inch by inch

Caroline had the most wonderful bath last night. We lit candles and dimmed the lights, floated magnolia blooms and she sat in the tub for so long that her fingers were pruned beyond recognition. When we asked her after nearly an hour if she wanted to get out, she sweetly and demurely replied, “no thank you, Mommy.” The water must have been getting chilly because not long thereafter she asked politely for her “towel, please.”

Of course, it is April Fools Day so that is not what happened at all. In fact, imagine the complete opposite of that scenario and that was how bathtime went. It was fast & furious, full of tears, desperate pleas to “take me out!” with nary a please to be found. I went back to jumping in with her in a bathing suit and we still had to forcibly and with great authority press her body into a seated position between my knees. Eventually she calmed down enough to ask for a tub crayon, “blue, please.” No sooner than she was handed the crayon did she spy the cup we use to rinse her off floating on the surface of the water and Steve describes her face as complete and utter terror. Over a cup. I shouted obscenities in my head at my idiocy to allow the cup to float in the water. The cup she previously LOVED. Stupid cup.

More googling ensued. I am assured that this will eventually pass, will suck every ounce of patience from my body, and that the bath is non-negotiable. I need to at least pretend to maintain some small amount of control here. There are many suggestions out there on the interwebs and I plan to try them all. We won’t be taking a bath again until Thursday evening or Friday morning, so I have lots of time to strategize a new method. My latest plan will involve her sitting in the bath with no water at all, but with all the fun amusements. We’ll go back to the days of the sponge bath and I am not sure yet how I will quickly pull off the hair washing, but it will get done. I will desensitize her to the water slowly, inch by inch if need be, until we can get past this madness.

Remind me that there will come a time in her life that we will all laugh together about this. I reserve the right to point at her while laughing so hard I cry, although at that age I am sure I am more likely to be wetting myself than crying from laughter.


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