“Daddy, how come Mommy doesn’t give me a bath anymore?”
UGH. I knew that was coming. I didn’t know that it would be that specific question or in what setting, but I knew that life with two would be different. Wonderful, hectic, hilarious and overwhelmingly different.
Before Teagan, our 3 month old, the bath and bedtime routine was a special time for myself and Wyatt, our 4 year old. He would decide which bath toys (out of the ridiculous amount that he has) would be making a special appearance and he would soak his cute little bum in that bubbly water. I would sit on the edge of the tub with my pants rolled up and soak my toes… playing whatever he dictated was on the agenda for the evening. Sometimes, it was Paw Patrol and they were learning to fly. Other times, it was dinosaurs and they were going to a restaurant. Wyatt would decide what was on the menu and it was usually pizza with lobster or crab on it and skunk coffee. Obviously.
These were some of my favorite moments of the day. He would ask a million questions, as 4 year-olds tend to do.
“Mom, what’s bigger… a giraffe or a komodo dragon?”
“Mom, where does the bathwater come from?
“Mom, who do you want to win… the Celtics or the Bulls?” (uhhhh… the Bulls? I guess?)
We would play, talk and laugh until bath time was done. Then it was on to jammie time, teeth-brushing (my LEAST fave part of the night, I’ll be honest. If you can get a 4yo to brush his teeth and NOT have it take 20 minutes, then you deserve a freaking medal – but I digress) and then time for a book. I LOVED this ritual.
Now, we have an extra love in our family. A beautiful little girl, and I honestly don’t how we lived without her before. That said, having a new little soul here changes the dynamics of the household. Because Teags is so dependent on me at the moment, that means that my special one on one time with Wyatt has to change a bit too. I’m not ALWAYS available to play tigers with Wyatt before dinner (don’t ask… it’s his favorite game and admittedly I’m not very good at pretending to be an animal. It’s fine – I have other strengths). I can’t ALWAYS be the one to pick him up from school and this also means that our bedtime routine isn’t always going to be the same. Sometimes it falls right when it’s Teagan’s feeding time, or sometimes she’s fussy and only wants me.
My husband and I now must divide and conquer. I’m thankful that Wyatt is old enough that jealousy hasn’t REALLY been an issue (yet). He understands the change and I think we’ve done a good job communicating with him. He also loves his baby sister SO MUCH, so doesn’t seem to mind to share his time. But that one little question… “Daddy, how come Mommy doesn’t give me a bath anymore?” makes me realize that he sees it. His super sharp 4yo brain obviously knows that things are different, and while he might not be mad… he feels it.
That one little question made me realize that I need to do more to keep that nighttime ritual special between the two of us. I need to get my toes back in that bubbly water. I need to have my brachiosaurus place his order for that delicious pizza with lobster on it. And of course, I need another Venti cup of that super special skunk coffee.