You know that story about a frog and boiling water? If you try to put a frog in a pot of boiling water, it will jump right out. But when you start it in cold water, you can heat the water to boiling and it won’t budge. You’ve heard it, right?
That’s my daughter. Not that I try to boil her. Although, if you ever hear the wailing at bath time, you might think I do. It’s toooooooo haaahhhhhhht! But if I make it the temperature that she wants, then by the time we wash her hair, we have the opposite problem. And the too-cold-caterwauling is as bad as (if not worse) than the too-hot-hollering!
Thus begins the intricate samba of trying to find the perfect bath water temperature. Cold enough that she’ll get in; warm enough that she’ll stay in. It’s no fun for anyone. Then I remember the story of the frog – genius!
Now I plug the drain and start the water (not letting it warm up first). I get my daughter in the tub with just a little water that is somewhere between cold and lukewarm. And then I turn the faucet to the right temperature – the one that will allow a sufficient amount of bath-time-playtime, and still be warm enough to pour on her head when it’s bath-time-wash-time. And since she’s in the tub the whole time, there’s no shock to her system as the tub fills and the water warms up, so there’s no shrieking!
And let this be a lesson to all you parents out there: pay attention to the world around you, because you never know when treating your child like a science experiment and/or wild animal will come in handy.
P.S. If you’re like my brother, you’ll want to point out that the frog story is mostly metaphor, and a frog probably won’t stick around to get boiled alive (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boiling_frog). I assume the same to be true for my daughter.