Like many parenting moments, you never realise that ‘this’ is the last time you’ll bath one of them. One minute they are shrieking for you to save them from the evils of ‘shampoo eye’ while you moan at them for still not being able to run (or partake of) a bath without major parental involvement to stave off a diplomatic incident – then next moment? The door is shut, they screech indignantly if you need to pop in for a second even with eyes firmly averted and your days of soaping little backs and gingerly rinsing sud filled hair is gone forever.
The door is about to close on the bath times of my youngest girl which means that very soon there will just be one little naked boy bum washing about the house and then after that – well, I suppose it will be grandchildren. It’s a sobering thought to realise that the twin saviour and scourge of parenting (“oh god, will you listen to them, they’ll neve sleep wound up like that… stick them in the bath” moments only just outweighing the “sob, I suppose I’m going to have to BATH everyone” whimpers in my parenting past) are almost over.
I’ve done my best to enjoy every precious moment of bringing up Bene; it is easier to be mindful of doing so when I’ve had it so clearly pointed out to me what an unguaranteed honour it is to get to do so. I’ve tried to indulge in every last minute – and that has included sitting by the bath on the floor, getting wet when I would rather not, being present when I could use it to occupy him. He sits on the very same bathmat that I bought 16 years ago for Fran (the ‘too hot!’ bee printed on it is still overcautious, no help whatsoever and routinely ignored!) and plays with some of the same toys that his big sisters did. pouring water from pot to pot, washing everything with flannels, squirting people with baby elephants that have floated on a soapdish (called Mr Welephant) that I bought Max before we even had children.
I could no more throw out Mr Welephant that I could one of the children 🙄
So I can be all dewey eyed about bath times, or be more honest and admit I have mostly seen it as a chore to be got through and not too rosie-tinted at all. This Cussons video made me laugh, since I’m clearly not alone there.
If I look back on bringing up an armful of girls, what I chiefly remember about bath time is this:-
- Toddler Fran got a bath every morning, while I washed up in the adjacent kitchen, because she covered her hair in Weetabix every. single. morning.
- Maddy terrified Fran once by doing a poo in the bath that ‘looked like a banana’.
- Six week old Amelie was once washed in a cold bath by a nursery student who was scared of scalding her so thought that cold water would be better.
- Josie can’t stand bath water going in her ears so has to block them with her fingers while balancing a flannel on her eyes for hair rinsing. She plays almost identical games in the bath to the ones I used to play.
- Freddie never got to take a bath but when *I* had a bath, he used to rise up in my tummy as if he was trying to escape from the sound of water.
- Bene is the child who most likes (and gets the opportunity) to bath with me. It’s a parenting joy I totally under-estimated with the girls.
Cussons asked me to make a video about bath time moments with my little people; since I finally reached bathing zen only with Bene, I have sung for you. And I kid you not, I cried three times at least while I tried to choke out the last sentence. The Mum & Me range of bath products has been designed by mums and with pediatric approval, it the
Ultra Mild Head to Toe Wash has camomile in it to sooth wakeful babies off to sleep at bedtime. Since Bene can still cheerfully stay awake to 10pm, I think I might give that a go 😆
Here is my video – I am, I think you’ll agree, a little star 😉
This post was produced in association with Cussons.