Teachings of a Child
by Hal Evan Caplan
July 9, 2011
My child teaches me on a regular basis. He may not have the exact lesson plan in mind at the time, but in the end he seems to remind me or teach me valuable lessons. I am very surprised these lessons continue to happen especially since I have been on the lookout for them. I do my best to predict when these lessons will occur, but I obviously have not yet mastered this art.
From day one, my wife and I have been giving my teacher baths. On the rare occasion we would go the shower route if time was of the essence and we needed to be somewhere. My teacher didn't necessarily like showers. For some strange reason, he did not like to get his face wet; and when he did, it was as if I just took away his best friend.
My wife and I discussed moving him toward the shower arrangement full time as we were not fans of him continuing to sit in dirty bath water during each bath. We tried and tried the shower route fulltime but he continued to fight us on the effort. Another one of his complaints with taking a shower was that since the shower head was "so far away" as he put it, by the time the water touched his body, it was cold. I thought of a great idea, at least it was to me, until my wife brought to light the danger factor. Okay, I'll admit it, looking back on this "brilliant" idea, the idea wasn't so brilliant after all and it quickly went down the drain. I'm a little embarrassed to even tell you about it, but I know, you the readers, are fascinated to find out what it was. Okay here goes... (insert long pause here). My idea was to put a metal folding chair in the tub for my teacher to stand on, that way; he would be closer to the water. I know, I know, I'm a guy; what do you expect.
Then one day it dawned upon me. What if I purchased one of those showerhead hose extensions? DUGH!!! You probably know what I'm talking about; the kind that replaces the original shower head. It has a long tube and at the end of that long tube is another showerhead. I smiled at my exceptional idea. Considering the alternative, this actually was a brilliant idea.
I raced to the hardware store and found exactly what I had pictured in my head. I knew I was on to something here, but there still was the second part of this equation. Now the trick was to convince my teacher of this new shower technique. I showed him how the water would be kept away from his face and because the new shower head was closer to his body, the water from the shower head would still be warm. The good news was that after very little convincing he was excited to get started using the new shower system.
After about two months of taking showers with the extended hose method, my teacher came to me just before work and expressed that he was now ready to take big boy showers now.
"You are taking big boy showers." I voiced.
"No I'm not." He replied.
"How can you say that?" I questioned.
"I'm not taking big boy showers; I'm taking little kid showers." He returned.
"I don't get it, you stand in the shower and the water runs over your head and body." I pointed out.
"Yes, I am taking showers but it's not a big boy shower." He said again.
"Well, then what is a big boy shower?" I responded.
"Come here and follow me, please." He asked.
We walked up the stairs and into his bathroom. He pulled back the shower curtain and reached for the long shower extension tube. Then he pointed up where the main original shower head would normally be if the extension was not present.
"That is a big boy shower thing and this is a little kid shower thing." He illustrated by first pointing at the original shower head location and then to the extended shower head in his hand.
"I know your shower time is tonight, but right now I have to go to work. We can talk about this when I get home." I expressed and scurried down the stairs and out the door to work.
Sometime during the work day, my wife called me and expressed that thus far throughout the day my teacher had been bugging her too, about taking a "big boy" shower and she wanted to know how I planned to address the situation at hand. I responded with the typical male comment, "I'm not sure yet, it will have to wait until I get home".
The second I stepped foot into the house from work, "it" started up exactly where we left off that morning. I was hoping he would have forgotten or even lost interest, but that was not the case. I knew he was going to take a shower after dinner, but what I did not know at the time was that I was to learn a lesson from him during shower time.
"Well, dad, what do you think?" He started.
"Think about what?" I grunted.
"The big boy shower deal." He emphasized.
Okay, let's get this over with, I thought to myself. I tried to explain to him that the main shower head would not work as well because the hose shower head comes down to his height and it takes the soap and shampoo out of hair and body much easier and much faster.
Even though he understood that, he continued to plea with me about taking a big boy shower. I told him this was not up for discussion and the extended shower head was not going to be taken off, period.
Since it was my turn with him on shower duty, my teacher and I walked into his bathroom. I reached for the shower hose extension, turned on the water and adjusted the temperature to his liking. He then undressed and stepped into the tub. Just I turned the hose shower head toward him for the initial rinse; I heard a "snap". A stream of water shot across the bathroom. I quickly shut off the water and looked at the extended shower head. My head dropped as I shook it. Meanwhile, my teacher was laughing so hard that he had to get on all fours in the tub as so he would not slip and fall. Yes, it happened ? the nozzle portion of the extended shower head just broke off in my hand.
My teacher still needed to take his shower so I began the process of replacing the broken extension with its original shower head. My teacher then said the words that echoed in my head.
"See dad things happen for a reason and I was meant to take a big boy shower and not use that hose thing anymore."
No comment as I am a firm believer that things do happen for a reason. My teacher got to take his big boy shower after all.
In a nutshell, the lesson that I was reminded of that day was: Things do happen for a reason and when these situations are presented, don?t question them.
About the Author:
I would like to dedicate this in memory of Chris (my father-in-law) and Uncle Gus (my wife’s uncle) who both passed away unexpectedly in the recent past; 6 weeks apart. They both were dearly loved and will be greatly missed. They both impacted so many people in different ways. Our family will never be the same as we struggle to pick up the pieces………………..
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