Bath Time: A Mother’s Grace, A Father’s Folly

Dear Emerson,

You’re killing me, Smalls.  As we near Mother’s Day and I realize I have nothing to buy your Mom that would measure up to her ability as a mother, I do have a great appreciation for her this morning.  It’s as simple as bath time.  You love bath time.  If you’re upset, we can toss you in that little green infant tub with the whales scrolled on the side and you’re happy as a lark.  Well, as long as we get the temperature right.

It’s a rare occasion that I’m having to bathe you alone.  It’s happened less than a handful of times, thus far.  It always ends with you crying and me sweating.  You may be wondering to yourself, “Didn’t he just say I love bath time?  Why would I be crying after doing something I love?”  Well it’s because I suck at it.  If it’s not getting the dang shirt over your head, then it’s the amount of time it takes me to shampoo your hair.  And your eyes.  It’s basically impossible not to get shampoo in your eyes.  In your defense though, you take it like a champ.  If a champion needs her mom to rock her back to sleep in your favorite chair because Dad sucks at bath time.

Well, it’s set in as a panic moment now.  Whether it’s when I realize you’re turning into a prune or realize that not putting your diaper back on you fast enough is playing with some real fire, I just get all nervous of the outcome and start sweating profusely.  It’s become almost stressful.  That being said, I’m getting better.  Hang in there.

But last night, after the sweat-off-my-brow event that has become your baths when it’s all up to Dad, I had a dream about it again.  So you got two baths from Dad last night.  And the one in my dream was way worse.

Everyone left to go to a party before us.  Your mom included.  It was just you and me, kiddo.  So I needed to take a shower, for some reason still wearing full pants, and I figured I’d take you in there with me.  Only about the time I started washing my back, I forgot you were in there.  You’d somehow crawled up my leg to my back and were clinging to me like a baby chimp clings to her momma.  Once I realized I’d basically just soaped you blindly thinking I was cleaning myself, I flipped you around and saw that your mouth was full of bubbles!  Yes, young lady.  Dad just washed your mouth out with soap.  And you don’t even talk yet.

I frantically tried to rinse away the bubbles by showing you how to open your mouth to the shower head and spit the water back out.  Readers might be saying, didn’t you just right a blog where your daughter learned to spit water in a stream-like fashion right into your face?  Yep.  Second time I’ve had a dream that I nearly drowned you.  Don’t read too much into that.  I’m way more likely to drop you than drown you.  Anyhow, you didn’t quite get all the soap suds out of your mouth when we decided we needed to get to the party.  And I didn’t comb your hair.  Pretty much the worst dad ever.  Your mom had to take you into the guest bathroom of the party to fix all my mistakes.  Hopefully that’s not a recurring theme in your life.  You’ll be spending a lot of time in the bathroom.

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