Abby needed a bath last night and I was not in the mood to do bath time. So I thought she could just jump in the shower, play for a few minutes, I'd wash her hair and she'd jump out. She has done this many, many times over the course of her life.
So last night, I told Abby that I was going to go run a shower for her.
"No!" she yelled.
"Yeah." I said, "It will be fun. You haven't had a shower for while. It will be quick."
"No!" she yelled, a bit more emphatically this time.
Me being just as persistent as she is, went ahead and ran a shower anyway. There was a time when she preferred the shower over the bath and I assumed that once she was in there, she'd get over it and take her shower.
I was wrong.
She screamed all the way to the bathroom and once I put her in the shower, she screamed some more. Screamed and screamed and screamed as she clawed at the shower curtain trying to find a way out, screamed as she jumped out and ran screaming naked and dripping wet through the house. Screaming long after I said, "Ok, ok! You don't have to take a shower! It's ok, Abby! ABBY! IT'S OK! YOU DON'T HAVE TO TAKE A SHOWER! ABBBYYYYY! IT'S OK!"
Screaming, screaming, screaming. It had been a while since she'd had a scream-fest like that. Let's hope it's a long while before we see another.
After a nice relaxing BATH, dried off and dressed in clean pj's, Abby sat quietly watching the latest DVR'd "Super Why" while I did her hair. She let me put it in 5 tight little buns to sleep in overnight, so she could have curly hair the next day. I'm always surprised by the intricate hair styles she lets me do. There are many quote/unquote "normal" kids her age who would NEVER let their parents do the buns, braids and ponytail styles that Abby lets me do. As I sat parting, combing and twisting her soft hair, I was reminded of another scream-fest we'd had when she was two.
Abby's hair was getting long and was constantly in her eyes. I thought of cutting it into a cute little pixie cut, but couldn't imagine the wrath she would bring on anyone coming near her head with scissors. I didn't figure that would be safe for her or for the stylist wielding those scissors. So I opted to go with barrettes and pony holders. But even those simple devices were regarded with extreme contempt. Whenever I tried to snap a simple butterfly shaped barrette into her hair, she reacted as if I was shoving thumb tacks into her skull. She would scream and rip it out taking a clump of hair with it.
"fun" screaming/gagging/hair-in-the-mouth session, that she was going to wear barrettes. Period.
I took 20 deep breaths, muttered some prayers for patience and persistence on my part, and gently (or not so gently) told Abby that she was going to wear barrettes that day, and if she took them out, I would put them back in, and if she took them out again, I would put them back in, and if she took them out... well you get the idea.
And I did. She screamed, I put the barrettes in, she ripped them out, screaming all the while, and I would put them back. This went on for about 15 minutes until she was sweaty and exhausted (so was I). I finally put her barrettes back in, pulled her up onto my lap with her blankie-snuggle and pacifier, and whispered softly in her ear,
"It's ok, see. Feel the barrettes in your hair. They don't hurt, do they? They will keep your hair out of your mouth. Mamma wouldn't do anything to hurt you, Abby. We're going to put barrettes in every day, so the hair stays out of your eyes and your mouth."
She settled down and literally to this day, has let me do her hair ever since, and rarely complains. I felt sooo bad that day, but I know Abby's temperament. Sometimes she needs to be forced to try new things. I try to let her make her own choices, but every now and again, she needs a little push.
Now let me say again that I felt terrible. I hate forcing her to do things. I question myself at every turn. Was that the right thing to do or the right way to do it?! Well this is one example of not liking the process, but appreciating the outcome.
After watching me get my last hair cut, Abby announced, "Abby's turn!" She wants a hair cut, so I think she's ready for her first trim. Maybe we'll make a day of it for her 4th birthday.