Monday, September 14, 2009

Ablutions (Don't You Love That Word?)

For the second weekend that he was home, I've been reminded that things that are intutitive to many people are not at all intuitive for my son.

Since he usually showers at night, he's always been very good about washing his face when he gets up in the morning. While he was living at home, we didn't talk about the right or wrong way to wash one's face. He's always used a washcloth in the shower and at the bathroom sink. Personally, I don't like to wash my face with a washcloth, preferring to use soap on my hands. But again, who's to say if one way is better, more effective, or "right, " compared to the other?

Well actually...It turns out maybe there is a wrong way. For many years, I would go into the bathroom after my son came out and find his washcloth in the bottom of the sink, dripping wet. And many times upon finding that, I would squeeze it out and place it over a rack, and remind him he had to do that in the future. "Leaving all that water in it creates an inviting environment for mold and bacteria." "Reusing the same sopping wet washcloth for even two days would be gross." Etc. This is one lesson he rally did not absorb very well, no matter how many times I repeated it. Could it have been the delivery?

Anyway, when he was getting ready for school this summer, I suggested that he not use a washcloth at all. Without really knowing what the big deal was, and because he didn't care one way or the other, he agreed. I've asked him if not using a washcloth at school was working out okay, and he says it's fine.

Given that I've reverted to squeezing out dripping washcloths and hanging them over a rack in the bathroom for the past two weekends, I'm glad he's managing without one at school. Why is it there are some things that seem so fundamental, yet he is reluctant to do them? I know he is capable. Is it because I did not press him each time to return to the bathroom and do it himself?

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