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A Bath For the Ages

I sat at school today trying to think of something to blog about.  I had nothing.  But just as I was thinking that I didn’t have anything to say, Jen asked me to give Connor a bath tonight.  Bath time is usually Jen’s thing.  Connor typically clings to her when he’s tired anyway, and it gives me about 20 minutes of independent “Mike time,” even if I spend it washing dishes, or diapers, or preparing lunches for the next day.  More recently, however, Connor has been in an anti-bath phase, which makes bath time much more stressful than normal.  Last week, Jen announced bath time would begin to be a shared and/or tag team activity.  This was okay with me.  I had already gotten out of my fair share of bath duty over the past 12 months.

As Connor became tired tonight, I suggested that we give Connor a bath tonight since Nana and Pap would be babysitting Connor tomorrow night.  (Connor only gets a bath every other night.)  Jen thought this as a good idea too, except that Connor’s birthday cake was in the oven and it needed to be “watched closely.”  I don’t think Jen trusted me with this momentous task, so it was suggested that I take her up on my agreement to help out with Connor’s bedtime routine.  I agreed and reached to take Connor from her arms, but Connor clung to her shirt, like he always does.  Connor stopped whining as we reached the top of the stairs and I prepared his bedroom for bed before taking him into the bathroom.  Connor quietly watched as I prepared his bath and fussed only a little as I started to undress him.  He was actually in pretty good spirits as I began to remove his diaper when…”Oh man!”  Yes, it was a poopy diaper.  Connor had smelled for the past hour, but I thought it was just wet.  I even peeked down the back of his diaper at one point, but it had looked clean.  It obviously was not. 

"Dada is great, as long as he's not trying to give me a bath."

I think the bath may have gone much differently if Connor would have gone straight into the water.  Instead, Connor let out a scream as I laid his bare backside down on the cold bath mat to wipe his butt with a cold wet wipe.  I wiped him as fast as I could and carried him over to the tub.  Connor began crying louder as his feet entered the water and he refused to sit down, turning and reaching for me instead.  Remembering that Jen had suggested that I get into the bath with him, I stepped back and started removing my clothes as quickly as possible.  Soon, I was in the bath tub with him, but it made no difference.  Connor continued to wail, his lip quivering with each cry now as he became colder.  I forced him to sit down with me in the tub, but that only somehow managed to make him cry harder.  I quickly bathed Connor, as best as one can with a screaming, flailing baby who is refusing to sit.  I grumbled to myself as I watched little poop floaties drift past my leg while rinsing Connor’s hair.  Apparently my rushed wipe job hadn’t been very precise.  Connor faced toward me, grabbing for my arms and shoulders, wanting for me to pick him up and carry him out of the tub.  “The only way this can get any worse is if he peed on me right now,” I remember thinking.  I steadied Connor as I stepped out of the tub, water dripping across the floor and my clothes that lay on it.  Connor’s crying slowed, but only until he saw that reaching for his towel was a priority, instead of immediately turning around to get him out, as though I was just going to abandon him in the tub…really Connor?  I wrapped him snuggly in his ducky bath towel and held him close to my body, knowing he was cold.  His crying finally subsided, morphing into a series of faint whimpers, finally feeling safe and secure again.  I looked down at my damp clothes on the floor.  There was no time for them right now.  I took my birthday suit and headed for Connor’s bed room.  However, Connor immediatley let out a wail again as soon as he was laid back down so that I could put a new diaper and  a sleeper on him.  I shushed him.  I sang to him.  Nothing was working, but Connor lay still, flat on his back, crying loudly with his lip still quivering.  I now felt badly for him, knowing that I was moving too slowly.  Soon, Jen finally came to my aid, shooting me a wink and a “Lookin’ good!” as she knelt beside me and began helping to put Connor into his sleeper.  (Okay, so I embellished that last part, but give me the satisfaction.)  Jen quickly fastened the buttons I had been fumbling with, and scooped up Connor, who finally calmed as she rubbed his back and combed his hair.  “Thank goodness,” I said, speaking for Connor.  “Dada doesn’t know what the hell he’s doing!”  I watched them for a moment, as Connor snuggled in close to his mommy.  “Well…I’m gonna go put on some clothes,” I said finally as I stood up.  “Dada!” exclaimed Connor in his familiar call.  I smiled, turning back.  “Will you give me a kiss goodnight?  Or are you too mad at me right now,” I asked as I moved my cheek in front of his face.  He babbled something happily before leaning forward to kiss me.  Jen interpreted, “I still love you, Daddy.”  Connor pulled back and then babbled something much more directly while looking right at me.  Jen laughed, “But do better next time!”

Sigh…I’ll try Connor.  Dada will try.

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