3 reasons to shower with your toddler (and 1 not to)

3 reasons to shower with your toddler (and 1 not to)

When I first started staying home with Jack, the shower became one of our daily activities.

Our morning routine was breakfast, drop off big brother, run, and shower. Jack is an excellent running partner, and has become an agreeable shower buddy. It took awhile, but he doesn’t smack me in the face anymore for putting his back under the shower stream.

Showers weren’t a part of my original Stay-At-Home-Mom plan (because I totally had one of those, right). Using up all that water just to entertain a toddler would be pretty wasteful. But, after running with a stroller for several miles under the Texas summer sun, you kind of require a shower. Like, bad. So that first day after we ran together, I plopped him in the shower with me. I got clean, he had fun, and my house wasn’t destroyed. Win-win-win!

Since running helps me keep my sanity (which can be in short supply when home alone with a toddler), it and the shower became a regular occurrence in our weeks. After awhile, I started to see some real benefits to showering with a toddler.

Enjoy a shower again!

Showers are one of the first things to go when you have small children. The risks of death, destruction, dismemberment, or just general mayhem are not worth the benefits of clean pits. Solution: bring the toddler with you! You’ll never wonder what your little angel is destroying and/or eating, because he’s right there. Throw a few toys in the mix, and you should be able to have a decent shower. Bonus points: if you time it for after a meal, you can clean two people with one shower!

Comedy gold

My son is hysterical in the shower. He makes the funniest faces when water sprays his face (I may or may not be involved in this). He has tried to punch the shower stream for getting water on him (true story). Pouring water on Mom induces fits of giggles.

Skin-to-skin time

The benefits of skin-to-skin are well-documented for newborns, but I believe older babies/toddlers benefit as well! Jack is always on the go, so I cherish the times he wants to cuddle. In the shower, I’ll hold his chest against mine and let the water fall on his back. He’ll put his head on my shoulder or press his silky-soft cheek against mine. We’ll stand there like that for a minute or two, and it’s so relaxing for both of us.

One drawback to the shower

Any breastfeeding mom will tell you that seeing a boob will remind a nursling that he/she NEEDS to nurse. NOW. And the older the nursling, the more insistent he/she is. There were a few times our shower ended abruptly because Fuss McGuss just could not handle being around a bare boob without nursing. I didn’t want to be stuck in the shower for an undetermined amount of time, so I wouldn’t let him latch. He’d pound my chest, yelling “Nuh!” I’d answer calmly, “We’re not going to nurse right now.” Repeat until I could get all the soap off us and turn the shower off. This usually occurred when the shower was close to naptime, so that may have played a role. But just beware – if you shower with a breastfed toddler, there is a good chance he’ll want to nurse!

he won...post-shower nursing
he won…post-shower nursing

Driving from Oregon to Texas

Driving from Oregon to Texas

Hello! I’m baaaa-aaaack!!

We just finished the highly anticipated road trip from Portland, OR to Abilene, TX. It actually went much smoother than I imagined! But I don’t want to do it again anytime soon. 🙂

Two adults, one toddler, and two cars stuffed with crap we thought we needed. It took us 4 days to drive 1,846 miles. I learned something new each day of the drive.


Day One

Eastern Oregon is gorgeous. I got to test my wicked good rain-driving skills one last time, before leaving the land of the rain (Oregon) for the land of the sun (Texas). I rocked it.

Oh, and there are alligators in Idaho. WTF??

Day Two

Tell your husband you need to pee BEFORE it moves from annoying to urgent. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself doing an awkward hop/run to a Wendy’s bathroom in Moab while silently begging your childbirth-weakened pelvic floor muscles to keep the tiny dribble from becoming a full pants-soaking.

The gorgeous view couldn't distract me long enough
The gorgeous view couldn’t distract me long enough

Toddler repeatedly asks for toy you can’t reach while driving. Your response:
Hour One: “I’m sorry sweetpea, it’s not safe for me to get your dinosaur right now but when we stop for lunch I’ll get it for you!.”
Hour Nine: “NO!” *turns up radio to drown out whining and doesn’t feel guilty

Electronic devices are a godsend. Until your toddler decides that the only thing that will make him happy is to watch DVDs on the portable DVD player with a dead battery. You will feel his wrath (literally) when he chucks said DVD player at the back of your head.

This didn't happen nearly enough
This didn’t happen nearly enough

I picked the wrong time to give up caffeine.

After a long day of driving, you will smile as your freshly bathed toddler jumps on the bed while gleefully shouting “It’s a naked baby!!” It might be a slightly crazed and/or resigned smile, but hey at least you’re smiling and everyone is still alive.

Day Three

Driving the car without the toddler is much more relaxing than driving the car with the toddler.

My daydreams now consist of shooting rattlesnakes and finding the perfect pair of cowboy boots. I think my inner country girl is starting to emerge!

Day Four

New Mexico is flat and unappealing to me. It rained overnight and our cars were filthy afterward.

So boring
The never-ending road

Texas is F’ing hot! Holy boob sweat, Batman. Thank heavens for AC.

Not even the hottest it's been
Not even the hottest it’s been

It still hasn’t really hit me that we are here to stay for awhile (God and Air Force willing). Maybe it will become more real when we move into our apartment next week (temporary fix while we search for our family home to buy). I’m looking forward to seeing all the crap that I thought I needed back in February when the movers packed us out. Most of all, I’m just so glad to be done driving. Welcome to Texas!

5 Minute Friday: Brave

It’s 5 Minute Friday time! The rules:
1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community..
This week’s topic was brave, which is something I’ve thought a lot about while our family has been separated. So, here goes…

Brave is putting yourself out there. When it would be easier to curl up in a ball and hide in your room, you don’t. You get out in the sunshine, talk to people, face your fears. You admit when you need help doing so, and you seek out that help. 

Brave is a 2 year old boy whose world is turned upside down, but still faces each day with a sunny, stubborn, independent and excited disposition. Brave is a father who is willing to be separated from his family for a little while because the short term sacrifice will benefit them in the long run. Brave is the mother who works diligently to keep that family connected while they are physically apart. 
It’s not easy to be brave, but the payoff is usually pretty amazing. If you can push past the pounding heart to find what’s on the other side, you’ll see it’s all worth it.