Thursday, May 1, 2008

mommy's shower

I call myself "mommy" a lot with Sam..."mommy's going to put your shoes on you need mommy to help you? pinching mommy...mommy's turn to brush your teeth...mmmm, mommy likes broccoli." I don't really say "I" or "my" with him too much. Is this weird? I don't know. I just hope I don't do it with other people because that would be weird.

Anyway. When Sam started taking only one midday nap several weeks ago, a problem arose as to when I would take my shower (when mommy would take mommy's shower). Previously, he took an early nap and I could shower during his nap around 9:30, which was acceptable. Now, his nap wasn't until 11:30 and we usually wanted to leave the house for an outing beforehand. Waiting for naptime was not going to work, and taking a shower really early, before Denis left the house, was just too early and hectic. Leaving Sam alone to play, even with the bathroom door open, was just not safe.

I started putting him in his crib with some toys and books while I took the fastest shower I possibly could, but Sam did not like this idea at all! He screamed and screamed in protest. How dare I confine him! I tried to ease him into it by explaining how nice it would be to play in his crib for awhile. I started reserving his favorite toys only for shower-time. I gave him lots of praise and attention before and after. Nothing helped. Screaming and screaming, all through my shower, toys and books thrown on the floor. Very relaxing, let me tell you. My showers were over in 7 minutes, but it was the most headache-inducing 7 minutes of the day.

What could I do? I explored all options, but this one really was the best, if only Sam could agree with me. And finally, he did. Being consistent paid off, and day by day, he cried less vehemently and seemed to accept that crib-time during mommy's shower was not so bad.

The past few days, when I've asked him "Ready to go read in your crib while mommy takes a shower?" Sam nods, grabs a book, and walks towards his room with a smile on his face. I drop a stack of books in his crib with him, and he amuses himself reading while I take whatever time I need to get ready. It's quite pleasant. I think he even starts slowing down a bit in anticipation of his quiet reading time.

So mommy's shower is no longer a problem, and is now just part of our morning flow. I always considered myself a good problem-solver in work settings. The stay-at-home-mom job has some pretty mundane problems, but it still feels satisfying when they get solved.

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