Monday, November 22, 2010

Scenes from a Bath

I used to love to take long, luxurious baths. Since becoming a mother, I typically settle for a nice hot shower instead. Leaving aside the obvious logistical issues with having a relaxing soak with children running or crawling around, the proliferation of bath toys in our bathroom further detracts from the soak-worthiness of a tub that is essentially too shallow for a good soak, anyway.

However, I've been having trouble with muscle aches lately. My back, neck, hips, and legs all ache. I can't decide if I have some sort of bug that is causing this- I did have a cold, complete with shiver-inducing chills, last week, and I had another bout of chills last night. (Or maybe I was just cold because the heat doesn't blow into our bedroom that well. It is hard to say.) I took my temperature this afternoon, and it was normal, though. Maybe the aches are from our mattress, which I have suddenly realized is going on 10 years old and showing its age. I've told Hubby that when I get a new job, I'm going out and buying a nice, new mattress. He points out that no mattress is likely to be comfortable if you spend half of the night sleeping on the very edge because your baby is trying to occupy the same exact space as you are and you refuse to learn that moving away doesn't actually help. But still. I think there is a Tempurpedic in my future. I'm sick of feeling springs jut into my hips.

Of course, the aches could also be due to pent up stress from the unpleasant last month at work, the fact that I haven't been to a yoga class in over a month (and my gym membership was one of the casualties of the lay off, so I don't really have a yoga class right now), or the wear and tear of picking up a 22 lb baby and a 30 lb preschooler everyday.

Or maybe I'm just getting old.

Anyway, I decided that I'd have a bath tonight to see if that would help my muscles. Hubby was happy to watch the kids- if I go away, Petunia will actually play with him instead of just crawling over to me. I dug out my Muscle Soak bubble bath, and ran a nice hot bath.

I discovered that our tub is indeed too shallow. I had to choose which set of muscles to soak at one time and alternate. I also discovered that the base of our frog bath toy holder actually does a fine job of cradling my head while I soak. I hadn't bothered to take it down- I just removed the frog's body that holds all the toys.

I could hear the kids playing with Hubby while I soaked- our house is not that big. I heard Hubby start the CD my parents had made for Pumpkin. She loves it, so I'm guessing she asked for it. Or maybe he decided to put it on because Petunia likes the music, too. He keeps trying to win Petunia over, but she is oblivious, and if I'm in the room, she keeps crawling over to me. Poor Hubby.

There were the usual sounds of playing- Pumpkin was narrating some elaborate story involving a lot of cars crashing into each other- until "Wimoweh" came on. Then Hubby started laughing, and I heard him say "she's dancing before she can walk!" I gathered that Petunia was showing off her dancing skills. I'd seen them earlier in the day. She holds onto someone's hands or her walker, bends her knees, and bobs her little bottom up and down in time to the music. Wimoweh is one of her favorite songs; it will almost always get her moving. I hadn't told Hubby about it, and I'm glad I didn't. He sounded so happy. Petunia's current mommy-centric phase is hard on him. She will often turn her face into my shoulder, clutch onto my shirt for dear life, and scream when he tries to take her from me. I know that he understands that it is just a phase, but still.... He sees her snuggling into me, and I know he is a bit jealous. (Whereas I see him going potty without an entourage following him down the hall, and I'm a bit jealous. The grass is always greener.) Anyway, I'm glad he got to dance with Petunia tonight. He showed me after I got out of the bath, and she has actually added some steps to her repertoire. I may be biased, but I think it is incredibly cute.

So I didn't get a peaceful soak in a deep bath- but I don't think that is on offer anytime soon. For one thing, there is absolutely no way that we can remodel our bathroom and put in a deep bath. Even if we had the money, there just isn't the space, even if we took the step stool and the little potty out. Our house was built in the 50s, and that was apparently not a time in which Americans felt like they needed a lot of space in their bathrooms.

My muscles felt better while I was in the bath, but are aching again now. I'm not sure if that tells me anything, other than that I can't cure this with a bath. I'm going with the "yoga makes all aches feel better" theory, and am planning to try a good long yoga routine tomorrow- without the help of Pumpkin, who usually joins me for my yoga on the weekends. I'm jealous of her ability to do a good downward dog without any props, and while her questions about the DVD are thought-provoking ("But why is he sitting on the beach, Mommy? And why does he have a ponytail? Boys don't have ponytails. Why isn't he wearing a shirt? Isn't he cold?"), they tend to detract from my ability to focus on the poses. I do the yoga anyway, though. Motherhood is all about learning how to fit what you need into the little bits of space your kids leave you.


  1. Great post! Pretty funny. If you get bored with your yoga DVD's, there's a website ( that has a variety of yoga classes you can do online. It costs money ($18/month), but it's significantly cheaper than going to a yoga studio or gym. I haven't actually tried it yet because I have a similar problem, but instead of a child asking me questions, it's a puppy tugging at my pant legs or licking my face. Anyway, just wanted to let you know about the option. Hope the yoga helps!

  2. I'm stealing that last line. Not for publication, just personal use for why I feel all crumped up lately. I've been oddly contorting to fit in the left over spaces.

    I haven't been to a live yoga class since summer break ended and now finances say no more live yoga classes even if I find the time. I downloaded a class online. It's pretty good. I may get another to switch back and forth. It was $6. Not bad. Tate likes yoga, too, in his own way. Definitely not a meditative experience yoga with kids but rewarding just the same.

    Shake your groove thing, Petunia! :)

  3. Until a new mattress can become reality, I want to put in a plug for those memory foam mattress toppers. We snagged one at el Kost-co for about $90 a few years back and it saved us from having to buy a whole new bed. It is so comfy to sleep on - even with kids in bed. Then they went on sale again so we got another for the guest bed and everyone who sleeps there always wants to know where they can get one.

  4. Thanks for the yoga ideas. I may try that. Of course, I could also just do the routine from my last class from memory. But then I get lazy and skip the hard moves.

    We have a memory foam on our guest room futon. Maybe we should get one for our bed. Hmmmmm.

  5. "Motherhood is all about learning how to fit what you need into the little bits of space your kids leave you." What a great way to put it. So true. Something that I wish I was better at doing!

    I love the baby bottom bob dance. :) Annie does a version of that too. When Rosie was a baby she did a shoulder shimmy as well. Babies dancing are the cutest ever.

    Hope the aches go away. Have you tried taking a Magnesium supplement? Can help with aches and pains. I'm feeling cold and achey too but I'm pretty sure it's because winter came with a vengeance a few days ago. The high was -25 deg C yesterday (-13F).

  6. Are your yoga videos by Rodney Yee? Because I was thinking the same thing that Pumpkin said when I watched mine :)

    BabyT can just now stand with some assistance, and already does some baby dancing when music comes on. It's awesome.

    Sorry to hear about your job, though you sound like you're dealing with it very well. Go you!

  7. I love Rodney Yee. And although I can't stand listening o Brian Kest, his DVDs are good, too. And Ali mcGraws (don't know if it's avail on DVD as we have the VHS- I know!) is one of my favorites.

    As for the muscle aches, wasn't it Moxie who recommended magnesium gel on the bottom of your feet? I recently started having serious aches and busted out my gel and am feeling much better.

    Side note - can I solicit traveling advice or do I need to wait till you get your website up? We want to go somewhere tropical this February and I have no idea where to even start, other than we are considering a straight and short flight south to Mexico and not say, dominican republic.

  8. @ARC- yes, it is Rodney Yee. @nej, I do love his routines. But really, isn't he cold without hardly any clothes on????

    @nej- I'll email you this too, but I'm not sure I can help with your travel plans. Surprisingly, we haven't explored Mexico all that much. And if you're not looking for a long flight, that knocks my number 1 favorite tropical destination off the list. (That would be the Cook Islands, which are awesome, and when you are up for a long flight, definitely worth a visit. A lot of my tropical paradise zenbits are from there.) How about Cabo San Lucas? I've only ever been for a conference, but it was beautiful, and you can get direct flights from CA. We have some friends who went for their anniversary and loved it.

  9. I knew it was Rodney Yee!

    We've got some of the same things going on. For us, it's the 3.5 yo in our bed and my husband sleeping on the edge, although now she's starting to nudge me to the edge too. And the same with the baby (he's still a baby!) having eyes only for me if I'm around.

    Some day you'll get a nice, long, quiet bath again. Some day...


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