A mother recently posted in a parenting forum that her toddler had stopped taking a morning nap, as often happens after the age of 1. Now, she didn't know how she could get a shower and a cup of coffee in the morning.
I thought, seriously? Lady, our grandmothers used to milk the cows and feed wet laundry through a mangle while caring for half a dozen kids at a time. No toddler (or even a colicky infant) needs so much attention that you cannot take 10 minutes to wash yourself and sing a little Violent Femmes under the spigot. Since most of we Americans don't feel right if we don't shower every day, it's worth finding a creative solution.
And spending the day with a small child without coffee? I've never done it, but I'll address that in another post.
Here are 10 ways to take a real "baby shower":
1. Buy a see-through shower curtain. No matter where you stash your baby, it helps if you can see what he's up to and entertain him through the curtain with smiles, singing and even dancing. (Hey, it's not dirty to baby! For breastfeeding infants, it's more like dinner theater.)
2. If you have an infant, put the swing, bouncy seat or car seat in the bathroom. If they cry, just sing louder.
3. Mid-sized baby? Put the Exersaucer in there.
4. If the baby containment device won't fit into the bathroom, put it right outside the doorway. You should still be able to hear each other and maybe even see one another in the mirror. Or, get one of those smaller portable swings or a smaller Exersaucer.
5. If you have a toddler too big for the abovementioned containers, bring the kid into the bathroom with you. Lock the door if necessary. Grab any trouble magnets like the trash can and put them outside the door or on the vanity. Throw something fun -- like a hamper of laundry -- onto the bathroom floor. Rinse, lather, repeat.
6. Same as 5, but let a toddler play with water running in the sink while you shower.
7. Take the toddler in the shower with you. If too young to shower or won't shower, you may have to resign yourself to sharing a bath with the baby until the situation improves.
8. Leave the baby in the crib/playpen. Ten minutes alone with a mobile -- or if you roll that way, Baby Einstein Videos -- won't kill him.
9. Put him in one of those mesh baby carriers meant for the pool. (Be careful not to use water that's too hot.)
10. Join a gym with childcare. Skip the cardio and head straight for the showers.