Friday, July 27, 2012

Mission Impossible: Showering with a Toddler in the House

I'd like to share with you one of my biggest parenting struggles right now.  Showering in peace. 
Looking into the shower after my attempt at showering.  Those aren't my hand prints on the inside.

There is nothing better than a nice hot shower to wake you up in the morning.  Or, just to help you feel fresh and relaxed.  Before this glorious summer began, I would shower before Jr. woke in the morning or have my hubby keep him entertained.  While I've been home the past couple months (yes, it's been a couple months already) I have showered during Jr.'s morning nap (around 9:00 or 10:00 a.m.).  That seemed to work pretty well.   But, Jr. is starting to outgrow his morning nap.  He either doesn't fall asleep and I hear him making bird noises and other playful sounds for half an hour before he starts crying, or he falls asleep but doesn't wake up for three hours, making the afternoon and evening way too loooong.  Plus, I've been warned that in the "toddler room" at his daycare they only have one nap.

So, I've been trying to transition Jr. to an early lunch and a 11:30ish nap time.  It's been working pretty awesome, in that he will sleep two to three hours and there isn't too long a stretch between the time he wakes up and bedtime.  But, when and how am I supposed to shower?  I often need a shower before noon! 

I asked some of my awesome momsie friends for their advice.  I learned that some people have children that will nicely play in their crib.  Although I haven't tried it, I'm guessing Jr. would really raise a ruckus if I tried that strategy.  Shoot, we have to go through a whole drawn-out ritual before I can put him down for a nap without tears and tantrums.  I also learned that some people have children who will nicely play in their rooms and entertain themselves.  Well, mine doesn't do that well.  He follows me all around the house and always wants to be into whatever I'm doing.

One lovely friend suggested I make Jr. a bathroom prisoner, bringing in a bunch of toys and books for him to play with while I shower.  "Now, that might work," I thought.  So, today, after a nice morning run in the Texas heat, I decided I definitely needed a shower before Jr.'s noontime nap.  I brought in a big basket of toys and books, rigged the toiled shut (or I knew all the toys would end up in there), shut the door to our tiny master bathroom, and began to get in the shower.  Jr. was distracted by the Grover remote control, so I quickly jumped in and started the water.  Within a half second, Jr. was throwing himself on the shower door, screaming. 

"No problem," I thought, "he'll get bored of that soon."  And I was right.  He did get bored of throwing a fit, and quickly moved on to opening the shower door.  I thought that was ok, as long as he wasn't screaming.  I could close my eyes and pretend I had privacy.  I hurried with the shampoo.  I noticed out of the corner of my eye that he was shutting the shower door.  "Perfect," I thought, "he's tired of that and will move on to his toys."  "Bye-bye!" I said.  Whatever possessed me to say that?  Jr. waved both his hands, grinned ear to ear, and said, "Bye-bye!"and proceeded to close the shower door.  And, then, he opened it again, waved both his hands, grinned ear to ear, and said, "Bye-bye!" closing the shower door.  Thus, the open-"bye-bye"-shut game began.

I did the only thing I could think of, I tried to ignore him and hurried with the conditioner.  He tired of his new game.  He began reaching for things in the shower, I hurried to shave my arm-pits.  He began whining and begging "mama, mama, mama" (which he never says, by the way, so he's really pulling on my heartstrings).  "I'm hurrying, sweetheart."  Now, I'm begging too.  I was getting closer to completing my shower, when Jr. crossed the line. As long as he was in the door, I could pretend he wasn't there.  But, now he was attempting to step into the shower.  I turned off the shower and gave up.

I'm guessing I'm going to have to set some boundaries and create some no-no's around mommy's shower time, such as no entering the shower, no opening the door.  But, I'd really like to do this without creating a battle.  So, momsies of the world, especially you stay-at-home momsies, who are experts in this type of thing, what am I to do?


  1. I know you've spoken against television, but one episode of Yo Gabba Gabba is just enough time for a shower and a blow dry...everything in moderation, right?
    (That's only on the mornings when Dr. T is out of town and I don't get up before L.E. does)

  2. Yes, I've heard that Backyardigans and Super Why are also good baby-occupying choices. We may actually be trying that this week!

  3. What about getting out some new toys that he doesn't see often to play with on the bathroom floor while you shower? That worked for us for a bit.


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