(Today over at Sweetspot, there’s another Distracted Daddy post about our babysitter and her TV habits.)
Every morning before I have a shower, I have to clear the bathtub of various bath toys; rubber duckies, plastic sea creatures, and soggy facecloths. My daughter now bathes in our full bathtub. She used to bathe in a small plastic bin, but she outgrew the bin which means I outgrew having it spill water on the floor.
Bath time is a daily activity with our daughter. It’s part of her routine. Dinner, then bathtime, then bed. Dinner muddies the bath, its contents float around like we’re making toddler soup.
What we serve for dinner is always a good indicator of how thoroughly our toddler will need to be bathed. Dry toast equals a quick dip. Cottage cheese or yogurt or anything that is more liquid than solid usually means thorough scrubbing and deep cleansing.
My wife and I have bath time down to an efficient system with our daughter. I start the bath, frequently checking the temperature to ensure I don’t scald the baby, while my wife undresses her. Once my daughter’s undressed she runs to the bath.
We used to let her run to the bath completely naked. It was cute seeing her cherub-like body run towards the water, or towards other toys. It was cute until the day she squatted in the hallway and peed. There was a little puddle on the floor. So we stopped letting her run naked before baths after she peed on the floor (the second time).
My daughter likes baths, except when she doesn’t, and there’s no way of knowing. When she doesn’t like the baths she acts like she’s being waterboarded.
When she likes the bath she splashes, she plays with toys, and she drinks bathwater like it’s refreshing Gatorade. Seriously, I don’t know what the deal is with toddlers and drinking bathwater. But my daughter loves it, it’s ambrosial. If she’s not trying to drink it out of the cup we use to wash her hair she’s trying to suck it out of the washcloth. If Coca-Cola could bottle that magical combination of baby grunge, leftover dinner, and baby shampoo they would have a new number one drink on their hands. At least for the toddler market.
Bath removal is the biggest issue regarding bath time. Our daughter hates bath removal. She wants to stay in the bath and prune up. Bath removal always involves one parent with a towel and another parent removing the angry thrashing toddler. She fusses, she cries, she complains, which is great because it’s not like bath time is supposed to calm her before bedtime. I guess that’s what story time is for.