Bath Time: Rollicking Good Fun
Bath time has always been a cautious time for the twin toddlers at my house. Maybe I set the tone for this from the time of their first bath, fearfully administered with the help of a friend who assured me that even though soapy wet babies are slick we wouldn’t drop anyone. I don’t know how they felt about their baby tub but it made me feel secure. It had a little cloth sling precisely adjusted to an angle that prevented me from even pouring water in their eyes while rinsing them and softly kept them safe. I can’t remember when they outgrew the sling, but I still kept them in the safe little baby tub, which would protect them from “big people germs” now that they were bathing in the bathroom. Once they got big enough that the baby tub began to seem more hazardous than safe, they started bathing together in the big tub. The big tub that I wiped down with bleach cleaner (and cafefully rinsed) before each bath. Bathing together was also a time to be careful. The tub was now squeaky clean (no big people germs to be found) and unsterile toys like the rubber duck that didn’t drain properly were hastily discarded. I was still afraid someone would bump into the tap and need stitches on his head.
Caution has gone down the drain, so to speak, in stages. Now I watch with a careless eye while the boys guzzle bathwater out of bath toys like it’s the best thing they’ve every been served.
Still, they have been relatively cautious about the hazards of slippery tubs and unsteady feet. They would toddle back and forth, carefully holding onto the edge of the tub, crying if anyone fell down or got water in his eyes, and trying to climb up my arms when it was time to rinse their hair. (Yes, my son who scoffs at the power of the ocean is afraid of a little shampoo.) They enjoyed pouring water calmly from cup to cup and playing with the shower knobs and the drain valve.
Until today*. When I gave them their bath they went wild. All that yelling. All that laughing. All that jumping up and down (!) and dancing around. The bigger the splash, the better the review from brother. Twin B was falling face first into the water for Twin A’s laughter and entertainment. They were unfazed when they had to get their hair washed, I guess they hardly noticed after all that laying down and rolling over and over in the waves. I forbade using the cup to pour water over the edge and then had to confiscate all cups. They still managed to throw out quite a bit of bath water with the splashing and the large pop beads that one can submerge until they fill up and then shake to fling out water. They didn’t want to get out when it was time even though there were quite a few head bonks during the bath. They stayed in until the water got too cold. And then when I got them out and dried them, they went streaking up and down the hall, still yelling and laughing, until we corraled them again for diapers.
Gosh, they are a hoot sometimes. An exhausting, messy hoot. Next week Twin A will probably learn how to swan dive off the soap dish. Stay tuned.
*Since they actually only bathe about every three days or when someone smears squash in his hair it’s hard to say exactly when the transformation occurred.