Respectful (and Easier) Toddler Face Wiping

After I wrote my recent post about being a mediocre parent, including not keeping Clark's face clean, I somehow became mildly determined to keep his face clean. I didn't have to think about it very much. Somehow writing down something that I was dissatisfied with, gave me the energy to make a change.

In the spirit of Respectful Parenting and Magda Gerber (see the book Elevating Childcare by Janet Lansbury), I also had a desire to clean Clark's face more respectfully, out of empathy towards him. I also realized that the reason I dreaded cleaning his face was because of my negative gut reaction to his loud protests when I did.

And so...
Instead of wiping Clarks face, I have started dabbing his face. Which I realized is what makeup experts tell us we are all supposed to do when we clean our adult faces anyway. We are not supposed to rub our delicate face skin, but merely dab. So of course I would want to dab, not rub my baby's skin.

So now I tell Clark, "I'm going to wipe your face." And then I count the dabs as I dab his face. It sometimes takes a little longer, but generally I am surprised at how effective dabbing is.

And Clark loves it now, he sometimes protests the interruption, but he giggles about the dabbing and the counting. 

All of that to say, I no longer dread cleaning his face and I do it more now. I do still have to discipline myself to do it though.


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