bathtime battle lines drawn

Checking in very briefly today to share a bit about last night's terrible bath experience. We have worked tirelessly to create a fun and engaging atmosphere for Caroline's bathtime. New distractions were purchased, all are utilized each and every time and the word "hair" has only been uttered a smattering of times. In all cases there was no hair present, just the realization that " I totally forgot I was having way too much fun with these bubbles to even remember that I hate the tub and use hair as an excuse. Oops. umm, oh yeah, HAIR!"

Things came to a head last night. These toddlers, they get you coming and going. We've been caught in this place - is there a real fear we need to address or is this something we can brush off with distraction or worse is this her realizing she is in control of bathtime. Steve and I took bathtime back last night.

No sooner than she was ankle deep in the warm inviting sudsy tub did Caroline start howling that she was all done ordering us to "take me out!" Steve looked over and we simultaneously declared an end to this nonsense. Allie Curley warned us that she was testing us. Thanks Allie, it gave us permission to declare bathtime as a necessity and not a choice. We took control.

"You have a choice. You can enjoy your tub and play with your toys or you can cry and be miserable. You need to take a bath. You make the choice."

I kept repeating myself, washing her, trying not to react. Steve took the helm with towel and dressing duties while I cleaned up the bathroom and tried to take a breather. Sobbing, tears, and general acting out all through the hair drying. We brought her baby over to put her to bed with the rest of the bath toys and when I tried to help her put the baby's diaper on, she tossed the doll away from her, striking the all too familiar head on the floor crying routine.

I took her in my arms, kissed her forehead, told her that if she wanted to act like a baby she would be treated as one and put her directly to bed without a book or a song and even without a sweet dreams. I tossed the covers over her, closed the door and within 10 minutes there was sweet silence in the house.

I know this is normal, but even more important than that, I know that taking the bath back firmly is what had to be done. Steve and I, we make a pretty good tag team.


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