Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Everything But Water

“Let’s go for a bath Chip.” I am trying to hurry Chip. It’s already past 7:00 in the evening and Chip hasn’t even had his bath. “No, I don’t want a bath Aie.” “Oh, come on. Let’s put some pink bubble bath in it today. Yes?” “No.” This has been happening for a couple of months now. Chip simply does not want baths or showers. “Don’t you want to wear your clown pajamas?” His eyes light up. “Yes. Blue clown shirt, Green clown pant.” He stretches his arms and lets me take off his stinky clothes. “Alright, Aie. I am done. Bath is over. All done.” “WHAT? You haven’t even got your foot inside the tub.” Chip crosses his arms and doesn’t budge.

I can’t believe this is happening. Chip was born with a distaste for baths. Thank god I didn’t spend a dime on the baby tub. His tub was a nice hand me down and I bought a nice sponge insert for it, but Chip, being Chip, hated it all. The whole routine. He would wince when my mom or I massaged him. Or fuss. He would cry so hard, we fell back to sponging him twice everyday. But after a couple of days, Chip stank of milk and spit-up and poopoo and the sponging plan was scrapped and daily baths with soap like a proper Indian were reinstated. Much to my mother’s relief. He was an Indian baby after all. He had to be bathed daily. Even if Chip hated them. His cries were so loud that it would be hard for my mom and me to talk to each other. And they would continue. While getting into the bath. The first several minutes. Then getting out. Then while applying lotion. Then while diapering and putting on clothes. The only time he stayed quiet was in the middle of his bath. But he would look terrified and would clench his whole body with nervous apprehension. Eventually, we ended up wrapping him in a cotton blanket before putting him in the bathtub. And that seemed to relax him. And the hairdryer. For the longest time that was our brahmastra. Set to high, the hairdryer’s whitenoise would magically calm him down. So BigGeek would follow me and my mom and Chip with the hairdryer above our heads for the entire bath routine. It looked so comical, we even repurposed a cheesy slogan for it – Raja Babu Ki Jai (from the movie Raja Babu we had watched at the time). And to prove how insane we were, we also recorded the entire drama on video. But over the months he, thankfully, grew to like his baths and by the time he was a year old, every summer evening was spent on the back lawn in the company of sprinklers. And then later with trips to the local pool.

So, when Chip started to resist baths a few months ago, I was puzzled. I simply had no energy for the “Raja Babu” time yet again, but the scatterbrained woman that I am, I never asked him what had changed. But I got the answer. Yesterday. Without asking. I convince him to get into the bathtub and he is enjoying his bath. I point to his right hand and ask what the stamp-du-jour is. The stamp he gets everyday at school is the highlight of his day. (Oh! the things preschool teachers have to come up with to amuse these kids). He looks at me in utter panic. “Oh my god Aie. My stamp will go away. Give me a towel. Wipe it quick. Wipe it! Its wet!” “Its OK Chip. You will get another one tomorrow.” I try to soothe him. “That’s why I don’t like baths. I get my hand wet and then the stamp goes away.” Ah. That’s WHY.

27 comments:

The TAAMommy said...

hahaha.. that was funny :)
Sometimes they just surprise us by having a reason or a purpose and double surprise us by actually letting us into it :)

rayshma said...

haha!! simple wisdom... from the mouth of the babes... *as in, kids... not "babes"*
:)

choxbox said...

LOL at raju babu ki jai! dotmom you are the best!

Preethi said...

hahaha.. how cute.. and I have one who says he wont wear a tatoo because it will get his hand dirty!!
Hey you rock dotmom.. you are so patient.. the raju babu ki jai story tells me that!! hehehe!!! I would have just dumped Nantu into the tub and poured the water over him :P

noon said...

Funny the things we do to please the royal prince! :) A similar thing happened to us - all of a sudden (think at 22m or so) KB refused to let us change his diaper...used to create such a drama - those couple of days...my sis said he is probly ready for potty training...but I didn't think that was the reason...I worked back to when this all started. Turned out he fell from the swing at the park when he went with B alone - somehow when we lifted his legs up for a diaper change it reminded him of that and he was so nervous...he cooled off after a couple of days...

Kowsalya Subramanian said...

oh been there.. abi though didn't resist as much as Chip, she would be upset to take her bath. When somedays she is overly upset I used to tie a polythene bag on her hand to cover the stamp or somedays I would draw her big one for taking bath properly that usually calms her down. Now she is in I std, so all her stars are in the notebook and both mom and her are happy now :)

The TAAMommy said...

I cannot believe that they are doing stamps on hands in India, I must be from the ages !!

Mona said...

haha, the vision of how you guys got chip to enjoy his baths is hilarious.
:)
the things these kids make us do, huh??

Lavs said...

I just read a cartoon strip where Mimi does not want her bath. I remember when I was a kid, I never used to cry while taking bath. One of my elder cousins who saw this protested about me not crying and poured one mug of hot water over me just to watch me cry.

dipali said...

Aww!

Just Like That said...

LOL! Sonny Boy's playschool teacher tells me those stars/stamps/tattoos are a splendid motivator in getting a bunch of unruly kids to cooperate. They'll do anything for that stamp of approval, apparently.:-)

Swati said...

This tells me how different kids can be ..Aryan is a born water lover and you can make him smile by taking him to tub..even at midnight :)

Swati said...

BTW ..I love this new template..so refreshing it is.

DotMom said...

TAAMommy: You said it!

rayshma: the truth is always this simple, I guess!

choxbox: long live raja babu

preethi: Oh trust me, I do that.. I juust write posts that [aint me in a positive light :)

noon: Wow. Kids make the darndest associations. It's amazing. I always wonder what it would be like to peer into their heads and see what they are thinking? Do you remember what you were thinking when you were 2?

Kowsalya: That's an idea now! Never thought of doing that. Poly bags in my mind are reserved for bandages :)

TAAMommy: when was the last time you went to India? Its been 5.5 years for me. And we ARE from the ages now :)

Mona: seriously. you have to let go of every ounce of self respect and shame.

Lavs: They did WHAT???? Ouch.

Dipali: raja babu ki jai!

JLT: I bet they are!

Swati: oh lucky you! And thanks for the compliments!

B o o said...

Ashu used to cry when she was a new born. But reducing the water temperature did the trick and she started loving the baths. My mom was the one who insisted on HOT water and was scared Ashu will get a cold if the water was lukewarm. But I would have dunked her in ice cold water if that would have stopped her from crying!!
Btw, this incident reminds me of Winkie. Did nt he do something similar when he had a small plaster after an minor injury? Tharini - right aa? Kids!! ;)

Vinita said...

hee hee Gosh and all along I was thinking what this poor girl has to go through everyday? One thing after another.

But looks like Life IS simple.

Vinita

DotMom said...

b o o: Chip hated hot water too. My mom in law was also scared he will catch a cold and thought it would be ralxing for the baby to have a nice hot bath. But Chip HATED it. It was always lukewarm water. Even now.

vinita: yeah.. it is simple many times :)

Girl Next Door (gnd) said...

So funny! Cheesy things work like a charm, don't they??
We do a whole bunch of those :)

ddmom said...

That was a hilarious narration :) See he did have a reason for not taking bath after all.. ha ha..
D hates when we wash her hair[2 or 3 times a week]. Before stepping into the tub she will confirm 100 odd times, only body ok? no hair ok? Hair wash is almost always distracting her and quickly pouring shampoo on her head before she notices me reaching out to the bottle..
Hey, maybe you could reward him with a new sticker after a bath, that way he might look forward to something.. just a thought...

Preethi said...

Dotmom.. I wrote a post on Global Warming in my new blog Confessions of a closet geek .. would love for you to read that.. esp keeping in my mind your post on Go Green.

Usha said...

aha you dumb momma, you did not even know this - see, it is sooooooo simple.
Sweet, sweet sweet.

mummyjaan said...

I love the way you try to come up with ingenious ways to make Chip co-operate.

When Apya was Chip's age, she was exactly like that, but gradually she grew to love her baths. Now the two happily splash about together.

They only start to scream 'bloody murder' when I shampoo their hair :).

(Sigh), We'll get there.

Sue said...

Lukewarm water is healthiest because then the body doesn't have to adjust to a drastically different temp. after the bath.

The Bhablet bathes in tapwater in summers and lukewarm in winters and I have to admit although he showed a tendency towards colds in his first winter, this last winter he only did a long course of sniffles.

I've heard babies hate extreme temps anyway. In water, at least.

Squiggles Mom said...

Appeared after a while. I love the new template and I'm glad you've kept the quote.

Squiggles Mom said...

Appeared after a while. I love the new template and I'm glad you've kept the quote.

Pixie said...

Very funny!! :-)
Speed REading your posts...

Loved the Post on Diamonds... I still don't have any save a pair which my aunts gifted me on my wedding day.
I am waiting for something special before I get diamonds from the hubby! :-)

DotMom said...

gnd: Glad I am not the only cheesy person around!

ddmom: the negotiations kids will do!

pretthi: heading there.

usha: seriously.. how dumb can moms get :)

mummyjann: there is a thin line between ingeneious and crazy :)

sue: thanks for that bit of info. I still can't bathe in tap water in summer. I need my bath water to be piping hot.

squiggles mom: welcomback. glad you like the template.

pixie: thanks!