Adventures in Parenting #12: The Face of Cleanliness

By all accounts, my son is reasonably well-mannered given that he is 6 weeks old and has yet to go through etiquette school. (Note: Is there anything more first world/stupid than etiquette school? I await your arguments.) He sleeps half-way decently for a baby, he doesn't cry much, and he almost never screams/throws baby tantrums. For this, Lindsey and I are eternally grateful. The only time that he gets really upset, and I mean dirty looks, horrifying screams, and fists shaking in anger, is when it's time for a bath. Because, as we all know, being clean is a fate that should be reserved only for Nazis and Justin Bieber fans. Now it should be noted that both Lindsey and I are not fans of water. Well, I think Lindsey would like to swim every now and then if it weren't for the skin cancer she had when she was a kid that has robbed her of her ability to be out in the sun for long. I, however, am adamant in my distrust and disdain for swimming, floating, and generally getting wet in any environment outside of my shower. Ocean, lake/river, pool, doesn't matter, I want nothing to do with it. I can swim if I have to so I'm not exactly sure where my hatred for the water comes from (besides this, this, and for some reason ESPECIALLY this) but it is just a fact of life. I'm like Bruce Willis' character in Unbreakable. Even I, however, recognize the value and wonderment of a hot shower. Cooper, on the other hand, wants nothing to do with this whole bathing thing.

This is a picture of my son during his first sponge bath:


Notice the picture is somewhat out of focus. This was approximately the thirtieth attempt at getting a clear picture but he was squirming so much that it never worked out. The aftermath was this:


Notice the lack of trust in his little eyes. It only took like a week for this kid to start to wonder if his parents are out to do him nothing but harm. But at least we wrapped him up in a cute shark towel, right?

It gets worse, however. This is a picture of the first time we actually stuck him in a tiny pool of water to clean him off:


That initial distrust in our motives turned into a full on nightmare. Not only did we lather his little body in a lukewarm, wet substance known as "tap water", we actually made him sit in the water as well. Two minutes later that distrust turned into...


...complete misery and perhaps a loss of innocence. This, dear friends, is hell on earth. Not only is he wet, not only is he being made to sit in a pool of water (which may or may not have included some pee at this point and by "may or may not" I mean "he totally peed in this water that he's now sitting in") against his will, his tormentors are his parents, the two people in this world who have been charged with his protection. This is indeed a dark day for Cooper and I'm sure he has already begun to plot his revenge for this indignity.

Now, before you run off assuming that things have only gotten better since this first round of torture as he's adjusted to bathing and not smelling like the dog, this is the photo I took of him yesterday during his, say, fifteenth bath:

photo (10)

Still distrusting, still angry, still hurt and still certain that his parents want him to suffer. This, my friends, is the face of cleanliness.

I await your offer for these photos Johnson & Johnson, Brian