I had the rare pleasure this morning of waking before the little man, and took full advantage by jumping in the shower to luxuriate for five whole minutes in its warm, cleansing loveliness, while he snoozed on.
What’s the big deal-i-o? It’s only a shower. Shure, aren’t you washing yourself every day? You’ll be relieved to hear that yes, yes I am*. But there’s something about the power of the shower (excuse the pun) that takes on almost mythical proportions when you become a mother.
And really, that’s for one reason and one reason only – the continuous and neverending pursuit to actually have a full, uninterrupted one. A shower where you get to wash not only yourself, but also your hair AND condition it, if you’re lucky. Occasionally – if it’s a blue moon – you might have enough time to attend to your arm pits and even your hairy legs, if you are so inclined.
It’s hardest when they’re only little squishes but even as they get older, it’s still some effort to get a whole one like you used in the olden days.
When a little
devil angel enters your life, you might find that there’s actually many different ways of having a shower than you might have previously thought. Let’s walk through them, shall we?
1. Baby in the shower
Picture it. Home alone on maternity leave. Nobody within screaming distance to hold the child who doesn’t want to be put down for a even minute. But you’ve got baby puke in your cleavage and your hair smells like a fish and chip shop. There’s only one thing for it. Baby comes into the shower too. But what about my hair, you say? You’re in the shower one handed with a baby lady, take what you can get with a bitta shower gel on a sponge and offer up the hair for another day. I recommend a funky head scarf or a baseball cap. Out of sight, out of mind.
2. Baby in a seat/bouncer/beanbag
You know before in the last paragraph when I said there’s only one thing for it? Well there’s two things. This is the other one. Although this only worked for me if I happened to catch the baby on a good day and he was happy to be not in my arms for five minutes. I would pop him in the Doomoo I had a loan of and point him facing me in the shower. I’d get enough time for a quick rinse but spend a lot of time singing and pulling funny faces for the duration. Needs must, and you can’t beat puke-free cleavage.
3. Monitor calling
You know when you’ve put them down for a nap? And you reckon you might have 45 minutes to yourself? My guy went through a period of MONTHS where he’d get a sniff that there might be a wash on the cards and he’d only be down and the shower on, when the green lights on the monitor would be bursting into the red. Queue the yo-yo shower. Out, back in. Out – this time with shampoo. In. Ad nauseum. Sigh.
4. The shivery breastfeed
The shampoo will be just in when you find yourself hopping out for a quick feed for the inconsolable baba. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself sitting on the side of the bed/bath/loo with bubbles in your hair breastfeeding naked wondering if you might actually get the chance to get dressed today.
5. The toddler supervised shower
This version sees you more likely to get from start to finish which is good. But you may also find yourself doing any of the following:
– holding the shower door/curtain shut with one hand while a smallie attempts a break in from the outside
– answering a series of life-pondering questions
– trying not to slip on the barrage of tiny cars making their way in through the gap at the bottom
– trying to ignore the bashes on the perspex outside and cries of “mama, mama, are you having a shower?”
– fishing the small child out as they try to climb in with all their clothes on to have a chat
There’s nothing like the interruption of a small child to focus the mind on the simple luxuries in life like a simple wash. Remember back in the day when you used to do things like exfoliate or use a “mas-que” maybe?
No, me neither.
*It was not unknown for me to go several days without rubbing off a bar of soap, nevermind a splash of water when I had a very small baby. You’re not alone 😉