Wednesday, January 9, 2008

The First Bath

I was inspired by the author of Mommyhood Essentials to write about one of my very first bathing experiences, with my first born. He was maybe a bit over a week old and very tiny and frail due to undiagnosed medical issues, but at the time, ignorance was bliss. We had already the the official 1st bath with pictures and both mommy and daddy etc but this was the first time I gave him a bath alone. He was so fussy that day and I thought perhaps a warm bath would calm him down. At least that is what the "BOOKS" say. We bathed him in the sink on a sling designed to fit in the sink. Now mind you I did not take into account how awkward this thing had been with 2 parents bathing a wee baby who really did not find bath time very amusing. (In fact he hated, it, see my faulty reasoning already?). Anyway, I got all my tools while he lay blissfully in the bassinett unaware of what his loving mother was about to do to him. Now, why it did not click that quiet baby meant he had calmed down? I have no idea, but I was sure it was just what he needed. I cranked up the heat in the house so the kitchen would be warm. Got the water ready, tested with my elbow at least 15 times, plus my wrist, and the little bath duck themoter. Alas the little prince's bath awaited. I picked him up and stripped him to which his responses was screaming bloody murder. He HATED with a purple passion being naked. I truly did not realize how slippery and wiggly such a tiny baby could be. I slipped him gently in the water trying to talk softly over his livid terrified screams. He hated water. At last I put a large warm wet bathcloth over his belly and he calmed down. EUREEKA, I thought I had discovered the secret. And I began soaping him and singing to him about washing his body parts. Then, it all fell apart. I picked up my now very soapy baby to wash his back, and he slipped SLURRRRRP.......SLOOOOSH.........SWOOSH right out of my hands into the water. He went under as it was a big single sink not a double. For mere f lash of a second I froze in horror at my baby screaming silently under the water.......then grabbed him up crying my eyes out as he screamed in RAGE! (can you imagine how he liked baths AFTER that). I wrapped him in a towel and ran for the phone.....thankfully I called my husband BEFORE I called 911 or they would have thought I was a lunatic. I dropped the baby under the water I say.....he says well he sounds fine, he is screaming! I am like but he went ALL THE WAY UNDER in the SOAPY water.....don't you think we should take him to the HOSPITAL! I am post partum and sleep deprived mind you so all this made sense to me that my child would have horrific consequences. I said but the soap could poison husband just listened to me rant and freak out with the baby screaming by now cold and naked in the towel as I tried to talk to my husband and soothe the baby at the same time. Finally, It clicked......if his lungs are well enough to scream that loud.....he is fine. So I hung up with my dh, dressed the baby and fed him and quiet reigned again. When my husband got home the baby's cold bath water and baby sling were still in the sink. From them on I bathed him with towels under his bum to support him so I didnt have to pick him all the way up to to his back but could lean him forward on my arm. Ahhhhh you live and learn and I am proud to share that bath time is now one of his favorite times of day, well as long as no water goes over his face.......hmmmmm, do you just kidding he was not scarred for life and was over his rage as soon as he got a bit of Mommy Milk..


Mommy Reg said...

This was so amusing to read. I have never been able to give my kids calming first baths, it is always so awkward and slippery and only as along as the warm wet wash cloth is on their belly they are only sort of happy. Thankfully they all now love getting baths.

Thelma said...

LOL.........yeah mine too. thanks........and it is funny how at the time we are so "traumatized" by the whole thing and later we can see how funny it was and how much we have learned along the way........our poor first children.........LOL......get all the oops moments........LOL