Wednesday, July 30, 2008

In praise of Papa's tub

When my first child was born, my mother trotted out an old tub, hidden in the attic for years. It was used by at least two previous generations of Johnsons and for a quarter of a century had waited for the next.

I remember all too vividly the comments by friend when I mentioned I didn't need that cheap plastic bathtub from the baby store, that instead we'd use the old enamel tub.

But what if she falls? I was asked.

Hmm...I thought that was why we watched our kids.

We sadly noted that some of the coating had been scraped over time and it was beginning to rust. This would be the last generation - and child - to use it. Still, the tub managed to make the move with us to our new home.

Last night, though, I noticed the tub in my daughter's closet and got it out, thinking I at least could get a photo of the baby in it, just like his sister, mother and grandfather before him. I set it down on the floor, and sat the baby, fully clothed inside. He was almost too long.

My daughter asked what he was doing. I said,without thinking, that he was playing boat. Before I knew it, they were "toot-tooting" all around her room, the normally serious baby banging his hands against the sides and laughing.

Yes, I could have bought that plastic tub, which would have been tossed aside or shared in mere months. And I'll admit I actually considered buying one this time around. But then I would have missed a moment.


EcoBurban said...

Isn't it funny how the boxes, bowls, packaging - and in this case a tub - are the best toys you can give a child? I love the imagination part and I love the story behind the tub. That's something to cherish!

Anonymous said...

And that is I, your Auntie Linda, holding your father so he doesn't fall.

I remember very well the Christmas our family visited here in Colorado. Your cousin, Eric, had received a lovely, red fire truck for a gift. He was about two. He promptly tore off the wrapping, removed the truck and had a WONDERFUL TIME -- playing with the BOX!

lafever said...

I think that is great when family "heirlooms" like your tub are passed down. It connects us to previous generations and you don't have to buy a cheap tub. My father recently gave my oldest daughter a metal lamp that he made when he was at Purdue. It still works, and it's one of a kind, and has Purdue stamped in the base in big black letter. My daughter has shown it to everyone at W. Lafayette!

bhelenj said...

It is a shame there aren't the craftsmen around any more to repair the tub so it could stay around for a few more generations and pictures.

Robbie said...

Well, who knows. The tub was "tried out" last night, and my bathroom is still drying out from all the splashing! LOL.

Yes, mom, there are photos for you...