One thing is for sure that when my husband mentions he needs to wash the dogs, both my children jump for joy and get into helper mode.
First things first, they get on their swimming costumes, hats and sun block as they know just how wet they are going to get. The second thing to happen is Bailey runs to the kitchen cupboard and grabs 3 measuring jugs, so as to avoid any fights with her little brother during the washing process.
I love standing back and watching it all, our one dog Ray gets nervous as she knows the wash is coming, whereas our other dog Reef gets very excited! I think he loves all the fuss made over him by the kids and my husband, Ryan.
So, one at a time they get their turn to hop into the big metal tub, washed down in warm water, taken out and shampooed while getting a massage and then returning to the tub where they have the shampoo washed off. After which their get a towel dry which makes them all so fluffy.
My daughter takes the process very seriously and the one thing I love when watching her help is how gently she talks to the dogs reassuring them that they need a wash and how gorgeous they are going to look afterwards… she really has a soft heart. She calms them down so nicely and this shows her nurturing side. This process teaches her that not only her needs need to be met but that we have to look after our pets and sometimes put their needs before ours. She even helps with the shampooing process, which is brilliant for the tactile play. She loves the bubbles and often ends up rubbing them over her body.
While I was watching Ryan and Bailey in the shampooing phase of Ray’s bath… I looked over at Benn and he really put a smile on my face. He had 2 measuring jugs and he was filling up the one with water from the tub and pouring it into the other jug. I then heard him saying to himself, ‘I need more,’ thus dipping back into the metal tub for more. This simple activity kept him busy for about 10 minutes. He loved pouring it from one jug to the other and back again. While doing this, he was using his eye hand coordination in getting the water into the jug and being so careful not spill. He was using asymmetrical bilateral integration as while his one hand was pouring, the other hand was steadying the jug.
At the end of the whole process, as Ryan was drying Reef with a towel, I turned my back for 2 minutes and turned back to find both children sitting in the tub with the soapy water, they were giggling up a storm. This is where they proceeded to pour jug after jug of dirty, soapy water onto our patio to make puddles. Benn then proceeded to jump out the tub and jump in the puddles, such a childhood memory for me, jumping in puddles.
Once everything is over, Bailey always tips the remainder of the water out onto the grass and she crouches down waiting for the worms and bugs to come out of the grass. With that she giggles and catches them on a stick to show her little brother. These two and their bond… it’s the simple things that count and the little moments between the siblings that makes my heart smile.