Ben has been an awesome big brother. He has exceeded our hopes and expectations and is always so sweet, thoughtful and gentle with Jacob. The transition issues that are becoming evident in our two year old are centered around personal hygiene. He seems to be manifesting his control issues surrounding being usurped in the family to exerting control over what we may and may not do to him, namely bath, cloth, brush his teeth or change his diaper. In being sympathetic to the changes in his life and his desire to retain control somewhere we entertained this to a degree. His diaper was changed only when it was hanging down to his knees, he wore pajamas all day for most of the last week, his teeth probably won't rot in a few days and this is only day....9 without a bath.
But he stinks.
Jon and I are not good at tough love. We are suckers for tears, are easily manipulated by cuteness and don't follow through with many threatened time-outs...fortunately Ben is agreeable and obedient most of the time and we don't need to bring out the heavy hand very much.
But the kid stinks.
This was one we had to fight for. I bartered, bribed, threatened and apologized but our little stinker only got clean this evening by force. I had to hold him in the bath and scrub him down...not creating positive bath associations for the future, I know. Fortunately the second year is all about phases and I can assume he will be out of this one as fast as he got in it.
Tonight though was a matter of just having to be mad till he got glad again. That is all there was to it. Did I feel horrible about holding him down and pouring water over his shrieking soapy head while he clutched an all natural organic blueberry lolly pop. You bet. I hate this part. You know...where you have to be the parent...because your child is rotting out of his own skin.
While I calmed him down in a fluffy white towel afterwards he confessed that he was scared of the bath because of the water in his ears. And then... I felt even worse.
So Ben...one box of glutton free animal crackers and an evening of letting him milk me for all I'm worth (including 3 episodes of Max and Ruby...which I detest)later smells like orange creamsicles. He is yummy again... and still this cute.
***photo by Verity-Anne Dokter