Sometimes, the activities that Rory enjoys the most are the ones that we make up as we go along. This one came about after an incredibly half-arsed painting session this afternoon (“you can have some red, you can have some blue, and I can’t be bothered to locate the brushes so you can use your fingers.”) Look – it’s Friday afternoon, it’s been a long week. To be honest I think you should just be impressed that I wasn’t slumped in front of Jeremy Kyle with a Pot Noodle and a bottle of Bombay Sapphire. This activity is part of the clean up operation.
You will need:
A baby bath (or, if you don’t have laminate flooring and a masochistic streak, you could use a paddling pool outside. Or your bath like a normal person, but Rory really does enjoy it more because it’s somewhere that he’s not usually allowed to play with water)
A paint covered child
A bar of soap
Something to sprinkle in the baby bath (I’m thinking sequins or similar as opposed to, say, cyanide)
This one is just off the scale. Water everywhere, soap skidding across the floor etc. Just surround the baby bath with a lot of old towels and be vigilant.
Amount of time it wastes in the never ending day:
Ages. About an hour if you include the lacklustre painting session that preceded it.
By the time Rory had finished embracing his creative side, he was covered in paint and the journey to the bathroom with a paint covered toddler is always beset with woe, so I dug the baby bath out, filled it with water, carried it into the living room and dunked him in it to clean him off. We often do this as a way to spin out activities for a bit longer. I usually stick some bubble bath and some boats in and he’s happy. He’s been way too big for it since he was a few months old but it makes a good indoor paddling pool type thing. This time, I gave him a very slippy bar of soap, put some stars and glitter in the bath and gave him a sieve (we need a new sieve. I remembered the other day that I last used it to fish something nasty out of Rory’s bath some weeks ago and even though I dunked it in bleach afterwards, I don’t fancy using it to sprinkle my icing sugar any more). You could put other things in - plastic numbers, insects (plastic, not real, obv), things that float and sink etc etc.
You may like to note here that this isn't one of those parenting blogs full of beautiful photos of children in stunning settings. As you can see here, my house is in its usual state of squalor, and our baby bath is held together with brown tape from when it fell on Richard's head and cracked last year. I have done a certain amount of photo editing on www.picnik.com but it was all just turd polishing really.
That’s all there is to it. An hour of splashing, fishing for stars and catching the soap passed and it was the happiest he’s been all week, even more so than when he wedged the playdough up the hoover nozzle on Tuesday.