The 52 Project – a portrait series of my daughter, once a week, every week, in 2013
I give Rylee a bath almost every night around 7. I think I look forward to it almost as much as she does. I’ve realized over the last year and a half, we’ve slowly grown into our own patterns. I’ve never been one to set strict rules or hold Rylee to a tight schedule. Not that I think that that way of parenting is wrong by any means, I think some babies probably do need a bit more structure. It’s just never been something I’ve felt compelled to do with her. Perhaps if Rylee had a different temperament or had a hard time sleeping, things would look a lot different than they do now. But our day to day patterns have grown really organically. And honestly, I think I just lucked out big time with this girl.
I often feel like I am on the go more often than not, and ever since she was tiny, Rylee always came along. Her naps were not always at the same time and she didn’t always get what she wanted right when she wanted it. But she’s always been a trooper. I remember when she was just 2 months old, I would take her in to the office I was working at at the time and have her lie next to me in a portable bassinet as I worked….for hours! She would just lie there, cooing and crunching her butterfly. Of course, she was a huge distraction for me because all I wanted to do was play with her. But the fact that I was even able to do that at all, is proof to her easy going nature. Fast forward to today, and there is a whole lot of sass and humor mixed in to that easy disposition….but it makes me love her all the more. And reminds me a bit more of myself at times!
But back to our patterns. I have a few favorites that I look forward to. One is our morning ritual. Waking up to her quiet requests for her baba in the room next door. Opening the door to see her hair all disheveled to the left and standing there with a big smile on her face and talking to me like I know exactly what she’s saying. It’s kind of my favorite thing on earth. I get her a bottle and we sit on the couch together and I wait for her to pick one of three shows : “elmo!” (sesame street) / “goge” (curious george) / “ga ga” (yo gaba gaba). It’s the one time in the entire day that I can get her to sit on my lap for more than 5 minutes. And I soak in every minute.
Our other highlight is bath time. No matter how much I want to get sick of it….she doesn’t let me. It’s like a new exhilarating experience, every. single. time. At the first sound of “bath” she scrambles upstairs and does her best to take off all her clothes as quickly as she can. She never gets very far before I have to help her. After several squeals and sometimes excitement pees (TMI?) she’s ready to go. She’d stay in that tub all day if I let her. Filling her cups and playing with her fish. The hardest part is telling her it’s over. But i’ve learned the trick to an undramatic exit….a bunny towel. Who knew? She walks around in that thing like she owns the place. And let’s be honest, she kind of does.