Toddler Tales: Bath time with toddlerD checks out her name in the bath

Diana learned a new word today: "Ba."

Now, this might sound suspiciously like her old "BA!" (used to indicate excitement and express want, and/or make the sound a sheep makes but only in the specific instance when we're looking at a picture of a sheep).

It also isn't her other remarkably similar-sounding word, "Bai," which means "bye," but only when D says it in a Southern American twang (she may not have too many words in her vocabulary yet, but she's very particular about using the few that she does have).

No, this "Ba" meant something else entirely: Bath.

Because you see, baths are now D's obsession. Bath time has managed to become part of our evening routine (no longer sporadically done at random points in the day), and has even become enjoyable for both of us.

This is in stark contrast to most of the first year of D's life, when bath time involved lots of shrieking (her from displeasure, me from being covered in excrement), and then me trying to get a wriggling D into her Tummy Tub bucket, while she flailed and attempted to escape.

I also had to make sure the water temperature was just right using a thermometer (it somehow never was), and then do the whole thing again when D peed through her clothes an hour later. It was not the most pleasant part of either of our days.

But now, bath time is like play time for D, just in water and with added perks like making waves and using yummy-smelling shampoo (D is currently a fan of the lavender-scented Miamoo from Boots and it's gorgeous. And yes, D's shampoo is of a higher quality than mine. In fact, I think Bolshy the bulldog's shampoo is probably fancier than mine, too, considering it's pina colada-scented and was purchased in New York).

In other big news: D finally has more than one strand of hair. So I'm actually shampooing more than just her scalp.

D has exciting toys in the bath, too, which improve the experience: Letters that stay stuck on the wall and spell words (we only have one "A," so we're using an upside-down "V" as a substitute to spell "Diana"), baby alligators and dolphins that spit out fountains of water, a singing hippo and even D's doll from New York, who's waterproof and often gets bathed with Diana.

And now that D's learning to kick her legs and float around in swim class, she's starting to put all of these tricks to good use in the bath, splashing around like a little mermaid.

In fact, bath time is so successful that these days, I'd say it's about as good a calming tactic as D's beloved milk used to be back in the day. Whenever D's cranky, or tired or looking to scream her lungs out, all I have to do is turn on the tap and she calms down (or even starts to stamp her feet with excitement).

Now if only I could get Bolshy to enjoy his baths this much, life would be a lot easier.