Diary of a Dad: Week 16 - My Favourite Job as a Dadby Adam Riches
There are some things that are just the best jobs. I literally love bath time. It doesn’t matter how hard or stressful my day has been, nothing beats getting the lads in the bath and refereeing the splashing and exaggerated soap distribution.
Bath time gives me the chance to decompress from work and stop being boring and start being a dad again. This bonding time is really important - bath time before bed has really allowed me to do just that.
With two, things have got a bit more wild. It isn’t the quaint experience you often see on Instagram when people post those lovely pictures of their bubbles and designer bathrooms, you know the ones with the well-placed products that you can only get in those posh shops. Our bath time is all-out warfare. In honesty, it normally ends with a shit (or two) in the bath.
When I look back at the bathing journey it makes me feel a weird sense of reminiscence. I look back to when the boys were so small they’d fit in the sink or the tiny plastic baths that you can take anywhere.
I think back to those first baths with our oldest boy where I tentatively held him in some weird nervous embrace like he was going to have some weird reaction to water...honestly, you’re clueless at the start. I used to get the water temperature perfect, optimum bubble density, it was like a real science. With our little one now, he just gets a bath (the only quality control he gets is that there isn’t a shit actually in the bath when he gets in, bless him.)
I did learn a few things the first time round that have served me well for bathing the baby this time.
Firstly, a happy baby at the start of bath time is a lot less stressful than a grumpy one. With that said, the bath is seriously soothing for some babies and we found that the tub bath thing was really helpful at dinner times.
Another thing I learnt pretty quickly was to get everything you'll need for bath time ready in advance. You can't leave a baby in the bath alone (obviously) so having the gear close by is helpful. It also means you can focus on the little one completely.
The last thing is having an exit plan. Babies aren’t stupid and they quickly learn what comes next I have found that making sure the end is planned as well as the start serves as a good way to ensure that the bath to bed transition is tear and stress-free. Let’s be honest, it’s still a shit show sometimes but hey, we can but try.
In a few years when I look back on being a dad, the fact I bathed the boys every day (pretty much without fail) is something I will be really chuffed about.