Ode To A Bath
July 29, 2015 · Posted in Infant Development, Parenting, Toddlerhood · Permalink


One of the sweetest and most treasured memories of our children’s early childhood is the nightly bath. Although tired and spent from the long day, it is a time to sit down and enjoy the wonderful world of a child in water. Pretend play, bubble fun, talk and laughing not to mention the pleasure of watching your child’s beautiful naked body swim around and get squeaky clean .

The never-ending  domestic duties of parenthood – bathing, feeding, bedtime, dressing, walking to school, running errands, giving snacks, refereeing fights,  all can seem repetitive and mundane. And in truth, these jobs are all of these things–monotonous, hilarious, boring, tender, frustrating, and gratifying. One  rarely gets a thank you or any kind of recognition.  These are the jobs that are tempting to put in a category of custodial, and therefore not  important.

Society in general, and parents in particular, need to value the importance of these tasks. They are the  very fabric of the intimate relationship with your children.  During the bath, the walk to school, or home from ballet or karate, relationships deepen, values get transmitted and children feel cared for and known.  In our busy world “quality time” has become synonomous with special activities. These every day routines are special activities and our involvement with them is  meaningful to our children. We are not  advocating that any one person should have to do all of this with no help from other people, hired or otherwise. But  we are reminding us all that these are not just the tasks to be “outsourced”.  They matter and will have a lasting impact.

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  1. Tatiana
    July 14th, 2009 | 12:41 pm

    I couldn’t agree more. I look forward to the evening bath routine – it seems to relax even the crankiest child – and sometimes parent- and sets a nice tone for the bedtime routine. And they smell so delicious!!!

  2. Kerry
    July 15th, 2009 | 12:53 pm

    This brings back such wonderful memories of when my now adult children were young. Special times like nightly baths should be cherished – they group up so fast.

  3. Steven
    July 19th, 2009 | 6:57 pm

    My wife made me read this. I have to admit, I thought the nanny should bathe the kids and I resist doing it myself, thinking it is not so important…SO now I get it, my wife is right! She made me right a comment too!

  4. Caroline
    July 30th, 2009 | 9:44 pm

    Here is Gretchen Rubin’s 1 minute short-film the “Years are Short” which echoes the importance of enjoying the daily “tasks”…http://www.theyearsareshort.com/

  5. Tara
    August 11th, 2009 | 4:05 pm

    Such a beautiful portrait of a seemingly routine task. It’s been a challenge to bend over for this task in the last trimester of my pregnancy, so my husband has been giving the nightly bath, but my little daughter’s face lights up on the nights I tell her that I’m coming in with her. She definitely doesn’t see it as a chore to be checked of the nightly routine. Thanks for reminding me to see it through these eyes too.

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