Usually when Li-Ann goes swimming, either Rebecca or I will be with her to offer any help to shower and change. On one occasion, Rebecca and I had to attend a talk and only daddy and John will be with her. It certainly would not be appropriate for either of them to bring her into the Gents changing room. I was praying really hard for a way out!! It dawn on me that I had to teach her how to shower and change all by herself behind the closed door. And I only have ONE morning to come up with it!! I was very stressed but I kept praying and asking God what I should do.
I am thankful that LA already knows how to shower herself. My only concern is: how will she be able to reach for clean clothes to change into? Usually the hooks in the shower cubicle are very high – a good height for adults but unreachable for a child. How can I make her bag of clothes/towel/soap accessible to her? I then recall seeing long ‘S’ hooks on sale. Now it’s to decide what length of hook to buy. I prayed as I walked into each shop, seeking for the Lord’s wisdom on this. Finally, I spotted the LONGEST hook!! Then we quickly went home and I had a role play with her. I showed her what to do and what to expect.
First, I gave LA two plastic bags. Plastic bags are the best coz they are waterproof. One bag contains her clean clothes and towel while the other is for her ONE small bottle of soap (for hair and body) and her wet swimwear. I decided to separate the soap bottle so even if it leaks, the clean clothes will not be affected. I instructed her to leave her swimwear on the floor until she’s done changing so her bags will not be weighed down, thus causing extra stress on the bag and hinder her unnecessarily. I also gave her a hassle-free outfit – a dress without zips and buttons to change into so there’s no need to pull up shorts/pants and try to balance on the wet bathroom floor. She only has to know the front of the dress from the back. Her towel is small and light yet absorbent. Even after drying, the towel will not be too wet and heavy for her to manage. Regardless, she’s taught how to wring out the towel if it gets too wet too. After changing, she will wring her swimwear a little and put the swimsuit and the soap bottle into the plastic bag. My final instruction to her was to check her bags to make sure her swimsuit and soap bottle are inside before she leaves the cubicle. She should also check if anything else is left on the bathroom floor.
I prayed that whole afternoon when I was away from her. I was so thankful that she handled her first shower on her own SUPERBLY WELL!! She forgot to bring home the soap bottle though and we found it at the same spot the following week when we went for swimming lessons. I only knew the bottle was missing on the day of the swimming lesson! Blur mommy indeed! But isn’t God good??!! He stepped in when I was unable to keep up.
Since then, I have let LA shower and change by herself, giving verbal reminders and offering advice only when she asks. While it seemed like a ‘terribly stressful’ situation on that day, God really meant it for her good and ours. As I look back, I realise that it was in many deep ends that God threw me the best floats – He never failed to give me creative and great ideas to move forward!!
Here’s another blessing that came out of this…
LA came out of the shower with her bags and hook. She chose this outfit that day . She took longer than usual in the bathroom and I was wondering why. When she came out, I realised that she was trying to button up her floral top!! I believe there are at least 3-4 buttons for her to work on. And she did it all by herself!! The buttons are the small ones we find on a men’s shirt. I wouldn’t pick out this top (it is NOT hassle-free) but because she wanted to wear it, she was motivated to button up everything 🙂 I was so proud of her!!
Can you spot the small buttons?
YES!! Another milestone reached!!
Good job Li-Ann!!
Matthew 7.7-8 (NIV)
7 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.