Thursday, October 6, 2011

Nightly Ritual

My husband P is a writer by trade, and he told me once that he thinks Winnie the Pooh was one of his greatest influences. Given that the nature of his writing ranges from the stock market, to Canadian politics to education reform and beyond, Pooh is not always very obvious.

That said, when A was born (20 years ago!), P wrote a bath song for him. It goes a little something like this:

Baby in the bath
causing quite a splash
dee deedle dee dee-dee *
Baby in the bath. 

I don't know about you, but I think that has Pooh all over it.

Eventually, the babies get to the point where all they have to hear is "Baby in the bath..." and they'll take off in the other direction, squealing to get away.

After dinner we initiate the baby bath routine. I say "Okay, Baby. Time to take a bath." F follows me down the hallway as quickly as she can (her legs are only about a foot long) and occasionally gets distracted by the dog or a previously abandoned toy or a sudden thought.

Usually that thought is "Keeeee?" which means "Where's the kitty?" or "WheDa?" accompanied by the sign for Daddy.

Once it has been established that the Kitties are downstairs and the Daddy is in the office, the journey down the long hallway to the bathroom resumes.

In the bathroom, I dangle F over the cd player and she very painstakingly uses her tiny little forefinger to press PLAY. On comes Tchaikovsky's Greatest Hits at a volume of about 1000000 decibels, loud enough to be heard pretty much everywhere in the house. That's how we like our classical music around here, especially when it comes to the 1812 Overture.

F dances with a sort of swaying, squatting motion and conducts the music while I draw the bath water and get her diaper, lotion and pajamas situated. Then, I chase her around for a minute, threatening to "get" her, and then get her undressed. That's when the fun begins.

Perched on the side of the tub, naked, Felicity throws in her rubber duckies one at a time, and we count them as they splash.

(pause while Santa duck in inspected and Mama is asked to give him a kiss)
(pause while Ulrich von Dog wanders through and F shouts after him "DOG-AY! DOG-AY!")

At thirteen the last duck is in, and F follows them into the water. I give her a quick soap and rinse, and then she generally plays until she's all tuckered out.

There are many joys in bathing an adorable baby, from their squeezy little bodies to the little fat hand splashes, to the way their hair plasters down their foreheads, but I have to say this is one of the cutest so far:

The Discovery of the Belly Button

It was a big day. 

What's that beautiful wall decor, you ask? Oh, it's just a mural my Mom painted for me. She's just the most talented and generous Mom ever. No big deal. 

* Correction provided by P. According the author, "Dee deedle dee" was inaccurate. My apologies for misleading anyone.
**Yes, we have thirteen rubber ducks. Go big or go home.

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