I know, scary thought right. My boys at eight and eleven are way past the ages where I bathe them anymore. It's been at least a couple of years since I felt the need to wash LT's hair and body for him. And I figured after bathing them each for five or six years that they sort of had the process down, but there seems to be some confusion.
My boys are clean after they bathe. It's not like they haven't been using soap or anything like that. The confusion came in this year after Trouble started on the swim team. His hair quickly became the texture of straw from the chlorine. So I bought him some special shampoo and conditioner for swimmers. Now this was new to him. He'd never used separate conditioner before. When he first started using it I talked to him about it. He was putting them both on his head at the same time. I explained this was not how it was done. He had to use the shampoo first and then use the conditioner.
I thought that was the end of it for some number of months. His hair still had the texture of straw put at least slightly fresher and more pliable straw. I kept reminding him to use his special shampoo and conditioner after each practice. I bought travel size bottles so he had his products in his bag and at home in the tub.I really thought I was on top of this.
Yesterday he got out of the tub and I asked how he had conditioned his hair when, for some unknown reason, the conditioner was on the shelf above the toilet.
"Well, you said I should use the shampoo and then the conditioner. So one time I use the shampoo and the other time I use the conditioner."
Oh, for the love of all that is holy! How on earth did using the conditioner after shampooing turn into only use one or the other each time you bathe when you processed it in your brain? And how am I just finding this now when this has been going on for MONTHS?!
The child has swim practice four times a week. I know his hair is getting washed plenty. But it would look more like hair and less like a scarecrow at Halloween if he was using the products correctly.
I very carefully explained that he has to use BOTH every time he washes his hair. BUT not put them on his head at the same time. First you put in the shampoo. Then you rub it in. Then you rinse it out. Then you put in the conditioner and rub that in. Then you rinse it out.
I really think he's got it this time. Of course, I can never be completely sure that Trouble completely understands anything I tell him. It's not that he's not listening, or that he's not a very bright boy. He is. He just has his own take on doing things and it never really occurs to him that he might be doing something wrong.
I am fairly certain he's got it this time. His hair is looking a little more like, well, hair.
I was trying to remember about how I learned to shampoo and condition my own hair. I don't remember my mom ever having to explain it to me. Maybe being a girl with long hair she conditioned it separately for me right from the time I was small enough that she was doing it for me. Or maybe I learned from watching advertisements. Or maybe I simply read the directions on the bottle. I really have no idea.
I will always remember how Trouble learned, though. Seriously, never even occurred to me that washing and conditioning one's hair could be so darn complicated.