For the past couple of weeks, I've given up trying to get Westley really clean while he's sitting in his plastic tub sitter suction-cups-on-the-bottom thingy. It's great for helping him sit up in the bathtub, but he spends most of his bath teething on the plastic ring, and when he really wants to teethe on something, it can be hard to distract him long enough to wash the dried-on milky drool off of his neck.
Plastic tub sitter suction-cups-on-the-bottom thingy -- great for playing, bad for bathing.
The baby bathtub is permanently stationed in the garage, since he's been too tall to fit in it for months now. And I never really liked bathing in the sink. It seemed strange and wrong to be washing a tiny person in the same place that dirty dishes end up. So showers it is.
I thought showering with a baby would be kind of scary. Babies are slippery when they're wet, and even slipperier when they're wet and soapy. I've had nightmare visions of dropping Westley since Day One. But the first time I brought him into the shower with me, he held on to my shoulder like a little monkey, and I was actually able to get him reasonably clean. And it was so easy and he came out smelling so nice that we did it again the next day, and the next.
Now, he knows the drill. He plays on the bathroom floor while I quickly wash my hair, and then I pick him up and bring him back into the shower with me. He leans on me and sucks the water off my shoulder while I wash him, and then he plays with the water, reaching out to try to grab the drops, or putting his face under the spray and blinking. When we're finished, I set him down on a giant pile of towels on the bathroom floor and quickly wrap him up like a big terrycloth burrito. I dry him off on our big bed while singing a just-made-up Drying Off Song (the lyrics usually go, "Dry, dry, dry / dry, dry, dry..."). We laugh through the whole process, unless one of us accidentally gets water up his nose.
Because I like to borrow trouble, I'm already sad for the day when Westley is too grown-up to shower perched on my chest like a baby chimp. It sucks that some day shower time won't be play time any more. But until then, it's easily my favorite part of the day. Nothing beats warm water and a happy, cooing little dude first thing in the morning.