Bath time is part of a daily routine, a necessity rather than a luxury when it involves children. You can chart your parenting journey from the bath, that once private, now shared space. Where there was ‘you’ there is now ‘us’.
New parent bath time, a balancing act of nerves and baby. You trickle too cool water over a tiny head and wonder how anyone can manage this with only two hands? Then plastic mini baths inside baths, again balance, wriggle and water. Then cushioned chairs like little beach loungers containing cranky bathers. When you can finally up the temperature from an Icelandic plunge pool to tepid, sharing the bath becomes an option, your bath buddy wriggling, joyous, accident prone. Then playing and splashing and sitting on their own as the bathroom becomes an unintentional wet room. Your role now less balancing act and more equal play mate, shampooer of hair into Mr Whippy ice cream peaks, bubble beard styler, flannel animal maker.
Bath time is a special bonding time that is always slowly shifting towards degrees of independence. But for now this is the essential part of the ritual that is ‘ours’: bath, bed, stories, cuddles and kisses. It always needs the two of you.
The constant is the toys, the baby splashers and waterproof books, the ducks, the stubborn washable crayons that resolutely stick to the tiles. Eventually there is a new influx of toys. It feels as if the toy box has been upended in its entirety, lego figures, cars, sharks, boats and beakers, anything that floats joins the game and some things that don't. You soon discover that there is no child’s definition for a bath toy – your favourite face cream, teddy bears, bouncing balls – anything and everything is a bath toy.
The times I longed for a grown up bathroom, to sink into bubbles without having first to remove a layer of plastic wet toys first. To relax without a line of judgemental farm animals watching you from the tap end, to reach for a book, light a candle...
I wanted Dandydill Way to look perfect on the shelf and created a product so gentle, so effective and so wonderfully luxurious you'll want to use it yourself. Now you can at least pretend that bath time is like in the adverts; but I’m realistic enough to know Dandydill Way sometimes has to share space with Batman and a toy sieve.
One day all the bath toys will have moved out and the bathroom will be yours again and as you sink beneath the still waters, a part of you will long to find a four inch crocodile biting your toes.