Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Allie took a shower by herself!

I will admit - there are somethings I am very relaxed about when it comes to Allie & parenting and perhaps let her do a little too soon and there are somethings, that I am learning, I am a little behind on the 8-ball.

So - Allie is 5 1/2 and up until a few months ago she always took baths. I always washed her hair and while she sometimes washed herself, I always did it because my gosh, a 5 year old can't clean themselves -right?

We started with showers around December -she only wanted to take them with me and those went well (much faster then the bath!) until Christmas Day when she slipped and we had to go to the ER to get stitches in her chin. Needless to say, we were back to baths. . .

Well, finally a few weeks ago I just realized that the water from a 5 1/2 year old was FILTHY!! I mean it was just way way too gross for her to take a bath after a day of playing at school. So - I finally convinced her to start taking showers again. And so we started in her bathroom - I didn't get in, but I stood outside w/ the curtain 1/2 open and I did everything (shampoo, body wash, conditioner, etc) - it didn't really occur to me to do it any other way - because, again, a 5 1/2 year old can't clean themselves - right?

So, this weekend we were at a birthday party on Sunday and a few of the moms were standing around talking and the conversation turned to showers. My close girlfriend who had Allie spend the night on Saturday night was telling me that her daughter and Allie took a shower because they were so filthy from a birthday party earlier in the day at a park and that while my friend handed my daughter the shampoo, my daughter washed her hair and cleaned herself.

I said - "What? Allie knew how to do that?" So my girlfriend was surprised that I was so surprised that Allie would do that. I told her that I always did it because I just assumed I was supposed to. One of my other friends, who happens to be a director of the preschool that my daughter attended last year (who I happen to think has some of the best parenting wisdom of anyone I know) looks at me and says "What are you doing? They have to learn how to clean themselves. at what age were you planning on teaching her and having her do it herself?" Wow - I had no idea how to answer that because I just always did it and never thought about a time that I wouldn't.

What if I told you that I still brush her teeth in the morning and before bed???? There is no way I'm telling you the truth on that one! :-)

So, guess what - on Monday after dinner I told Allie she was going to get to take a shower all by herself!! I thought she would be so excited. She looked at me with horror and said "how will I get clean?". I told her I heard she did it by herself this weekend and she told me that it was different because the shower was different, the set-up was different, the shampoo was different, the mom was different - do I need to go on??? :-)

I told her that we would try it and see how it went. I have to tell you it was the cutest thing in the world to watch her lather her hair and rinse it out (she squeezed her eyes shut so tight I was surprised she still had them when she opened them again) and then after she washed herself she declared that she did a better shower then I did because she was super fast! But she said that doing it at her friends was still better because she had "something that came off the shower like hose and rinsed me".

And as Allie was quite happy to learn this new task and my friends think its better late then never that my daughter start learning to clean herself, I must say it left me feeling like she needed me a little less and sometimes this growing up stuff leaves me a little sad. . .

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