Gay Dad Life

Lotions and Potions: Bedtime Edition

It’s a chilly evening here in Central Jersey, and Gabe has just finished 20 minutes in the bathtub. Over the shouts of an increasingly amphibious 11-month-old baby, we wrap him in a hooded towel and begin our familiar bedtime routine. Either Daddy or Papa will get him a fresh nighttime diaper and pick out a pair of pajamas. But before the pajamas go on, these two Dads have to help Gabe maintain the softest and sweetest-smelling skin that babies can have. It’s time for Johnson’s Bedtime baby lotion.


And for our family, it’s become a game now. We have a heart-shaped basket above Gabe’s changing table, and it holds our diapering and bedtime supplies. One of us will reach up and grab the familiar purple bottle, and Gabe, now intimately familiar with our routine, immediately smiles. He is only wearing a diaper, and he brings his feet up to his smiling mouth, too excited to even make noise. We open the cap and turn the bottle upside down, and now Gabe is flapping his arms up and down in anticipation.

The first drop falls onto his exposed belly. Gabe laughs out loud, and my heart melts. I look at my husband, who is also now smiling. This family is everything we have ever worked for, over the course of years and years. And every bit of happiness, drop by drop, is to be savored and celebrated.

The second drop falls from the bottle and beelines for Gabe’s chest, and there are now two men and a little boy, and we are all laughing together, one laugh demanding that the next follow it, a game of tag in an otherwise quiet nursery.

The third and fourth drops fall onto Gabe’s legs, and it’s time to rub the goodness in for the night. From neck to toe, I moisturize our little man, before getting him into pajamas and handing him off to Papa for Story Time. In about ten minutes, the scent of the lotion has both of my guys more relaxed and ready for bed. We head downstairs to catch up on our TV shows, with a baby monitor that will remain quiet until 6:00 the next morning. This Bedtime lotion does exactly what it advertises.

Johnson's Baby Bedtime Lotion smells...gosh, even for a writer it’s hard to describe. Have you ever had a really delicious cup of tea, in a warm mug, and all you want to do is just cup your hands around the mug and inhale the aromas of the tea forever? It’s like that, except people tell me I shouldn’t rub tea all over myself. I follow that advice.

But when no one’s around, and Gabe is asleep and so is Papa, I’ll give myself some time to relax as well. A little Johnson's Baby Bedtime Lotion on my arms, neck, and chest? It’s wonderful, and it does help me feel like I’m easing into bedtime. So yes, I know the product is for babies, and I’m not going to giggle as I drip it onto my skin (and if I did, I’d never tell you).

So while the evenings here in NJ have grown chillier by the day, and our tiny boy grows bigger from minute to minute, you’ll still find the scent of lavender and chamomile hanging in the air upstairs, should you ever decide to stop in and check on our tiny family. Just follow the giggles.

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