Thursday night didn't go any better. More screaming and crocodile tears.
Friday night I had to go into town to run a few errands, so DH was left to deal with bath time. We decided beforehand that he should just bathe BB in the little blue baby tub, rather than upsetting BB while I wasn't here to help soothe him. Turns out that bath time is no longer okay even in the little blue bath tub. He reacted the same way as he does in the grown-up bath tub. :(
Tonight we tried something different. First, I geared up in my bathing suit. When we took BB into the bathroom and he realized what was going on, he started to whimper. So he and I sat on the toilet and chatted until he calmed down. Then DH held BB on the toilet while I climbed into the bath tub and read his little bath tub book to him a few times. ("Red crab scuttles fast. Pink jellyfish glides past." Yep, I have most of his books memorized.) Then we played peek-a-boo with the shower curtain. Finally he was giggling and laughing, so DH placed him in my lap in the bath tub. We read the story a few more times and played silly with him while his little lower lip quivered. Once he was okay with being in my lap, we placed him in the water facing me. Bring on the tears and the crying. So I hauled out the big guns. Sing it with me! "Old MacDonald had a farm, E-I-E-I-O!" I'm not sure why, but I have some amazing success with that song. From that point on, the rest of the bath wasn't too bad. We worked quickly but gently and even got a few giggles out of him along the way! (He loved it when DH played the "Near... Far!" game with him... think Grover from Sesame Street.) Once we were finished we didn't linger; we called it a success and got him out of there!
I'll probably climb in again tomorrow night too, just to be safe, and then hopefully he'll be okay. There's an awful echo in the bathtub, and the side is quite high; it's no wonder he's feeling overwhelmed in there!
For some strange reason, putting on my bathing suit, climbing in the bath tub and singing my heart out to Old MacDonald completely reminded me of the night I spent giving birth to BB. I felt exposed and a bit weird having an audience, but I had a job to do, so that's what I focused on. I know the two incidents are nothing alike, but it really left me with that same feeling. And now that the job is done, I have a similar feeling of victory. :)