Swimming with Junior (Part Two) – The Shower Block


Baby in shower

You’ve survived the first swimming experience, and what a magical, wonderful heart warming session it was (we hope….). However, the fun is now over, and your baby is completely exhausted, very hungry, getting cold and you are faced with the biggest dilemma you could imagine. Who do I change first?

How do I get both of us cleansed of chlorine? Where do I put the baby?! That shower looks powerful…!If you are with your partner you have nothing to fear. If however, you find yourself in sole charge of your baby, there is a huge amount of trial and error before you find the magic formula. Brace yourself for a few hairy moments whilst you find your way.

“I practically exploded with laughter, much to the surprise of junior and a great many of the other parents in the changing room if the sudden silence was anything to go by.”

You can bank on the changing mats and cubicles being full at peak times, so you need to adapt swiftly, removing the wet, (and becoming increasingly cold) swimsuit and nappy, whilst standing. Your baby, who is by now realising that it’s time for a much needed feed, prepares for a ‘square-mouthed’ belter. Cue the pained crying and paranoia about who thinks you are doing a terrible job.

Then comes the washing, which considering you are probably stood under a temperamental power shower is challenging to say the least. Not great for the nipper either. Baby shampoo in one hand, wriggling baby in the other, your head and back deflecting the obscenely intense torrent of water while trying to wash Junior,  you soon regret your pride that prevented you from saying to your better half ‘Yes please, I would like some help…’.

Now fortunately, Junior was bemused by it all. Nothing more than a tired and hungry whimper, but with that said, the temperament can soon turn when you are both isolated in a small cubical, clean clothes on the wet floor despite your best efforts at organising the bag before you left the house. A good idea is to have some food for your baby just to quench the thirst that has built up over the past hour. This can be a double edged sword as depending on Juniors feeding habits, they may fall asleep, demand all of it, not take it, you get the picture. For me, I covered my little one in a fresh towel and placed her in the car seat that I had brought in with me, and gave a favourite ‘Sophie le Giraffe’ toy (I’m still convinced that was designed for pets…), and that keeps her happy while I quickly dry and dress myself in a record time. I can then turn my attention to her and get her her dressed and ready for a feed.

It’s testing at times, but the speed with which I have now mastered it means it is all worth it to see the joy that swimming brings to Junior. It would be easy to think ‘never again’ after your first stressful, ear piercing, upsetting changing experience, but trust me, it gets easier and Junior will thank you for it in the long run.

One thing I can advise on is that you are never prepared for other people. Hearing a father in the cubicle beside me answer his daughter’s seemingly innocent question of, “Daddy, what’s that?” with “Those are my testicles…!” was just too much. Maturity deserted me at that moment and I practically exploded with laughter, much to the surprise of junior and a great many of the other parents in the changing room if the sudden silence was anything to go by.

I would be very interested to hear your experiences, tips, and if there is indeed a magic formula. I am of the mind that practice makes perfect, but there must be ways to increase the time spent reaching this magic plateau.

Stay strong,

Big Daddy

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