baby bath

What do Babies, Beavers and Varmints Share in Common?

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License to kill varmints by the government of the United Nations

One of the enduring gifts Maddie’s grandparents left with her was a new desire to bang on multiple flat surfaces like a bongo drum. Since that time, the baby has banged on cans, counter tops and even her dear old dad. But as you might have guessed from the title of this article, Maddie is now drumming water right out of the tub.

There’s always been a great deal of kicking that automatically came with bath time. However, with the recent addition of repeatedly smacking her flat hands on the surface of the water, bath time is now more like a day at the water park.

The entire smacking of the water is on par with the way a beaver warns other varmints that danger is near. The beaver takes its large flat tail and pounds it into the water before submerging. This tail meets water action sends up a large plume of water very similar to what Maddie is achieving in the bathtub.

So how does one defeat a Varmint? In Caddyshack, the wise and wily Bill Murray spoke about the difficulties of dealing with Varmints, “My enemy is a varmint and a varmint will never quit. They’re like the Vietcong. The varmint kong! You gotta fall back on superior firepower and superior intelligence.”

Since neither of those attributes are at my disposal, I obviously have a slew of long wet days ahead of me. Once Maddie watches that water rain down around her and the person tasked with bathing her, the fun for her is just beginning. Even though she’s inadvertently firing sharp blasts of water into her own eyes and nose, Maddie continues to smack at the water again and again (Honey Badger don’t care!)

At this point, I’m only making things worse. Every time the baby busts the water and douses us, we both laugh with unfettered delight. This is no doubt encouraging the problem rather than solving it. It may get old at some point, but for now, I’m more than content to participate in Maddie’s Water Games.

Maddie Decides Bath Time is for the Birds

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Maybe this bath stuff isn't such a good idea!

Since Maddie’s birth, bath time has always been one of her favorite activities. But as we discussed earlier this week, Maddie’s interpretation and reaction to outside stimuli has undergone some sort of dramatic transformation.

Unfortunately, this shift in behavior has found its way into the bathtub. We were forced into an early bath this afternoon when Maddie pulled a fast one after I removed her diaper. The diaper came off and she started urinating into the air. She really must have had to go, because the stream was shooting straight out.

I blocked the pee-stream in mid-air like some sort of super hero using his hand to deflect a punishing laser. (Luckily I had a cloth diaper lodged in my hand for this type of attack) Maddie obviously thought this was great sport, as she smiled with pure delight. She was in a really great mood now.

Our trip to the bathtub was starting with such promise – but as soon as the baby hit the water, she panicked.

This is a radical departure from her previous love of the tub. Maddie seemed very concerned that her head might slip under the water – even though that’s never happened before. She did not scream or cry – but she was fiercely communicating to me that I needed to keep a firm hand hold on the back of her neck.

This complicated our usual bathing process – but eventually Maddie started to relax and enjoy herself, although not as much as usual. Normally she splashes around a little bit, but today she was keeping a firm grip on my arms to make sure I was ready for any needed rescue operations. Even when I was washing the baby’s feet, her smiles were very cautious, as if she expected me to run out of the room at any moment and order a pizza.

It was if she had never been exposed to water before. I made sure that we took our time and kept the water nice and warm. It wasn’t until I started washing her hair that Maddie realized she was in good hands. We enjoyed the rest of our bath and I could tell that Maddie felt much better. This is because she carpet bombed my arm with poop after I finished drying her off.

When you really think about it, it’s obvious that I’m the one who should be terrified when it’s time for the baby to take a bath!