No bath, no bath!

If you were wondering what was the exact point in time when Molly started to dislike taking baths, it was this Monday.  Or maybe over the weekend.  Either way, it was definitely this week.

Molly used to enjoy her baths, taking her time to soak and play with toys, and even wash herself some with a wash cloth.  She only got upset with shampoo time and the resulting water and baby soap on the face.  But mostly it was a good time.

But now, all of the sudden, this has changed.  Molly has started to cry and scream, “No bath!  No bath!”, at the mere mention of her bath.  This has happened consistently for the last few nights.  She continues to cry through the bath itself, calming down only when out of the bath and in her dry towel.

We have no idea why Molly started to detest baths, but in case this never turns back around (like in the case of Claire, who now begrudgingly takes a shower before bed), I thought it would be interesting to pinpoint exactly when the shift occurred.  At this point, it is pretty safe to say that Claire and Moly love to sit around together and not take baths.  That is a favorite activity.

Shower Time

Inspired by her after-swim rinse in the shower at Deep Eddy Pool this morning, Claire has decided that she is a big fan of showering.  So much so, in fact, that she asked if she could take a shower instead of a bath for bedtime tonight.  I had actually wondered at what age Claire would want to switch from baths to showers, and I supposed it would be somewhere around ten years old, but now she has that beat by half.

This is a major change for Claire, who in the past could hardly stand any water on her head or face.  And now she is making major leaps in the area — literally.  At Deep Eddy today, Claire enjoyed repeatedly jumping into the pool, with water splashing around and sometimes over her face and head.  This was followed by said shower in the surprisingly fresh and clean, open-air public changing room (featuring a courtyard of tropical plants).

What may have helped pushed Claire over is her twice-weekly swim lessons at summer camp.  Learning to swim with her long-time friends seems to be helping her develop a new boldness with water in general.

Anyways, Claire went ahead and took her first real shower tonight, the whole nine yards, including a shampoo.  She did not have any help from me except getting the water running at the right temperature, and some help with the shampoo. The only mishap was when she accidentally swallowed a little bit of shampoo, but she quickly recovered by spitting it out and rinsing with fresh water.

As a side note, Claire is always a little lawyer at bedtime, and a rather capable one at that.  Her goal is to push off getting ready for bed as long as possible.  Tonight after announcing she would take a shower instead of a bath, Claire asked if she could have a few extra minutes to play since we wouldn’t have to wait for the bath to fill up.  Well played, Claire…well played.

Changing Tide

About a year ago, Claire was having an awful time with her baths. Every night was a trial of patience and nerves. Since then, things have gradually gotten a little better, but no more so than since the move to the new house in Austin. Now the only problem is getting her out of the bath! Maybe it is the new fresher, nicer bathroom with the sunroof, or maybe the just general change of scenery. It really seemed to pick up after our trip to Barton Springs, for whatever reason. Anyways, she loves her baths now.

Claire has also gotten a lot more adventurous in the bath. She is now swimming, splashing, sticking her face in the water, blowing bubbles, and playing with the drain. She may be getting a little too comfortable. She insists that it is really not dangerous to run and jump in the tub. I finally told her that if she slipped and fell, she might have to go to the hospital and get a cast like with her bounce house accident. Yes, I pulled the bounce house card. I felt a little bad using a scare tactic, but it is an honest argument, and it did the trick. No more running and jumping in the tub!

TODO: Need bath or towel pic


Normally after her bath, I will wrap Claire up in a towel and let her get all warm and dry while she sits on my lap for a couple of minutes. Tonight we did the usual drill, except it was late so I cut it just a little short. After about a minute, I motioned towards her pajamas.

“Can we just sit and think for a minute?” said Claire.
“Okay, let’s just sit and think,” I replied.

A few seconds went by before Claire broke the silence.

“I’m thinking about zebras, Daddy. What are you thinking about?”
“Kids,” I replied.

Another few seconds went by.

“What are you thinking about now, Daddy?”
“Dogs,” I said, spotting some of Muffin’s hair on the floor. “What are you thinking about?”
“Monkies,” said Claire.

Then Claire said that she had done enough thinking for the night and wanted to get dressed for bed. The next night, she wanted to sit and think again. The topic this time was “opposites”.

Fear and Loathing in the Bathtub

Not long ago, bath time was a fun and relaxing nightly routine. Claire played with her three little plastic dolphins in the bubbly, warm water. We listened to lazy music and ended up all clean and sleepy for bedtime.

Those days seem to have passed, at least for the moment. Bath time, especially since we moved to the new house in Dallas, has become a stripped down, sometimes frantic, usually unhappy affair. Gone are the bubbles; Claire does not want bubbles any more. And the favorite old “Sleepy” and “Moonlight” playlists that we had gradually worked to perfection on our iPod are no longer welcome; Claire prefers silence. The water is “too hot!” even if it is tepid. She cries and screams when we start the bath water, and she ends up running all over the house, screaming, usually naked, before we scoop her up and make her clean up. She protests, “I’m not dirty! I don’t need a bath!” The scene has at times devolved into some of the biggest fits she has ever had. We often just splash her off as she stands in the tub. She ends up going to bed mad and frustrated, but at least sort of clean. Mostly, we are trying to stick somewhat to the routine.

We have asked her why she doesn’t like baths, but she does not give us any real answer. Β It could be related to potty training, as she has had a couple of “accidents” in the bath, and they freaked her out. Or sometimes it seems like she just does not want to go to sleep, and she knows darn well that bath time means bedtime. She just wants to keep playing, even though she is obviously tired.

Last night, we had a rare fun bath time. We played and splashed and laughed. She was happy as we got her into her pajamas and off to bed. Hopefully this is the start of a trend. All three of us could use some relief from the nightly bath trauma.