How Do We Learn to Shower?

My wife decided to clean the shower curtain the other day, which included tossing out the old liner and laundering the opaque, flowered, outer curtain with the rest of the laundry.  Since she was in charge of the lining, the shiny new clear plastic curtain was up immediately.  Since I am in charge of the laundry, we have been several days now without the outer curtain.  We have not, however, stopping showering on a daily basis, so the long and the short of it is that the members of our household have been showering on display for anyone caring to barge into the bathroom unannounced.  Which happens every time anyone showers.

This morning I finally put the curtain back up, blocking the soapy, salacious view for good, and restoring normalcy to the bathroom.  My son did not like this.  “Daddy, I don’t want you to put that curtain up!” he protested.  “Now I can’t see you in the shower!”  Yes.  Exactly.  Mission accomplished.

But then I was thinking about it, because my brain likes to think about unimportant trivia at all times, and I got to wondering why he would want to see me in the shower.  Nothing prurient, I’m sure, but did he feel safer when he could see me?  Or was he learning something about the world?  About how to be an adult?  Because that’s how children learn, right?  By watching us, and pretending to be us.  But who ever teaches us how to take a shower?

I remember when I first started showering.  I had been a bath kid until middle school, but then I had to start getting up at 6 AM, and, I don’t know if you know this about me by now, but I am not a morning person.  I just couldn’t wake up.  So, even though I was not a smelly old teenager yet, I started showering each morning as a way to wake myself up.  And it sort of worked.  And I’ve been doing it ever since.

Now, for most children, by the time they are old enough to start taking showers, they are also old enough to not have parents in there with them.  Showering is not normally something we watch other people do, and with no one to help guide me I remember feeling a little lost at first.  Where do I stand?  Where do my hands go?  How does this work?  And even after I found a comfortable position, I was still plagued by the feeling that I was not doing it “right.”  I was a middle-schooler after all, and I wanted to be sure that I was going to fit into the adult world correctly.

So I have no idea if this is the reason that Edward was upset about the curtain being drawn on my morning ritual, but thinking about it this way made me feel a little better about the fact that I had been a morning peep show all week.  I’m not taking the curtain down or anything, but maybe he learned something over the past few days.  Or maybe he learned something bad.  I’m still not sure if I’m doing it right…

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Posted in Edward, Parenting, Shower, Teaching.

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