No, your eyes aren’t playing tricks on you. That is my child in a bucket. The thing is, it’s a bucket that’s also a bathtub. Because when you have something that works perfectly well (as long as you grip your child in a clammy, paranoid grip the entire time you’re using it), why not invent a new something that might or might not work better, but also requires you to grip your child in a clammy, paranoid grip the entire time you’re using it?
I’d seen the baby bucket before, I think on The Today Show. It’s really called The Tummy Tub. They had, like, a whole lineup of buckets with babies in them, and they all looked perfectly happy, their little heads like daisies hovering above the rims while their moms looked on adoringly. “That’s just weird,” I thought, and then asked myself why I was watching The Today Show in the first place.
But Stephanie is my friend! I trust her instincts on many things! So when she asked, “Do you want to borrow my tummy tub?” I hesitated.
“The baby bucket?”
“Yes! It’s so great! I can’t convince anyone to try it, but we loved it when Lily was little!”
I had to consider the idea. Stephanie is an intelligent person. She is a lawyer who works for the common good. She is thoughtful, kind, and a great mom. So if she likes the baby bucket, who am I to turn my nose up at it? I thanked her and resolved to keep an open mind.
Here are the things that happened when I put Abby in the bucket:
1. She wouldn’t bend her legs.
2. When she did unbend her legs, she managed to squish herself against the bottom of the bucket like a squid. I bailed water out like I was Piglet in The Blustery Day, but no matter how low it got, she managed to nearly slip under the water.
3. I took her out of the bucket.
Since Penny was already in her bathtub next door, I plopped her right in. Maybe it wasn’t the safest thing in the world, but I had her in a clammy grip, and both girls were giggling like mad the whole time.
I have now checked the Tummy Tub website, and I have figured out that the major advantages don’t apply to me. Prepare yourself, it’s another numbered list.
1. It takes less space. Don’t care! I have a big bathroom.
2. It uses less water than bigger bathtubs. Don’t care! I bathe my children so rarely, I simply can’t be made to feel guilty about using an extra quart or two.
3. The water stays warm later. Don’t care! I whisk her in and out of the bath so fast, she doesn’t have time to get cold.
4. It’s shaped like a womb. Bite me! She can take a bath in a bathtub!
I’m sorry, Tummy Tub people! I am sure you have many loyal users. I’m just not one of them, and my friend Stephanie … well, you know.