Sunday, August 24, 2008

Tales of a mini-flood

To think that we had wanted him to enjoy the experience!

Once upon a time, there was a little baby who couldn't decide whether he liked being bathed. As chronicled in 'Seeking that bath-time breakthrough', he would waver between finding his time in the tub delightful and tearfully hating it. With time, however, he came to enjoy these sessions, and 'At long last, bath time is fun time!' captured his parents' pleasure at how he would calm down when lowered into pleasantly warm water.

Now four months old, however, Sonny prefers what you might call too active a form of enjoyment. He's splishing his feet with glee once he gets into the tub, and splashing out great waves of soapiness onto our study table and floor. The writing is on the wall (written no doubt in foam): We're going to have to move our bathing activities elsewhere, except there is nowhere else available in our little home. There's our spare bathroom, but it's so cramped a space that the baby bathtub wouldn't really fit. At the same time, the adult tub is much too large for Sonny's use.

We haven't yet gotten round to asking the staff at the infant care centre how they cope: It seems Sonny gets two baths between morning and evening. Hopefully, they're not mopping up furiously after each watery encounter. Mum then bathes him one more time at night. She tried moving the bathtub to the floor, from the table, but that hasn't curbed his enthusiasm for lowering the water level one bit. It's probably instinctive. Maybe he likes the sound of water cascading onto the floor. And to the wall. And sundry bottles and implements.

And us.

Anyway, our brains trust (assistance always appreciated, given our intellectual poverty) is working on a solution. One possibility is a smaller bathtub that would fit into our spare bathroom, where Sonny can expand his wet wonderland all he likes. But that seems a queerly retrograde move when Sonny himself is getting bigger by the day. We could, of course, strike out into the unknown and actually give the fella assisted showers in the adult tub, using the detachable shower head. Not that we've ever heard of parents doing this with children as young as Sonny, but that's no reason not to be innovative.

That's a part of us, though, that wonders whether it'd be rather cruel to deny Sonny his chance of a splashing good time. Perhaps his unleashing of mini-floods, plus the giggles of amusement this usually engenders (at times, he seems to do it out of spite, but never mind that) help nurture a sense of humour and are stamped out at our peril. A little mopping now and then seems a small price to pay for a balanced personality.

Mustn't be a wet blanket now...