29 March, 2011

bath tub time

i remember the first bath we gave you. it was a sponge bath. aunt cole was there taking pictures and calming me and daddy about the temperature of the water. i don't remember if you screamed but we do have pictures so i guess i should take a look back at them so i can remember. it's amazing how much i am already forgetting about when you were a "baby". you seem so grown up already from who you used to be.

so the progression of your bath tub time...ah it has been quite an experience. last winter, when daddy was at wrestling all the time, i used to be terrified about bath time. i would have to get in the tub with you and then get you out in the cold. we would wrap up in our towels and you would be screaming pretty much the whole time. i would try to manage getting the diaper stuffed and getting you dry and getting me dry and getting us both dressed while nursing you. it must have been quite a sight.

when daddy was home, he would get in the bath with you and i would do the rest afterwards. you always started to scream even though we did the same exact routine every night since you were about a month old when we learned that you were not going to accept being bathed alone in the baby tub. (funny, the baby tub was one of those things i knew i would not need but was told by everyone else in the world that i was crazy -- luckily it was given to us as a hand-me-down. i gave it away over a year ago.)

it wasn't until a few months ago, when you were well over one year old, that you stopped crying after the bath was over. it's not even like you enjoyed the bath. you just didn't like all the manipulation that went with the drying and dressing afterwards, i guess. you have never liked being "managed". so anyway a few months ago bath tub time began to get easier. i didn't dread it anymore and i actually had learned to enjoy that time with you. oh yes. i forgot to mention that sometime near your birthday you decided that you needed me in there with you and not daddy most of the time. and you wanted to nurse through the entire bath. which was fine because it really was a peaceful end to our day together.

so about two months ago you were in the tub with me. you were playing. i got out. and you stayed in there. alone. and you had fun. and the next couple of months were fun bath tub times for you. you played. you got in on your own and stayed in. you did the heiny splash. there were times when i had to get you out because oyu were in so long that you were wrinkling and the water was cold.

and then last week i decided to stop babying you with the hair washing. at first you never minded getting water dumped over your head. but progressively you started to dislike it more and more. so i have no idea what i was thinking when i decided that you might be ok if i just poured the whole container of water over your head to get the shampoo out in one shot. instead of being gentle and careful like i have always been. i let people get to me. i let people get in my head. i wanted you to get used to the water so you would go in the lake and the pool and like to go under water and not freak when you got your face wet. but i went against what i know. i know you. i know you don't work that way. and i know that my wants have nothing to do with your needs and i should have just let you go and if you ended up being ten and not liking getting your face wet at the beach so the fuck what?

so the last week bath tub time has been a complete nightmare for both of us. you are terrified when i mention it. when i take you near the tub at night time and put you down you cling to me in sheer terror. your poor little frightened face breaks my heart. you won't get in with me. i tried to get in with you and you clung to me in fear. no bath has lasted more than 90 seconds in the past week.

so from now until you are ready, just like we did tonight since your mommy finally figured it out, you will get wiped down while you sit on the sink and hold tight on to me and tell me in your developing language in the best way you can "mommy don't let go of me and please don't put me in that bath tub". i won't. not until you are ready. and if that means your hair smells of enchilada sauce for a week or two, then i can live with that.

i am sorry i scared you. i will try hard not to do it again. i will continue to work on following my instincts and on trusting my gut. and on not concerning myself with silly things like you being afraid to get your face wet. sometimes -- most time -- it's just not worth it to me to make you sad or scared or upset in any way in exchange for my own personal convenience. i will try not to ever force you into accepting anything before you are ready. i know you. and i trust you. and you trust me. you know i hear you. and that means everything to me.

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