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I might have just put Simon off his bath for a few days, as we had a minor accident yesterday morning that badly scared him.

Mean mommy—that would be me—decided it was time to scrub behind dirty-baby’s—that would be Simon’s—ears. Simon decided he was having none of that. So he bucked and twisted and arched to get away from me. And he succeeded! Alas, he also succeeded in falling on his back in the tub. I was there. We have a full-length, padded mat in the tub. The water was not very high. So Simon was not in any real danger. But the fall scared him, the water being all around him scared him, and his inability to get back up scared him.

In the few seconds it took before I had my hands on him and could raise him to a sitting position, Simon’s eyes bugged, he sputtered with a bit of water in his mouth, and he grew positively blotchy with fear as he wriggled on his back. When something similar happened at the pool this August, he recovered quickly and resumed playing. But that was over three months ago. The older Simon gets, the more cautious he gets. I suppose it’s a byproduct of increased understanding and intelligence.

Anyway, even after I righted him, he was scared and wanted out. He cried and rubbed his eyes, and his skin never lost its fear-induced blotchiness. He also kept reaching out to me and crying “mama”, which was endearing and heartbreaking in equal measures. I finished washing him as fast as possible, swaddled him in towels, and held him close while he got the final bits of trauma out of his system.

All is well now. But tonight is bath night. So we shall see if all remains well.

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