It was surprisingly easy to give up most of my vices during pregnancy. I only occasionally missed that glass or two (okay, bottle) of a favorite pinot. I didn’t miss my very rare social cigarette at all (I blame the hyper-sensitive sense of smell). And I only gazed longingly at our local Sushi restaurant every other day. But I missed, missed, missed my hot, steamy bubble baths. When I explained the science behind the no hot baths rule to my husband, he said, “just take a tepid one”. Huh? Is that even a thing? I like mine hot… And I mean hot. I want to sweat. I want to get so bath salted, bubbled and lazy in near scalding temperature water that my skin pinks a pleasant blush color and I can say things like, “it’s too hot, this tub is New Orleans in July!” when I secretly love that it feels much warmer than New Orleans in July…
It was with a sad shrug that I replied to the husband that day: “What is the point if they’re not hot? I’ll just stick with showers.” And I did – through pregnancy, through recovery and all the way up until recently. Because although I could welcome my beloved baths back into my life for many months now, my life had no time for them. The mere thought of stretching out in clouds of bubble seemed far too decadent a diversion. I just hoped, at some point, I’d stop remembering what I was missing. So last week when I finally took the literal plunge into my first frothy, milky pool of hot bath-time bliss in over a year, I was hooked once more. I soaked and sighed in my pretty space- candles flickering, with tantalizing scents of various girly bath soaps, salts and milks happily tickling my senses. My husband’s recent gift of a delicate necklace, creating a tiny heart shape on the bath ledge when I remembered to remove it after already dipping in.
When my eyes wandered to the rubber fishies in a basket overhead, I was reminded of how much my daughter loves being in the water. It’s because of this that we bathe her every evening as part of her bedtime ritual. She alternates between squeals, splashes and giggles to a more relaxed recline in her bath insert, enjoying a soapy foot massage or a soft waterfall cascading over her little head. She treats the water like a second skin while she talks in her secret language to Green Rubber Fishy, her favorite. And as I sink deeper into my porcelain womb, I like to think that maybe she’s telling him how much she loves her baths (lukewarm ones for now)… Just like her mommy.