Bath time is a meditation for me. Yes, bath time, with a one-year-old. Meditation.
Let me explain.
The first time I gave Gadi a bath I was basically terrified into paying perfect attention. I was so worried about the possibility of his little head slipping under the water that I gave the task my full concentration; No phone. No other conversations. No multitasking. No photos. Just me, Gadi and the water. Doing what we’re doing.
I would prepare ahead so that everything was at arms reach. Soap, cloth, towel. Pyjamas, nappy and cream for afterwards. A blanket during those first winter months when he was so tiny and would cry at the change of temperature. I’d set up all the conditions so that there would be no surprises. Once I put Gadi in the bath, my eyes would follow his every move, my hands would feel the temperature of the water and adjust accordingly. I did my best to find the perfect moment to take him out – that magic window right before he got tired or hungry and lost it completely.
Now, of course, the bath experience has evolved. I don’t need to keep a hand on him at all times. I can turn away to grab a towel if needs be. We chat, play, splash around. But my concentration levels stay the same. Practice has made it so. My phone doesn’t come into the bathroom with us. I still set up his pyjamas beforehand. Bath time has become a moment in time when we stop and connect, and I enjoy his pure enjoyment of the calming nighttime ritual.
When I sit for formal meditation, there’s always a “settling in” period. My monkey mind takes a few minutes to get into the flow of following the breath, noticing physical sensations, seeing thoughts as they arise rather than running away with them. At bath time, it’s instantaneous. Water goes on, mind is superglued to the now. That’s it.
I love bath time.