Saturday, August 9, 2008

Tell it to the Shampoo

The other night at bath time, Ben and I somehow ended up endowing our bottles of shower gel, shampoo, conditioner and Burt's Bees Bath Soap as characters in an adventure drama that involved a variety of water rescue scenarios.

Ben played with them as if they were action figures, giving them voices and making them fly through the air, swim in the tub and have the kind of conversations that Ben has just been learning.

"Hi! I'm Burt's Bees. What's your name."

"I'm Shower Gel."

"Hi, Shower Gel. Will you play with me?"


The next night, I accidentally pinched his finger in a bathroom cabinet, and through his tears, told me over and over again, "I want to call Laura and tell her what happened!" Ever since the balloon incident, when something traumatic happens, he wants to tell somebody about it - usually his teachers Laura and Gladis. The urge usually only lasts a moment, but this time he was more insistent.

"I think Laura's asleep already," I said, appealing to his sense of reason.

"What will happen if I wake her up? What will happen if I wake everybody up?"

I stalled, not knowing how to redirect. Then, he came up with something different on his own.

"I want to tell Burt's Bees and Shower Gel and Shampoo and Conditioner what happened."

We went to the bathroom and I lined the bottles up on the edge of the bathtub. He sat on my lap and instructed me to have Burt's Bees ask him what happened.

"What happened, Ben?" asked Burt's Bees

"Mommy pinched my finger in that door." he began, pointing to the cabinet.

The bottles (me, talking and wiggling the bottles) and Ben then had a talk about accidents and how to feel better.

"Sometimes I hurt myself when I'm running," he confided towards the end of the conversation. "I need a band-aid and I find a grown-up or a teacher and they will give me lots of hugs and I will feel better."

We said good night to the bottles, but not before giving them a quick ride in a race car and a rocket ship. "I'm all better," Ben announced cheerily as Chris poked his head in the door.

Many parents might be worried if their child started talking to the toiletries, but I'm elated.

I think I've just found the cheapest live-in speech therapists on the planet.



Anonymous said...

How funny! I love it!

jaki said...

What a wonderful story! I love it!!

pixiemama said...

It's true. Foster likes to pour his heart out to a set of rubbery-plastic measuring cups. They have numbers! Each one is incrementally larger than the next! They nestle into one another! If you hold them just so, the handles fan out! THEY ARE PERFECT! I'm with you - as long as he's talking, as long as he's learning to express himself... I'll take it. And - unlike having to haul him out of the house for speech therapy, they are always in the kitchen.

Sue Mills said...

It can blow you away some days, can't it?! Our 4yo has only just started asking others to play this week... Role-playing his two bears, Russ and Poo going to the shops, the library and then the park slide (aka a pillow tossed over the edge of the bed!)
All I can say ... is the only thing predictable in our house is unpredictability!
I'm relatively new to all of this, and still feel a bit bamboozled about teaching a child to play :P

Tim said...

Burts Bees and 365?
I get the feeling that this pantheon is going to feature a Proctor and Gamble-based supervillain.

Jordan said...

I know I'm a bit behind on my blog-reading, but I'm just loving this story. It's really awesome all the way around - good for you!

It reminded me of how I got Lyle to eat his green beans tonight by pretending to be each and every one of them, screaming, "No! Don't eat me!" and then doing a dramatic "OUCH!" every time. So sadistic, and therefore so successful. ;-)

Anonymous said...

Kid: I stubbed my toe. It really hurts!
Shower gel: Ask me if I care.
Kid: Do you care?
Shower gel: No.
Shampoo laughs
Kid: That's not very nice.
Shower gel: Ask me if I care.
Kid: You're going to say no again, aren't you?
Shampoo laughs