Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Bathtime Bust

Well  it's official.  Boo hates the bath.  As you can see from this picture he loves to splash and dance around with a bucket of soapy water.  As I've told you before, he really likes going in the pool and even asks for it too.  He'll even ask for a bath from time to time.
But... get him anywhere near the tub, or even think about turning on the water and forget it, the screaming starts.  Not the hysterical, frightened of the boogey man hiding in the closet, terrified scream.  No, this is the "make me do anything include eat a huge plate of veggies AND clean my room at the same time" scream.  I swear, if I were my neighbors last night, I'd have thought someone was doing bodily harm to the poor boy.
I think I've mentioned this before.  It all started back at the end of April, around the end of our first set of swim classes.  I'm sure you remember my angst with the swim classes for the second session, how he'd scream and fuss and cry through them (but loved going to Amma's Y and now loves Uncle Frank's pool too...).  Well, about that time bath time also became a royal challenge.  At first he'd scream whenever I'd put him into the tub (even though he'd be all excited about bath time up until that point).  Then, it graduated to him standing in the tub (but never, ever sitting) and splashing around while I washed him.  While not overly fond of this solution, it worked.  I got a clean boy with only a minimal ammount of fussing on anyone's part.
I was hoping the move and the end of that stress would help with the bathtime issues.  Well, the standing in the tub continued on until about a week or two ago.
Then we started with the screaming in the tub again (while standing).  Then it became a bit of fussing before getting into the tub and expressing his intense dislike while in the tub.  Then it became time to start the fussing when the "b" word was mentioned at dinner time.  Last night, I didn't even get that far.  (And trust me, he needed a bath badly between the sand, the salt, the sunscreen and the running around on Monday and the fact that I hadn't washed him since Thursday, I had a boy in need of a bath.)
What simply astonishes and frustrates me though is that earlier in the evening he went with me into my room while I changed into some shorts.  He saw his ducky there (a favorite) and happily exclaims "duckie!".  "Yes, that's your ducky for bath time."  And then "letters!" when he sees some of the foam letters we have in the tub.  Again, "yes, those are your letters for bath time" I calmly tell him.  "OK!" was his happy response.
Well, we discussed bath time at dinner, with much whimpering on his part.  I then gave him the option of bath now or in 10 minutes.  He didn't say anything but quickly found something to do.  About 20 minutes later I tell him it's bath time.  I promptly get a "No!" as he goes into his room and flops on Lee and starts crying.  I try and explain about the salt and the sand and the sunscreen and the desparate need for a bath as I get his towel out of the cloest.  Then the floodgates open.
So, hoping for a bit of a calm down, I toss his towel aside and say OK, we can wait.  Well, he doesn't calm down.  So, I tell him that since he's fussing at me anyhow, he might as well get a bath.
In the name of all that is holy, you'd have thought I was trying to murder him as I undressed him.  And it only got louder and worse.  And by the end of it I was crying too.
I've tried everything I can think of. 
Changed the water temp?  Yep, doesn't matter. 
Tried bubbles?  Yep, bubbles win, but not enough to make him want to get in the tub. 
New toys?  Yep, he's gotten a new basketball net for the tub (which he likes) and he loves his duckie and his letters, but still the screaming. 
Crayons?  Well, no not bath crayons but tablets that change the water into cool colors, that was worse. 
Showers?  Don't even think about it, it was even more of a disaster.  Don't even think about splashing water near his face, let alone having it fall on his head.  Yes, this makes washing hair even more fun than the rest of him.
Bathing with him?  Yep, couldn't get him to come near the tub. 
Less water in the tub?  Well, since I refuse to waste water he's not going to play in, yep, we're down to almost dry.
Not draining the tub with him in it?  Can't even get him into the tub without screaming... but yes, I've tried this too.  And like I've said, it's not a terified scream but the "don't make me do it" scream.
Different tub?  Yep.  We moved in May, remember.  Also, Amma tried at Jay's on Sunday with the same disaster (and no bath).
Change soap?  Yep.  I've tried both the California Baby organic stuff I've been using for well over a year now and the regular J&J baby bath.  I've even tried my shower gel.  Remember, I can't even get him into the tub without screaming.  Heck, I can't even get him near the bathroom once the water is started. 

So, I'm at the end of my rope.  I don't think there's enough left to tie a knot on to swing from.  What happened to cause this?  I haven't a clue.  If I did, I'd know what to talk about/work on to fix the issue.  As is I've got one very, very, very unhappy boy.  The unhappiness usually passes within about 5 or 10 minutes of the torture ending and the jammies on.  It's not a naked thing, he doesn't mind getting changed or dressed.
Yeah.  If anyone's got a clue or wants to come bathe my boy for me, have at it.

On another note, I had my semi-anual checkup with my primary doctor.  It took twice as long as usual today because she's got a student PA with her right now.  (Which is cool, she's young and friendly and I don't mind helping.)  She gave me the name of a different doctor to see for the whole sleep thing.  I'm going to give him a whirl.  He's in Allentown, so not quite as convenient, but not bad either.  We'll see when I can get in there.  My asthma and allergies are behaving themselves.  My blood pressure (once they could hear the bottom number...) was 110 over 70, which is about average for me.  So, I'm in good health over all, if I could only sleep.
Well, I've procrastinated long enough, back to work.

Peace to all and may bath time not be torture for all involved.

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