I know that this is coming to an end soon and that they will outgrow my presence and need for me in this routine. Like many other things I will miss this ritual of early childhood. Bath time with the boys for me is one of my favorite activities and though I know the trend in the States is to encourage self-reliance I will not push myself out of the steamy bathroom until they request it.