Monday, February 28, 2011

Little Mistakes

A few weeks ago, I was giving my little toddler a bath. It was actually going well! You see, for some reason we can't explain, baths are traumatizing for her. It began around six months, and ever since then,  she has literally freaked out every time we set her down in the water. Since allowing her to stand (instead of, say, sitting in it), she has relaxed somewhat long enough for me to clean her.

But this particular time, I had given her a dose of homeopathic aconite 30x beforehand - a great remedy for fear. It seemed to work - she was actually squatting! I was amazed. Praising her left and right for letting her little derriere sit in the water, I thanked the Lord above for the wonderful progress! She happily and quietly played with her little bath toys as I sat and watched.

Well, if the word "squatting" got your mind thinking, you are absolutely right. Not too long into her happy bath, she suddenly looked up at me with very wide eyes and gasped. I looked back as if to say, What's wrong? Instead of answering, she made a face...and sure enough, began to poop.

My first thought was to quickly pop her on the toilet to save me a mess, but for fear of terrorizing her of the potty, I just let her go. I couldn't even be mad at had been so precious how she tried to warn me - like, "Oh no, Mom! I can't help it..."

It also got me thinking how there have been so many times in my life where I've made mistakes. But none of them could be reversed. It was too late to go back and stop them. You might be thinking, Don't worry, everyone makes mistakes, but guess what? Many people aren't willing to give you a second chance. Once you make that mistake, that's all they remember. You could do a million good/kind/generous things, but the moment you mess up, that's how people perceive you. It totally stinks! That's why I always (well, almost always) give people a second chance to make up for something they've done. Mistakes aren't the end of the world...or the end of a friendship...or a relationship. We are human...we make mistakes.

On the other hand, there's always a point where you have to stop letting people take advantage of you. It's about finding the happy medium. It's about taking risks but setting limits. It's about not being afraid of taking chances but also listening to your heart, and your head.

And if you're wondering how Little Olive has faired in the bath since her "oops" incident, well...we're back to square one. The bath crayons have definitely helped as a distraction, but heaven forbid I try to wash her hair! If you have any advice, feel free to leave it...but no smart remarks, please. :)


i.ikeda said...

I think you handled the bath incident beautifully Maggie. I believe the way we react is how they learn to deal with them, so I always try to keep my cool and think aloud in talking about the solution. It's like you were saying, everyone makes mistakes, and I want N. to know that and be prepared to fix them. And I'm a firm believer in giving people a second chance (depending on how serious it was...If someone tries to harm N. on purpose, there are no second chances).

Hmm, N. also hates water on her face and washing her hair was a nightmare. We got this little bucket that has some flexible rubber on the front. It conforms to their heads and protects the water from falling on their face. She still winces but lets us wash her hair. For us, bubbles also helped with the bath in general when she was younger. We'd leave the water pretty low on the tub and add bubbles. She had a blast.

Natalie said...

Love this post, Maggie. :)

As far as tips about hair-washing... it took until my mom came when Ryan was born for Therese to not completely scream and sob hysterically when we would rinse her hair. The water just terrified her. For some reason, she didn't freak out for my mom, and then as long as we promised to do it "the Munga way" (even though it was like our way... using a washcloth or some thing, like the plastic bucket, to keep any water from getting in her eyes) she was much more "ok" about it. Hmmm............

Kiera said...

awwww so cute. Madeline was had some crazy bath trauma for months, too. It went away when she had a sibling to share the water with. It was a tough stage, though. Sunday is forgiveness sunday, did you know that? which means I think this post is wonderfully appropriate :)