This is one you file under the “things I’d never thought I’d celebrate before I became a dad” category: I bathed Everett all by myself. Now, I’m sure this sort of sounds like I’m celebrating over being able to tie my own shoes or being able to walk on the sidewalk without tripping. But it is slightly more difficult to bathe Everett than those things. We bathe Everett in a mini collapsible tub that is really great, but it doesn’t offer any support for a baby that can’t sit or hold himself up. So, for the most part, it ends up being a two-person job, where one person holds Everett and the other lathers him up with soap. So, I think I’m justified a smidgeon of pride in being able to bathe Everett without any assistance.
Of course, in order to be filled with this pride, then I need to ignore the fact that Emily and my sister-in-law have both bathed him without any assistance in the past. It isn’t like I’m achieving a monumental feat that hasn’t ever been accomplished before. But I was always really nervous about trying to bathe Everett on my own, because I feared I’d forget about my son’s inability to sit or hold himself up while I turned away to get some soap. I really didn’t have a desire to answer the question, “Do babies float?” Mostly because I felt I already knew the answer and felt it was best to wait until Everett was at least two years old before I caused him to be traumatized by water.
I need to admit something else before I order the parade over my solo bathing the baby efforts. My wife and my sister-in-law did the bathing several months ago. This is not a minor point. When they did it, they definitely had to hold Everett up the entire time, because he was still in his floppy and raggedy doll phase. It isn’t entirely fair for me to take full credit for bathing my son, because yes, I didn’t get any help from other adults but I definitely got help from my son.
Remember how last week I announced Everett was now sitting unassisted for a few minutes? Well, it seems like he felt I was short changing him in that column, and believed it was his duty to prove he could sit up for much longer. So, he kept himself steady and was able to sit up on his own during the entire bath. I still kept a hand on him, because Everett has also taken to splashing away in the water causing some slippery butt slides. He also seemed to not totally trust my ability to keep him from getting fully submerged in the water, because he kept a hand firmly latched to the side of the tub. Now, he was cooperative when I needed to lift him up or dip him further in water, but he definitely was making sure he was safe and secure as well.
I can’t believe how quickly Everett has developed over the last two weeks. His ability to sit up on his own for an extended period of time (he still waivers a little when he is tired or starts kicking away with excitement) is just one example of how fast things change.
I may be a little proud that I was able to finally bathe Everett on my own. I am far prouder of my son and the fact he now is a World Championship caliber sitter. This bathing event is just more proof that it is really my amazing son that makes it seem like I’m such a good parent.