Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Serious Mommying Work

I was giving Jack a bath the other night, and he was happily roaming around the tub. Then, he toddled over to the faucet and pulled up the lever to turn the shower on. Water rained down on him, and it scared the life out of him. Poor Jack stood under the cascades of agua, confused and crying.

I turned off the shower, but he was still freaked out. Between sobs, he demanded, "Out" and pointed to the safe haven outside of the tub. No dice, buddy, not when I haven't had a chance to wash the applesauce out of your hair.

I tried to explain to Jack that it was okay, and there was no agua falling on his head, but he'd have none of it. Finally, I suggested that he take a break. I wrapped him in a big fluffy towel and held him. We talked about the agua, and I showed him how the shower turns on and promised him I wouldn't do that while he was in the tub. He seemed to understand, but still didn't want to get in the water. Then I lined up each and every one of his billions of bath toys and let him push them into the tub. That cheered him up. Then he was willing to stand and look into the water. I asked him if he was ready to get back in the agua, and he finally said, "Okay, okay."

I think I actually circumvented a possible fear, because he was well and truly wigged out by the water. If I had pushed forward and washed his hair, we might have had problems. I really felt like a good mommy, which is a nice feeling every once in a while!

1 comment:

Mary P. said...

A sudden shock like that can become a long-term fear. One day my husband, who had been taking a walk by the river, brought back a frog to show the daycare kids. They all gathered around to see and touch this interesting critter, eager and curious.

Suddenly, the frog slipped free of his grasp, and LEAPED, arms and legs straight out, directly into the face of the 3-year-old just in front of him. Poor boy was terrified at this green shiny thing heading right for his head. (It didn't actually land on him, but it must've seemed like an attack from the poor kid's perspective.)

We did what we could to soothe him, but it was well over a year before he lost his fear of frogs! (He's eight now, and has no residual trauma.) :-)