It is not a secret that Dekker hates the bath. After my last post, a number of you made suggestion, which I REALLY appreciated! I have tried lots of the methods in the past, but none recently. So this evening, we figured we’d give one a go. A popular one. The shower.
I’m not one to build suspense. It was awful. And I really don’t know how we could have tried harder or done any better, honestly! We left Laela to her own devices and just the three of us went to the bathroom. Brady jumped in the shower and washed his hair in an effort to show Dekker how it wasn’t too scary. He sat on my lap and just shook his head anytime we spoke to him. He was mesmerized. We had previously discussed that just plunking him down in the shower would terrify him, and he would likely fall or try to climb out, and it would end badly. So I carried him over to the shower and asked him if he wanted to go in. Of course, he shook his head. So instead of fighting, I just jumped in, holding him. Yup. All three of us were in there for his benefit. And the second that water ran over his back, he shook like I don’t even know what, and he screamed and screamed and screamed. His legs were death gripped around my body and every time one would slip a little, he would shriek in panic. It was so sad. I was surprised at myself, actually. I was so upset for him. Why does he have to be somewhere that scares him so much? Yet at the same time, why can’t we find a way to make this work?!
I’ll be honest. I was scared of the shower as a kid. I preferred to bathe in the tub and wash my hair under the tap at the end. I didn’t have a shower before I was in eight grade. I am capable of showering now, of course, but I still hate it. LIke you all know, I soak in the tub every night, and I actually wash my hair in the kitchen sink during the day. I hate the shower. So I don’t want to push Dekker so hard at something that I found scary too! But he’s so upset by baths too! I feel at such a loss.
So I hauled that boy out of the bathroom so fast. I wandered the house for a few minutes, trying to decide what to do, until I found myself in the kitchen. I knew that, no matter what, his bath tonight likely wouldn’t be fun. But I could be as sensitive as possible. So I lay out a towel on the counter and ran some water into the sink. Dekker sat on the counter while I wet him down with a cloth and scooped water from the sink with my hands. I was washing his hair and only then did he seem to perk up a bit. However, how in the world was I going to rinse him off?! I ended up sitting him in the sink to rinse him off. He was not impressed, but he survived.
I carried him off for cuddles and jammies as soon as I possibly could. He was laying on his change table, unmoving, as I put his diaper on for night. And then, very quietly, he goes,
After all that. My son still loved me. I can get so wrapped up in how he can’t understand that the bath isn’t scary!!, yet he can comprehend the fact that he was safe with me the entire time, and that everything is ok. He doesn’t resent me for making him do something he’s afraid of. He loves me.
I am now COMPLETELY wiped out, and ready for bed. But Laela isn’t, and we haven’t even had supper yet. The night is young, people! We, apparently, are not “young people” anymore…