a couple of weeks ago, while the bath was filling, the faucet popped off, and water started gushing out. arty was in the room at the time, and it gave him a big fright. since then he’s been scared of getting in the bath.

we hoped it would pass in a day or two, but it was quite persistent. bathtime involved him clinging to our necks, as he tried to clamber out of the tub. not a lot of washing got done.

we tried a range of things to help, from getting in the bath with him, to just having a shower instead, but he still froze up and started crying the minute we took him into the bathroom. his heart would start thumping, his whole body would go rigid, and he’d cling to us so tightly that sometimes it hurt. this wasn’t toddler theatrics, it was real fear.

then a couple of days ago, i was out shopping with my mum and we spied a set of bath crayons. we thought this might be just the thing to distract a boy who loves to draw just long enough to get him clean.

it worked.

now after dinner, he straight away asks “bath? drawing?” just like that, instead of associating the bath with a scary memory, he associates it with something he really enjoys.

oh, and sj gets a chance to practise her drawing skills, which is just a bonus on the side:

i think we’re going to need to buy shares in the bath crayon industry, because we’ll be burning through them at our place for the next little while…