How to win Gold! (Or maybe bronze depending on how your day at work went...)
It's not just me that feels the bath/bedtime routine can feel like an Olympic triathlon is it? I can't be the only one... I feel like i need to stretch and get on my marks to begin the race!
I rush home from work to get to my boy every day. He’s usually finishing his dinner so when I walk through the door he’s hyper, covered in beans or has smeared some sort of fruit in his hair and always gagging to root through my work bag.
In this house I take care of bath time probably 99% of the time. Being a full time working dad means the morning wake ups, first nappy of the day and breakfast are all my domain. And then in the evening it’s my job to tackle the post-dinner carnage tidy up, bath time, milk and bed.
After some playtime in the garden or a wrestle fest or maybe a calming episode of Twirlywoos we march upstairs together where he will open and close every... single.... door. It’s just doors. That’s all he wants. I swear to god we don’t really have to buy him any toys (apart from the kitchen nanny and grandad got him for Christmas, because it has cupboard doors!). I’m running the bath, getting his room ready all the while he is running around upstairs from room to room. All I am trying to do is make sure he doesn’t go into the bathroom and reach down the loo to say ‘bye bye’ to the weewees and poops like he loves to do.
Surprisingly we’ve never had a stairs related incident, he just isn’t interested as the stairs don’t have doors. (*UPDATE since i wrote this... we had our first 'falling down the stairs' incident the week we got back from holiday. Top to bottom. Full throttle. Terrified me. He was a mess. Big bump to head. Thank the universe it wasn't any worse. That'll teach me. #baddaddy*)
Then comes getting him undressed. This part is fine and he even picks up his clothes and puts them in the wash (I’m getting him well trained). Then it’s time for the nappy to be removed… again this goes quite well but he soon realises I am taking him away from the doors and about to plonk him in the bath. And if it’s a good day, we’ll be ok… but if it’s not, all hell will probably break loose.
But we get through it. We take a minute or 2 to calm down and then he’s settled in the bath (which he loves I have to say, it’s just the thought of not being able to open and close the doors for 5 minutes he has to deal with…). Washing hair is fun as he is now obsessed with the shower head and just standing under it whilst in the bath. He’s always been a dream at brushing teeth too so I really can’t complain there. He's recently taken to laying on his front in the bath and paddling away. Are the 2032 Olympic Games taking applicants yet?
Off we head to his room for the nightly ritual of moisturising him after the bath. This usually goes well but he must have the bottle to hand to open and close. We get the nappy on and then get him changed into his pyjamas which is where he tends to get into full WWE mode. (Swimming AND wrestling? I reckon we have a future Olympic star on our hands). I have no idea why but he just decides to thrash about, flinging himself all over the place while hysterically laughing his head off! Sometimes I am amused, other times I just wish I could get these bloody poppers popped up without a punch to the face (his punch to my face FYI). Add boxing to that list!
But all in all, this is the time of day I absolutely cherish. I come home from work to my more important, real-life job. And I absolutely love it. It can sometimes be an insanely emotional, difficult, tantrum filled evening. And sometimes it’s a dream where i wish i could keep him up and just read books together all night...
Top Tips for a Gold medal bath time!
- It’s fairly obvious, but routine. My son knows that being able to play upstairs usually means it’s the end of the day, and bath time is coming.
- Make it fun! He gets easily bored of his toys and is much more into real life things, so we update the bath toys often (which is actually just common sense, have you seen the mildew they collect?! Gross!). Mirrors, bath paints, bubbles, watering can… they’re all brilliant.
- Calming time. Despite the splashing and thrashing, I try to retain some calm when we’re drying off and getting dressed for bed. We sing twinkle twinkle, have cuddles and he sometimes (without being asked) curls up on his bean bag for a story, which naturally lasts 2 seconds before slamming the book shut to reach for the next one.
Above all, don’t stress about getting wet, or having water all over the bath room floor. I was the biggest OCD clean freak on earth before being a dad. Now I just know it can easily be cleaned up when that noisy little thing is in bed… or maybe I’ll just go to sleep too and leave it til tomorrow… ZZZzzz