Wednesday, February 23, 2011

There's a Sub in My Tub

My first apartment after college was a bit shabby, but it had one amazing feature: an antique claw-footed bathtub. I loved that tub. I spent many an hour soaking in it, filling the bathroom with scented bubbles and classical music. My next two apartments, amazingly enough, also had fabulous claw-footed tubs. A long soak in a hot tub with a good book and a glass of wine became my favorite stress release. A bathroom with a nice bathtub was my haven.

When I married, that didn’t change. My husband used the smaller master bath, and I got the guest bathroom with the bathtub. The shelves were soon lined with boxes of bath salts, bottles of bubble bath, and tins of fizzing scented bath tablets. But shortly after Ryan was born, that all changed. My floral-scented haven began to smell instead of Johnson’s baby wash and talcum powder. The bottles and tins lining the tub gave way to an array of rubber duckies, plastic penguins, and a smiling blue octopus. If I managed to sneak in a soak in the tub, I did it under the watchful eyes of Elmo, who now adorned the tub faucet. And before I got in the tub, I had to evict two boats, a helicopter, and a submarine, along with their attendant pilots.

I knew that having a child would turn my basement entertainment lounge into a playroom full of toys, but I didn’t expect to sacrifice my bathroom. It’s funny how taking on more adult responsibilities, like parenthood, often brings you back to your childhood, like tubby toys and baby shampoo. And I’ll admit, as much as I sometimes miss having my own personal bathtub haven, it can be kind of fun having Elmo to keep me company, or nudging a boat or two around with my toes while I’m soaking. They don’t seem to mind a few bubbles, and I no longer mind having a sub in my tub. Because when Ryan is old enough to stage naval battles in the tub, I’ll be ready!

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