This past weekend we gave Gracie her first real bath. We’ve been giving her sponge baths, but she still had her little belly button nub that hadn’t fallen out yet so we couldn’t put her in a bathtub yet. But she dropped her nubby last week and so this weekend we were GO FOR BATH TIME.
(Side note: How gross is the whole newborn belly button thing, right? It looks like they’ve got an ice pop sticking out of their stomach. So weird.)
I remember when we gave Bean his first bath. I was a wreck. I thought he was going to drown in two inches of water with both his parents standing right there next to him. I think he sensed my anxiety.
With Gracie, I was way more prepared. That seems to be the mantra of second-time parents. In fact, I was actually excited. Gracie needed a little bath. She was starting to lose that new car smell. I mean, new baby smell.
(Side note: Why do all babies come out smelling like Johnson & Johnson? It’s one of God’s most good-smelling miracles.)
Turns out, Gracie loves baths. Which is another trait that confirms she is indeed my child. She just cooed and sighed and for just a split second I thought she might even fall asleep.
It was actually a lot of fun giving Gracie her first bath. I knew this time to put a wet hand towel in the bathtub to keep her from slipping around. And I knew this time to put another wet towel over the parts we weren’t washing to keep her warm.
I felt like a professional mom. With Bean, I was still a mom. I was a pretty darn good mom, too. But I was a first time mom of a newborn. I needed training wheels. I needed a book to tell me how to do the bath. I needed a written schedule to remind me when to feed/diaper/wash. I needed a phone call from my mom every now and then telling me I was doing good. But with the second, I’ve kicked my training wheels to the curb. Yeah, I fall over sometimes. Sure, I lose my balance. And, occasionally, I crash into things. But for the most part, I’m moving and shaking all on my own.
And it’s not that I know more now than I did then. Each baby is different and so being Gracie’s mom is just as new as it was to be Bean’s mom. But this time around, I’m trusting my instincts more. I’m more confident in myself. It really has nothing to do with the baby. It’s about how I see myself. And I think I’m doing just fine.
(Side note: Gracie doesn’t like cold water. Message received.)