So thankfully it's been a while since bathtime was a full-on battle.
Which is why I was totally surprised the other day when I went to give Bitty his bath only to have him not only refuse (yeah, that's not so rare but usually he gets in even while he's complaining and saying he's not taking a bath) but actually start to have a meltdown over it. A screaming, flopping, fit.
When he jumped into the tub specifically to pull the plug, I took the opportunity to very quickly start scrubbing him down. Because I could tell this wasn't going to be one of those times where he fights it and eventually goes along, he was digging in for the long haul. And I just wanted to get it over with, because he needed to go to bed earlier than usual to get up for a dentist appt (checkup) early the next morning.
(As an aside, gotta love this little exchange with dh:
dh: "who scheduled their dentist appt for 8am?"
me: "you did."
dh: "are you sure?"
me: "yes. you scheduled it when you were there for their last appointment."
dh: "oh yeah... why would I schedule it so early?"
me: "I have no idea."
dh: "oh wait... I was thinking of their school schedule, I forgot they wouldn't be in school."
(in July, hehe)
Anyway, so I quickly grabbed the soap, blocked his exit from the tub as best I could, and did the fastest wash-down I have done in a long time. As you can imagine, he screamed at the top of his lungs and tried in true linebacker style to push his way out of the tub.
He eventually succeeded, but luck was on my side. The drain was still plugged, and for whatever reason, he just couldn't leave it alone so he jumped back in to pull the plug again.
I had just enough advance warning that he was going back in to grab the shampoo and do a quick scrub of his hair (good thing he's sporting a buzz). I had to get him back in there a couple more times to actually rinse it sufficiently, all the while he was screaming and going ballistic, but we made it through and then I got out of his way and let him out.
In typical Bitty fashion, the end of the bath didn't calm him down in the least. He was so mad he tried to kick the bathtub (to "break it" although I was more worried about his feet than the tub), still shrieking about the injustice of having a bath.
It took him a while to calm down, and he got upset all over again when I told him it was time for bed.
He pointed indignantly out the window, "but it's still BLUE out!!!"
I tried to argue the point, but quickly conceded since I could tell it would only be a continued meltdown in his bedroom and totally defeat the purpose of going to bed early (for him to actually get some rest). So I told him he could stay up until it was "black" out.
And he was fine after that, aside from a few more muttered complaints about the bath ("do I want to take a bath? I don't, do I!! I don't look happy about dat bath!"). And it dawned on me that the whole reason for the bath fiasco could have been the fact that I started bathtime before it was totally dark out.
What was I thinking?!
In hindsight it seems obvious, but it wasn't at the time. With some effort we've managed to convince him that baths are needed every night and we've more or less gotten into a routine of baths right before bedtime. It's not always at the same time (but now that I think about it, it is pretty much always after dark), so I didn't really consider the time factor and didn't think about the fact that the sky turning black is apparently part of the whole bath / bed routine for him.
We have two weeks to undo that particular part of the routine, because school is about to start and it's going to be a while yet before it gets dark early enough to wait for dark on a school night.
Wish us luck!
(p.s. the dentist appt went well, no cavities, yay!)