Parenting FAIL

So today I thought it would be a fun sensory activity for both my boys to play with shaving cream.  But not just play with it.  I put both of them in the dry bathtub, naked, and squirted in over 1/2 of a can of shaving cream.  Fun, right?  Well, Bubs enjoyed every minute of it.  Monkey was just kind of like “ok, why are we doing this?”  I showed them how to scoop up the shaving cream and smear it on themselves, the tub, the wall, etc.  We put it between their toes and they laughed.  We put it in their hair and they laughed harder.  But pretty much after 5 minutes Monkey was done (he tasted it and of course decided nope, not yummy, so done now!) and Bubs lasted about 30 seconds longer.

So my plan was to turn on the hand held shower and just rinse them off.  Easy peasy, right?  WRONG!!!  Monkey started screaming the moment I turned on the water (he was closest to the faucet) and Bubs started in the moment I turned on the hand held shower… this was before water even touched either of them.  The second the shower touched Monkey he went into absolute hysterics, and Bub’s screams went up a notch in response.  Then when the water hit Bub’s feet, he went into full blown melt down, like I’ve never seen him before.  He was so distressed he was kicking and flailing his arm, in close proximity to his little brother.  I kept telling them it’s ok, it’s ok, it’s ok.  I kept as calm as I could, and kept trying to rinse them off.  But both boys were losing. their. minds.  Oh, yeah, and we’re in the bathroom with the door closed, so it’s all echo-y and loud.  I finally turned off the shower and used a cup to rinse them off the rest of the way.

Ok, good, we’re done, no more shaving cream, I can get them out of the tub… I reach around for a towel and then remember that I moved where I keep the towels (cuz I’m brilliant like that).  They are now located outside the bathroom in the linen closet.  Bubs by now has climbed out of the tub soaking wet, and Monkey is standing up in the tub and I just know he’s going to slip and crack his head open if I grab a towel first, so I scoop up both naked, dripping, screaming boys and run for the linen closet.  I grab the first thing I see (a beach towel) and wrap it around both boys.

So I got them dried off somehow, still crying and breathing that hitchy way between sobs, and got them dressed.  Bubs was finally able to calm down enough to tell me “I sad”.  Monkey stopped clutching on to whatever part of me he could reach.  I apologized to them over and over.  And, because the whole experience turned my insides to complete jelly, the minute I got them both dressed I tossed them into their beds (where they were safe) and ran for the bathroom in time to get sick to my stomach.

How on earth did it not occur to me that the shower would be terrifying to my 1 year old baby with sensitive skin?  To my ASD kiddo with sensory processing disorder?  Yeah, parenting fail.  No mom of the year award for me.

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2 Responses to Parenting FAIL

  1. Momofzoe says:

    That’s not a parenting fail, POTP. Not by a long shot. You were just trying to create a bonding experience, and it didn’t work. You’ve got to give yourself a break, find some perspective. I have made so many mistakes — it’s a wonder my girl still loves me! Would it make you feel better to have an example?

    Let’s see… I was vacuuming up one of her messes on a sunny weekend afternoon (when she was 5) and she climbed on me (I was on my hands and knees under the kitchen table — it was a bad mess).

    I got annoyed, and told her to get OFF. She asked for a toy she likes Or maybe it was a book she likes. I can’t remember. Anyway, she had left the item in question in her dad’s car, and he had gone into work because he was on-call.

    I told her the toy/book/whatever was in Daddy’s car, and I went back to work on the mess.

    Two minutes later, I had finished my vacuuming and noticed that the house was too quiet. Eerily quiet. I called for my daughter. Well, she doesn’t answer under almost any condition, so I wasn’t surprised to get no response. So, I walked around the house, looking for her. Nope, no little girl.

    I walk into the garage, and the door is open.

    There was a whole lot of panic, screaming her name, literally running around the house — both inside and out — driving around the block, running down the path across from my house into the woods… Finally, a neighbor taking a walk with his dog told me that a little girl in a red shirt was walking up the street — the middle of the street — up to the main road.

    My daughter had decided to go find her daddy’s car.

    Still not convinced? One night after traveling back from a trip to Europe, I decided — I don’t know why — to give my daughter a bath before she went to bed. Of course, she was already exhausted and just wanted to go to bed. And of course, my husband told me to leave her alone. But I was determined. The evening ended up in screams, those sobs with the hitching breathing, and my daughter ONLY able to be comforted by her daddy. That’s right — she refused to let me even touch her.

    Mommies fail all the time. At least all the ones I know do. Your shaving cream/bath/shower experiment was at least halfway successful!

    BTW: thanks for your comments on the Bat Mitzvah/Religion post.

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