It seems like a milestone every day, today I gave Amélie her first bath. As I'm going to be taking her swimming I thought it would be a good idea for me to get her used to water, also Clare had a checkered past when it came to kids bath time.
It wasn't long ago that Clare and I lived in a flat near London Bridge. Starting a family was the last thing on our minds back then! While bathing Amélie I was reminded of an occasion when her nieces came to visit us about 4 years ago. We had been on the London Underground, to Buckingham Palace, and topped the day off at Madame Tussauds. The kids were in our bath, and I was horsing around with them.
I had managed to make an improvised water pistol with our hand soap dispenser. It was the bottle kind with a little plastic tap on the top which pumped out a blob of soap into your hand when pressed. If you punched the tap hard it would fire the soap out with such force that you could fire it across a room.
Once you get the hang of it it's surprisingly accurate. I jumped into the bathroom, took aim and fired a few bursts at the kids. They were giggling like crazy so Clare came to see what the fuss was. I fired a few more bursts of soap at them before they had the time to splash me back. Clare then picked up the soap dispenser and fired a shot right into the youngest ones eye!
Well not surprisingly she screamed and cried, I made myself scarce just as if I were a kid who had broken a window. I heard Clare's Sister giving her hell, and the kid still sobbing, poor little mite.
As I was running Amélie's bath the memory never entered my mind. I didn't know what temperature to have the water, I figured a little bit colder than I would run it for myself. I'd bought a little Turtle bath toy, a part of the toy changed colour if the water was too hot. It didn't change colour so I was pretty confident the water was a good temperature.
The whole thing seemed so natural, as if I'd been preprogrammed to bath a baby. I held her with one hand under the back of her head, with my palm under her neck, and my other hand was under her rump as I lowered her into the bath. She seemed to love it, the temperature was obviously pretty comfortable. She was floating so I only needed one hand under her neck and head and I could float her up and down the bath.
As this was the first bath I didn't really give her much of a scrub, we had some mild bubble bath in the tub but that was all. What happened next you will probably think I've made up, but it is 100% true. Clare picked up the Turtle bath toy, held it in front of Amélie's face, and said something which I can't remember now (probably something along the lines of 'look at the Turtle Amélie'). She then pressed the Turtle and a jet of water came out of a hole at the front and hit Amélie square in the eye. I was gob smacked and the memory of that bath time 4 years earlier came flooding back.
Amélie didn't seem phased though, no tears, she just pulled a face (obviously uncomfortable with water in her eyes), blinked, and recomposed herself. Clare was mortified, but we both started laughing when we saw Amélie was quite happy.
I lifted her out and Clare had one of those towels with a little hood ready. I put her head in the hood and wrapped the towel around her and handed her back to Clare, job done! Just like my first bottle feed, and nappy change, absolutely straight forward. Those along with the first outing in the pram, (which wasn't as straight forward) were the only milestones I had thought ahead to. I'm not sure what comes next, I guess swimming. We both swim a lot and have booked Amélie in for her first lesson for when she is 6 weeks old. So that is now my next milestone, which I will of course report back on.