Outgrowing the bathtub

Dear Mambo, Mam’ Winnie is no more
Death in a time of mothering

I am sad to write this post because I have been reminded how quickly these little people grow. This is insane!

Mambos very first bath at her grannys home- 3 days old.

I remember the day Mambos bathtub was bought. My mom and I went to Baby City to sort out my baby shower registry. We managed to get our two full trolleys to the till for cashier to register, my mom rushed for the bath tub and the matching bath support and asked the cashier to please charge her for these, she was paying for them now and taking them to her house because her daughter would be coming home with the baby when they are discharged and the bath must already be there. I smile at this thought now. My mom has her own ways of showing excitement- without showing excitement.

I found it amusing that my mom was so particular about the bath tub, but as soon as we had given birth, I found out why.


Mambo gets a quick bath in a basin from her granny while we were all in Tanzania for a week- 3 months old

Part of the reason I am so emotional about letting go of this bathtub, is that I have had so many opportunities to watch my mother bond with her namesake through the use of that bathtub. I only washed Mambo once in the three weeks we spent at my parents house after Mambo and I came out of the hospital after birth- my mother looked forward to bath time every day. I remember asking my mom not to wash Mambo everyday, as the nurses had said to only wash the baby every second day. I remember my mom telling me this was nonsense, babies love water. She proceeded to get her granddaughter into that tub everyday- only actually washing her every second day. Middle ground. Mambo seemed to hate bath time, I guess being a winter baby, it could not have been easy to go from lovely and warm and swaddled, to cold air, to warm water, to cold air and then warm when you are finally dressed. My mom grew very determined that Mambo would love bath time- after all, both her children did!

I know there is a thought on parenting whereby children must know that bath time is not play time. My mother and I believe differently. Sure, if you have had a long day and need your kids in some sort of routine, and bath time being quick and pain free works for your household, then go for it. For our daughter it is different. I come from a family of people who can take a long bath. I currently hold the record for 4 hours in one bath sitting- say what you will, I do not care for judgement, there is nothing I love more than a good soak. While I was pregnant, I was comforted through all the aches and pains by soaking in the tub EVERY DAY after work. I will therefore not deprive our baby of this wonderful life experience- that’s just my personal take, and what we believe is right for our baby.


A night time bath in a sink at a hotel in Durban, en rout to Mozambique- 7 months

I remember calling my mom to tell her the first day Mambo stopped screaming in the bath, she had begun exploring this water around her, listening, feeling. It really felt like an achievement. When she could sit at 4 months, we had to do away with the support piece because it hindered her movements, and then at 6 months we had to watch her very closely because she had started lifting herself up to stand. The bathtub was particularly useful for her during this exploratory period because she could hold onto any side around the bathtub and successfully lift herself up. My heart skipped quite a few beats.


Ready, steady, stand! Mambo found her feet!- 7 months old

The reason we have had to retire the bathtub now, is that Mambo seems confined and more often than not, is trying to climb out of the bathtub in search of something more. Something more is now the big bathtub, which she utilizes to its FULL potential. She can crawl around after her toys. She can practice walking in the water. She can reach for any number of things around the sides of the tub. She can splash to her hearts delight. She can kick around without hitting the side of the bath. At 10 months, our baby is showing signs of independence and we are absolutely loving it and allowing it. She absolutely loves bath time

I will really miss that little tub set, but I guess we have to let go of old things if we are going to learn to do new things. Onward and upward my baby! Into the big bath we go!



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