It wasn’t always this way, but the Monkey LOVES bath time.
When we first brought him home, we used the standard infant bath tub. We’d line the kitchen counter with towels, use warm water, and try to make it soothing for him.
It never worked: He didn’t like the reclined angle. After a few weeks, his legs got too long and his feet went from being immersed underwater to dangling over the sides of the tub. He’d struggle to sit up, sloshing water all over the counter, floor, and us. Overall, he hated it and we ended up rushing through bath time like nobody’s business.
I knew he was ready for a bigger tub, but the thought of putting him in the regular tub seemed ridiculous. He was so small. The tub was so big. It would take a ton of water just to fill it with a couple of inches, and then wouldn’t he get cold? Not to mention the obvious, the tub is freaking HARD. The Monkey was only barely sitting up on his own at the time and would often topple sideways if gravity got a hold of his little head.
So I went online and bought an inflatable tub. BEST $17 I ever spent. The sides are cushioned, as is the bottom. It fits perfectly inside our big tub. It takes much less water to fill. The only problem? Blowing it up. We don’t have an air compressor. The Hubbs was actually a little annoyed that I bought it. He thought it was frivolous. As such, he refused to help blow it up.
So I waited until the weekend when my little brother came up for a visit. Between the two of us, it took about 30 minutes to blow up that tub. With our mouths and lungs. There were three chambers: The floor, and the two sides. Our cheeks were stretched out like baboons for hours. After that, we vowed to disturb the tub as little as possible to keep all the air in. So far, its worked. There’s a drain at the bottom, but we don’t bother to pull on it and possibly uncork the sides. We just flip the tub upside down when we’re done and let it dry that way. It works just fine.
But the Monkey … he LOVES that tub. And the bath process. Because once he got a little freedom and some bath toys thrown in there — we have problems getting him out. Also — the kid loves being nekkid. Its hilarious. And every time he hears the word “bath” he gets all excited — pumping his arms and kicking his legs. He’ll lift his arms up to be carried.
“Excuse me, but I need to order a nekkid baby,” I’ll say to the Hubbs, watching as the Monkey flails around in his high chair, desperate to be picked up. He’ll laugh hysterically when the Hubbs scoops him up and carries him toward the nursery, babbling the whole way. He gets impatient when he hears the bath water roaring into the tub — I can hear his cries from the bathroom.
And then? Giggling. Happy giggling as the Hubbs enters the bathroom doorway and that tub comes into sight. The arms and legs pump wildly, and he lunges for my outstretched arms.
Its bath time people.
And after bath time? He doesn’t want to get out of the tub. And then? He doesn’t want to get dressed. So we have a new ritual. Probably a dangerous ritual. Most likely a hilarious ritual once he’s running on his own.
I let him streak. Sort of.
I wrap him up in towels after his bath, keeping him warm. And then he looks into my eyes and smiles. A full-on smile with teeth, which makes his eyes crinkle like mine. Its my cue.
“Nekkid baby!” I holler as we high-step it out of the bathroom and jog/bounce/run around the entire house, his giggles filling each room. He’s still giggling when I lay him on the changing table, and massage lotion over his arms, legs, torso, and face. He sighs, closes his eyes, and smiles when I massage his head to dry his hair with the towel. He protests loudly when I put his pjs on and wipe his nose. He holds still while I brush his hair.
Then we’re off again, in an exaggerated sneak this time: We hunt for DaDa, who hears us coming the second we step out of the nursery — the Monkey’s giggles give us away. But he feigns surprise anyway when we jump into a doorway and yell “boo!” (OK, I yell “boo” while the Monkey just laughs harder.)
Then its time for snuggles and kisses goodnight.
With a routine like that, who wouldn’t like bath time?