Sunday, October 16, 2011

Bathtime battles

Little Bitty has a love-hate relationship with bathtime. Usually somewhere in the realm of "strongly dislike."

Any mention of the dreaded bath and he's likely to screech "I not get WWWEEETTTT!!" and take off running. We'll be in for a wrestling match to get him into the tub and keep him there long enough to accomplish some semblance of cleaning. Somehow it seems like we end up soaked even more than him (I say "we" because he's getting bigger and when he goes ballistic dh and I have to tag team - one to try to keep him from climbing out of the tub while the other tries to wash him).

We've been through the battles of him not wanting to get wet at all, and got to a point where he could tolerate it. Sort of. Even a few drops of accidental water on his clothes and he starts stripping, but when it's on his terms, he actually enjoys the water. He loves to fill up the sink with water and play in it, and he loves to play in the swimming pool.

But bathtime? Not so much. At least not the actual *bathing* part. Because despite all the hysterics of trying to avoid getting IN the tub in the first place, once he's actually bathed and can get OUT, he suddenly decides he wants to stay in to play or "swim" and it takes just as much effort to get him out as it did to get him in. Sigh.

In our attempts to avoid the battles on the front end, we tried all kinds of things - bath toys, bubbles, even the occasional bribe (gasp!). What? I know we're not the only people who've tried to offer Thomas gummies in exchange for a wrestle-free bath. Not that it worked :/. For his part, he actually tried to climb into bed claiming "I tired!" rather than resign himself to a bath.

And then dh came up with one of his famous ideas. He gets full credit for this one because it never would have occurred to me.


I don't know if it's the scent, or the way it makes the water feel extra soft and smooth, or what, but suddenly Bitty actually likes taking a bath. In true dh-fashion, once we found that Bitty liked the Calgon, dh came home with pretty much every "flavor" they have. So now when it's bathtime we just ask him which Calgon he wants to use this time, he chooses one and helps us pour it into the water, and proceeds to climb into the tub, happy as a clam.

"Calgon take me away." lol (yes, Bitty actually read that on the container, guess they haven't changed their slogan over the years).

Dh also got Bitty a loofah in his favorite color (red!) to wash his body with. He likes the feel of it and is happy to scrub away. He still doesn't like having his hair washed, but thankfully he doesn't have much hair so I can do that in well under a minute. Short enough to say "oops I didn't mean to wash your hair, let me rinse that for you..." and be done with his face toweled dry again before he can get too worked up over it.

We've been down this road before so I'm not expecting that the bath battles are necessarily over for good, but am enjoying the reprieve while it lasts :).

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I'm a mom of three boys on the autism spectrum, 11-yr-old identical twins and a 7-yr-old. My husband is a SAHD.


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