Monday, January 7, 2008

Terror in the Bathtub

There aren't many things in life that are better than a nice, long soak in a hot bath, preferably with bubbles and some candles and a some good reading material. I feel that I must have started this appreciation early on in life. I remember lots of happy times in the bathtub as a child.

Up until two weeks ago, I felt like JD was beginning to understand how great baths could really be. He had started playing, chasing around rubber ducks in the bathtub and splashing around.

Then we went to Colorado. It started off innocently enough. We gave JD a bath on one of the first nights we were there. We brought his bathmat and played with his toys. He seemed fine.

A few days later, my sister Dara and her girls decided to do bathtime on the first day that we were all there. I thought we might as well throw JD in too since he had been crawling around on the dirty floor for a few days by that point. We ran the water in my mom's clawfoot bathtub and put the bathmat down.

We put JD in with Ellie Beth (the youngest) and that is when bathtime turned into Chinese water torture. JD started to scream bloody murder and stood up in the bathtub and wouldn't sit down. I panicked and thought it might be too hot, but Ellie Beth was sitting in it just fine. Dara and I sang songs and tried to show him how fun it could be, but he would have nothing to do with it. He just screamed and cried and big, fat tears streamed down his little face. So we washed him as quick as we could. Dara thought it would be easiest to just rinse the kiddos off with the hand shower unit. I really thought that JD couldn't get anymore upset than he already was, but I was wrong. As soon as the water hit his head, I thought he would just fall apart. Then of course, Ellie starts in on the crying too.

I chalked the whole incident to "this is a different bathing experience - another kid in the tub, weird bathtub, etc" and didn't really think anything else about it. So we tried it again a few days later. Same situation, but we put JD at the opposite end of the tub (away from the spigot) with Ellie Beth. Same result - SCREAMING his head off until I took him out of the tub.

So I thought to myself that we would need to address this at home, but I was confident that he would be more comfortable in his bathtub with his ducks when we got home. No worries.

Last night, Jon and I gave the little guy a bath. I put bubbles in and all of his favorite toys. The second I put the child in the tub, you would have thought that I was yanking off his toenails one by one. He acted like the water was sheer torture for him, screaming and crying and carrying on. My husband is a big believer in helping JD to overcome his fears, so we made him sit there until he calmed down, while we played and sang songs to him. Then we ran some more water, which of course started the whole screaming episode all over again. A quick 15 minute bath turned into a 45 minute nightmare.

We finally took him out when he was calm again, but he was definitely not happy with us. Actually I should say me. For some reason, JD decided that the whole bath debacle must be my fault and he refused to come to me and clung to his dad.

On the plus side, JD did sleep great last night and didn't budge until almost 7 this morning. I imagine that he was completely worn out.

This morning, it was like the whole thing never happened. He smiled and played with me all morning and did great at Baby Boot Camp. But I'm suspicious. I have a feeling that if I took him anywhere near running water, he would probably try to pull my toenails off. Thank goodness we can wait a couple of days for the next bath.


owldog1 said...

I hope JD likes his bath's again soon. Just an idea maybe he can take a shower with Jon or you. Seems they like it okay when being held.

Dara said...

This is probably all my doing... I've ruined baths for JD! So sorry! I never expected to see such a bad reaction to a bath. I couldn't believe all the screaming from both of our children! Luckily, Ellie Beth has been fine ever since. I sure hope JD gets back to enjoying baths soon! Sorry!