15 days ago, I put Abhi in the bathtub for a full bath. He complained a bit, but, in no time he was in love with this new way of taking a bath. Since that day, each time we say the word B.A.T.H, he runs to the bathroom door and starts knocking on it, crying that he wants to take a bath. He is truly in love with water. On the other hand, same 15 days ago, I tried to put Achu in the bathtub. She protested heavily and we gave up. The next day, since I HAD to give her a bath, I forced her to stand in the bath tub. She cried and cried, screaming “All done”, “No bath” etc. etc. But I got the bath done somehow. Nanna was standing next for support. Next day, I gave her the blanket when taking bath. I added new toys. Her favorite security things etc. Blanket got completely wet. All toys drenched and bath was completed with Achu sobbing unstoppable. So, I decided to take it easy on her. My decision was to give her bath when she really needs to take (once in two days, maybe) and let her get comfortable with bath at her own pace.
So, for the next few days Abhi was taking bath, we kept the bathroom door open. She could come in if she wanted to. For the first two days, she stayed away. Next, she decided to check out what all the giggling and fun in the bathroom was (Abhi was having a gala time). She saw she could throw toys in the water. She loved that. She also saw she could splash water on people around and they would jump when water fell on them. She loved that too. For days, she continued to come in and go out of the bathroom as she liked, but the answer to the question, “Achu, do you want to take bath?” was always a very clear “NO”. When we are getting Abhi ready for bath, she would run away, saying , “Achu no bath”, “Achu no bath”.
That was until two days ago. I was giving Abhi bath as usually. Achu comes, plays a bit and suddenly tells me, “Take Bath?”. While I was having a moment there trying to think if she was serious or just playing with me, she lifts her hands up, asking me to take her dress off. In the same surprised mind I was in, I quickly undressed her and put her in the tub; Before her mind changes, that is. She wanted to only stand. Fine by me. At least, she was inside the bath tub. She played for a while and I quickly gave her a bath. Abhi helped rub some soap and then tried to lick his hand. Achu screamed, as usual, “Abhiiii. Noooo”. Good. Everything was normal in our bath world. We ended the bath happily, praising and clapping for Achu. She didn’t cry. Not even for a second.
Next day, she wanted to get in again. She said no to bath at first. But, got in anyway. I tried to push my luck and give her a head bath (which usually means normal bath crying * 100 times). Guess what. She obliged. Not a single tear or protest. She stood in the bathtub, playing with the water from the tap while I kept dumping water on hear. I am telling you. In the last 19 months, there were only very few times she didn’t cry when she was bathing. She stopped crying when I was giving her bath, back in Hyderabad (after many many bath-crying sessions) and when we got her here, crying resumed as it were just a natural thing to do. So, I used my one opportunity to just dump water and bath her as much as I can. I had to call it done.
We all celebrated. Praised her like she climbed Mt. Everest or something (which I hope she really does, one day)
When it was bath time again next evening, I was so excited. Because this would be the first time Abhi and Achu would sit in the bath tub, play as long as they want and take bath. I have been waiting for that moment from a long time. Abhi was already at the door, knowing its bath time. And Achu should be coming and joining him. Only, Achu decided to change her mind. “Achu no bath”, I was told. To the shocked me, she repeated, “Achu no bath”. Okay. There she goes again. I see I got to wait few more days for that dream scene to come true. I didn’t force her, anyway. I had hoped, once Abhi was in bath tub, she would come and ask for bath, but she didn’t. I kept asking her through out the bath time, but she was very sure she didn’t want bath. Maybe, she wanted to conserve water. Maybe, she thought she was clean already. I mean, Achu, like me, is very particular about cleaning and keeping things where they should be. So, if she decided she was clean, I cant question her. So, I let her do whatever she wants.
Its been two days already and she is still on “Achu no bath” routine. Sigh. Today, would be the forced bath day if she refuses.
And, in the end, she reverted to her old-self or not, we did a score a bath victory. Even if it was only for two days. I mean, two straight days. That’s very important. 🙂