Splish, splash, I love takin’ a bath

And it’s not just baths Fiona loves. Fountains, fire hydrants, broken water mains—you name it, if it has water, Fiona wants to get in it.

In this issue, I’ve been asked to discuss one of my favorite things: water. As far as I can tell, water comes in many forms, and I love them all. My first encounters with water were in the bath, and I found it unpleasant. Of course, you have probably seen pictures of me screaming at the top of my lungs during my very first bath in the hospital. Later, Mama and Daddy gave me baths in this little plastic tub. One of them held my head up while the other one covered me with soap and then poured water all over me. It felt very restrictive—not because of the water, but because my parents wouldn’t let me move around.

Though my initial experiences were sometimes traumatic, they quickly improved. Once Mama and Daddy started letting me get into the real bathtub, I could lie down on their knees and wiggle around almost as much as I wanted. After a few more weeks, I started kicking them in the stomach, which inspired them to allow me to take a bath by myself in the bathtub. I soon learned that I could cause splashes with my feet and, later, my hands. It was such a feeling of freedom and power to lift up my legs and slam them down into the water!

Bathtime now is even more fun, since I can roll over, crawl, and even stand up in the tub. I’ve slipped a few times, but Mama seems to have given up on trying to convince me to stay seated. Sometimes I get to take a shower, which is mostly fun, but the water sprays right in my face sometimes. I’ve gotten pretty good at closing my mouth and sputtering the water out.

My favorite kind of water is in a fountain. I’ve never met a fountain I didn’t like. The best ones are the ones I can get into or splash in, of course—like the play fountain at Columbia Heights, or the one outside the IMF building. We also saw one near the White House that is so tall that we got wet from the mist blowing towards us.

I’ve noticed water in other places, too. A few weeks ago, Mama and I were walking downtown to meet Daddy for lunch when we saw something she called a “river” in the gutter. I think that must have been some sort of figure of speech, because I’ve seen the Potomac River, and the water in the gutter was nothing like the Potomac. Anyway, we decided to follow the river upstream to see where it came from. Mama said it might be an open fire hydrant, which sounded pretty cool to me. But when we came around a corner and crossed the street, I saw all this glorious, splashy-looking water nearly spouting up out of the ground. It was perfect for playing in—right at my level! I was so excited I jumped up and down in my stroller and waved my arms. But for some reason, Mama wouldn’t let me play in it. I was so disappointed.

I’m looking forward to finding other kinds of water. We’ll be visiting the beach and Donner Lake in a few weeks, so I’m planning to play in ocean water and lake water. I would like to try sitting down in the middle of a rain puddle sometime. And, I’m told, mud is a really fun variation on water, so I’ll definitely crawl around in some of that first chance I get.

This article appeared on page 16 of Issue 3 | July 2011.

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