People tend to think that Terza gets the fuzzy end of the lollipop because she's the third baby but in point of fact, she's much less neglected than I thought she'd be. I take a ton of pictures of her. We play a lot of peekaboo. She gets tummy time and I call the pediatrician neurotically on her behalf and in general, she receives as much attention as a second or even first born. But the one area in which she gets shafted is Bath Time.
The kid never gets bathed. Like, I can't remember the last time we gave her a bath. It was over a week ago but not more than a month -- probably. I know now how dirty a baby can get and it is very apparent to me that Terza, who isn't mobile and doesn't eat real food yet, just doesn't get dirty enough to require bathing. I mean, it wouldn't hurt or anything. It'd be nice to have her smell like baby shampoo and shit but really, its just not worth the time it takes.
I wash her hands. As for the rest, my perspective is, once it gets visibly dirty, I'll deal with it. Once she starts to look like the little children in Dorothea Lange photos, I'll unearth the baby bathtub and deal. Until then, she'll be a bit scummy. Not a half-bad level of negligence for a third born, I think.
Nicole is a parenting writer who contributes essays and articles for magazines like Parenting, Parents, American Baby and Babble. She lives in Brooklyn with three children, one husband and a morbidly obese goldfish.