Friday, 29 June 2012

Howe do you do... clean?

There is no pleasure sweeter than a freshly clean child...

I think that's right isn't it? Oh alright, let's not get carried away with the hyperbolical statements.

So there are other things perhaps equally sweet: new born puppies; toddlers spontaneously kissing, anything by Anne Geddes...

Earlier this year, time stopped for a while, during which, I HAD to read Vanessa Diffenbaugh's The Language of Flowers. It is that rare and special thing, a book that insists you pay attention to it. To prioritise it.

The story follows a young woman at 18 years old, coming out of the fostering system. It is based around the symbolism of flowers and their individual Victorian meanings. If you've not read it, obviously you should. Although if you happen to have any yellow roses in the garden, it might prompt their untimely demise!

There is a part in the book that has stayed with me and it relates to the cleansing of a young child. Until this point, I had never really thought about it, bathtimes had always been somewhat of a warzone with squirters, water pistols and tidal waves all primed to give any adult involved a soaking. Our two are geting so big now, it's like wrestling a couple of distressed porpoises in there. We now only bath them in our scuba gear, flippers and all!

And I'm not going to tell you that anything has changed in respect of the aqua-heavy ablutions, simply that I relish in them. It can be just another thing to tick off the list of jobs to do and I had overlooked the whole basic ritual of it. The sensations: the smell and feel of foamy bubbles; their soft skin and tiny bums; the towel dry and hair comb. Oh my God, I'm so sorry, I'd just drifted off into a Pampers advert! Don't worry, have self-flaggelated.

Nevertheless I was reminded of it yesterday, when Baby Girl was digging to Autralia through the vegetable patch. Sometimes it's nice to be encouraged to break the routine of bath, story, bed (that's my spin on the situation anyway!)

Once I'd got her cleaned up and in her jarmmies, what simple pleasure there is to be had from a warm, Johnson's Baby cuddle. The sweet smell of baby breath, damp hair and the odd trump.

Lord know's there are enough frustrations in life with our need to get stuff done versus their compulsion to explore the world. Sometimes you have to stop and smell the roses, or the backs of babies necks... preferably one's you know.