January 7, 2013

A Recipe for Bathtime, Not Disaster


The first guest blogger in my When He's Away series never fails to make me smile. 
Jennifer blogs at Life with the LieutenantShe's currently in the midst of her husband's deployment,
 and she's very busy taking care of her son and daughter while he's gone. 
A toddler and a baby guarantees even small things can be big challenges. 
This post is typical Jenn- written like a conversation with a good friend, and always hilarious. 

Before Steve left for deployment, the single most terrifying thought I had was how on earth I would get the baby and the toddler in bed at the same(ish) time every night. If I needed to cry, for any reason, all I had to think about was giving those two a bath by myself. Need to talk my way out of a ticket? Squeeze some tears out because I burned dinner and we *have* to order pizza? Counter my eye-bags with some eye-puff? Think: BATHTIME.

Steve always took care of Sam's bath and bedtime routine. He's done it forever. It's their time and I know I can't compete. Nor do I want to. But when thrown into that role (quite forcefully, I might add, since Sam gets poop in the most interesting of places), it wasn't nearly as bad as I'd made it out to be in my mind. Here is the recipe for bathing two children- one toddler, one baby:

one baby
one toddler
bath toys (aka your old plastic cups and anything that will hold water)
baby tub

Undress toddler and baby in bedroom. Take naked children with you into the bathroom. Begin by running the water and filling up the baby tub. Place baby inside tub and scoot him/her to the back of the tub. Plug the drain and continue filling up the big tub. Place toddler-child in the remaining portion of the big tub. Don't let the water get too high or the baby tub will float and tip over. Not that that's happened to me before. I just read it on a warning label somewhere... Immediately bathe both children. I know it's tempting to let them play and splash around first, but it's best to get the work out of the way while people are still in happy moods. Then, after bathing, sit back on the toilet and relax. Let them play. This can kill anywhere from five to thirty minutes, depending on how long your tub can keep water warm (mine maxes out around 12 minutes, 38 seconds). Once water has turned frigid and lips have a blueish tint, remove the toddler from the tub. Wrap him/her in a towel and give instructions to head to the bedroom but not to pee on anything. (Inevitably, they will pee on something. If you have two kids, you should know by now that this is not the time in your life to own nice things.) Lay a towel across your lap and sit on the edge of the tub. Lift baby out of the baby tub and wrap him/her. Continue to let the free-as-a-bird toddler run wild. Lotion up baby and get him/her ready for bed. Once baby is finished, stick him/her on the floor with a toy or two. Then grab the manic toddler and attempt to strap a diaper on while smothering with lotion of some sort. Try not to zip any flesh into the footed pajamas. I know you are getting excited that bedtime (aka freedom) is so close, but making careless mistakes like that will only further delay you from propping your feet up and breathing deeply. Focus. Comb hair, brush teeth, say prayers, and if you throw the toddler in bed, make sure the crib is set on the lowest mattress setting. The last thing you need is a toddler rebounding back out at you. At this point, you can pick up the (most likely overtired and sobbing) baby and finish the bedtime routine there. Feeding, rocking, burping, swaddling, crib. Make your escape. Go get comfy and try not to think about the fact that you've gotta do it all over again tomorrow.

Two clean(ish) children, a semi-soaked mom, and a completely destroyed bathroom

If you need any more instruction on the finer points of caring for two mini people on your own, head on over to my blog

Life with the Lietenant

8 kind comments from you:

Lynn said...

I've been wondering about this with the arrival of #2 being just a month away and rumors of a late spring deployment hanging over my head. My guy likes to pretend like he's ready to practice using the potty when it's bedtime just to delay the process. I'm a bit terrified!

Stacy Fiore said...

Oh this is my life! Bathtime is my least favorite of all things to do. When it was two kids, it was doable. This deployment, I have three....THREE kids to attempt bathtime with!!!!

Chantal said...

Bathtime! It's hard enough with one baby...

Kathryn B said...

Ah bathtime. My husband generally takes care of that as well and I find it WAY more stressful when he's not home. I think you've gotten it worked out quite well :)

Mrs. K said...

I tried it last night by myself since J is gone on a business trip and...Ok, ok my friend Sarah was with me so I cheated. What is it with friends named Sarah being super helpful? ;) Anyway, it went better than I expected and I counted it as my workout for the day because man is it hard to keep toddler away from one month old without accidentally drowning one or both of them.

Steph said...

My hubby is leaving soon for a month training. I'm already wondering how I am going to do it all.

Poekitten said...

I only have one baby and still need hubby around to do it! She doesn't cry when daddy bathes her...and she doesn't need a bath every night, right?!?

Army Wife, Mommy Life said...

LMFAO! Bath time is seriously the pre-highlight of my day. In our house, the babies need to be undressed in the bathroom once the tub is already full, because naked babies and the sound of running waters results in pee everywhere! I also cheat by adding more hot water to the tub to get them to stay there longer than half an hour. (:

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