Okay. I admit I must be a failure. I must be playing the game ALL wrong.
My 7YO refuses to take a bath. I insist, telling her, “The other kids at school are gonna call you ‘Stinky’. You don’t want that, do you?” Doesn’t budge. I tell her, “You have to keep your body clean, to be healthy. You don’t want to be sick just because you didn’t bathe, right?” Nothing. I get more firm. “You have to take a bath. Mama bathes. Daddy bathes. Nana bathes. Mimi bathes. It’s what we do. We may not want to… but we have to. Now, get in the tub.” Tears start. (Hers, not mine.)
By this point, I’m angry.
Here’s a beautiful bathtub filled with just-right-temperature water complete with bubbles and toys and she refuses to get in. Refuses to take her clothes off. What do I do?
I call in Daddy.
He tries the same techniques, then HE gets angry, too.
What’s left? Giving her choices. It’s all the Parenting Rage to give them CHOICES, right? So, Daddy says, “You’re taking a bath. You may choose to get in yourself, or I will help you. Your choice.”
She continues to refuse. She continues to cry.
When I finally ask her why she doesn’t want to take a bath, she replies, “I don’t want to get wet.”
We threaten with this: No bath. No birthday party. (There’s one on the horizon she really wants to attend.)
Nada. Just more tears.
Suddenly, out of nowhere we hear a small voice: “I wanna get in!”
It’s little brother. He wants to play in the bath. I say, “Okay, honey, jump in!”
Within seconds BOTH kids are naked, in the bath, having a blast.
I am exhausted and it’s morning. I just woke up.
I call my daughter My Dream Come True. Today, well, I guess I’ve still so much to be thankful for: She’s bright, creative, funny and has a big heart (especially for animals). This will of hers might come in handy some day. I hope she’s this stubborn when some idiot offers her drugs or asks her to marry him at age 16.