In 100 words: Bath-time

Bath-time in our house is frequently chaotic, loud and wet, involving two overwrought boys, one stressed parent and an infant girl who just wants to join in with her rambunctious brothers but is often bathed separately to avoid being drowned/decapitated/used as a life-size toy in a frenzy of wrestling and splashing.

At least half the time it’s more like herding cats than anything else. But every now and then we get the full trifecta of kids in the bath at the same time and playing happily. If nothing else, it makes for a cute photo opportunity, no?


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7 thoughts on “In 100 words: Bath-time

  1. My son used to love baths. He would ask for them when he got home. He is turning 2 years on 12/28, and has been really fighting baths lately. I don’t give in on other things, but unfortunately, I’ve been giving in on the baths. This is due to the fact that when I put him in the bath, he FREAKS out and twists and turns and tries to throw himself around. It’s slippery when he’s wet, and I’m terrified that I’ll lose my grip on him and he’s going to smash his head, or knock a tooth out or something. Add trying to soap him up, and it’s like wrestling an oiled pig. Have you gone through this with your toddler? Maybe it’s just a normal phase he’s going through? Any suggestions on how to handle this situation?

    • We’ve been lucky enough that all our kids have been pretty good in the bath, although they can get quite boisterous at times and have gone through phases of throwing tantrums when you want to wash their hair. I don’t think it’s at all unusual for kids to get spooked in the bath. I think all you can do is try not to let your understandable concerns get to you too much. Kids are great at sensing when we as parents are worked up about something, and I’m sure that only makes things worse. Maybe the thing to do is to not force things for a while and let him have his way, then slowly reintroduce the bath as a positive experiences where he can have some fun. Certainly with our boys I’ve found that the more you try to force them to do something, the more stubborn they are, and it usually requires a more roundabout approach to convince them it’s something that they really want to do after all.

  2. I so feel for you, Eloy. I know the books would say that you can’t let your toddler “get the best of you” so to speak, but real life is often different from books. Your worries seem quite realistic to me. I can sure remember hating to have my hair washed as a child, because the shampoo burned my eyes. Then my parents switched to something called Johnson’s Baby Shampoo (I don’t know if they even make that any more) and after a period of distrust, I grew to accept it. I still didn’t like baths, but I lost one of my rational arguments against them. Eventually I understood this was something I was going to have to do, so I might as well make the best of it–a tiny, tiny step toward growing up.

  3. Tim’s ideas make a lot of sense to me. Maybe some sort of special treat or toy your son only gets to have in the bath? I realize this sounds like bribery (which the books also warn you against), but come on, he’s two. Full disclosure: I don’t have kids, so I am going only on my memories of having been one. Also, no disrespect intended, I’ve had puppies. While training them, you absolutely feed them or pet them every time they do something right. But the time comes when you don’t have to do that any more. I can’t get into the head of a dog, but it seems to me that eventually they internalize the lesson and take a sort of “pleasure” in doing the right thing, and are pleased with themselves even without your approval.

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