Monday, May 05, 2008

Bathliness is next to Bedliness

As un-crunchy as it might sound, I love a good routine. This is no doubt a carry-over from my days as a wide-awake teacher, just brimming with youthful sleep and energy. Back then, I planned my day to a T, and even planned in some planning time. There is nothing more satisfying than a list, other than completing that list.

Routine for many of my fellow AP style parents is sort of a four letter word. I think this is because many of the baby trainers have purloined the word "routine" and attached a sinister connotation to it (namely, that babies will fit into an adults life, even if it takes some strange and unnatural gyrations). I would like for that to change! There is a way to have a general routine while being responsive and attached and family-centered. Hats off to the moms that don't need one, and live well without one- I just can't do it! The trick is to be flexible. Teething, dogs rolling in rotten chipmunk, traveling, and the rare utility sink overflow demand that when the routine needs to be put on hold, that is just the way the ball bounces.

Round these parts, Gianna has a well scripted evening before bed. Bath, followed by the Great Diaper Chase (diapering a mobile baby should be a part of the Olympics. Cloth diapering a mobile baby, my friends), followed by Hylands Baby Crack (if teething), followed by Mr. Clarateaches' Story Time, prayers and lullabies in the glider, and then into the Pack n' Play she goes.

This child LOVES her bath. There is no other time of the day where she gets to work her pre-engineering magic the way she can in the bathtub. Forgetting the colorful toys bobbing around, she spends about 75% of her bath twisting the dial until the drain stopper rises enough to be pried out and poked into the faucet. She stoically tolerates the shampoo that releases her tresses from the cement that is banana, and does remarkably well with water being dumped over her head. She also has discovered that a washcloth is more efficient at bailing all of the water out of the tub, and onto Mommy and the floor. This experiment is repeated enough times to make sure it really does work, and it's not just a fluke.

Lola likes to wander in and peer into the tub. Her tail droops nervously, and she shifts from paw to paw, looking at me anxiously to determine if she will be thus tortured next. I assure her that she will indeed have a bath if she doesn't get her dog booty out of my way. No one has to ask her twice.

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