Clean Freak? Not My Daughter

A mother's frustration at trying to get her young daughter to shower on her own.

I’m Losing It

The Shower Wars

Trying to get my daughter clean

-Stephanie Elliot

little girl wrapped in a towel“Mommy! Mooooommmmmm! I need you!”

She screams for me as if her arm has been sliced off by a saw.

I scream back: “You’re fine!”

She screams again.

And again. Over and over and over.

I ignore it. Because we’ve been through this hundreds of times.

She is simply taking a shower.

Finally, I tell one of her brothers to go upstairs to tell her I will be up to help her in a few minutes.

I mean, come on! The girl is 9 years old. Can she really not wash shampoo out of her hair yet on her own?

When I arrive upstairs, she is complaining that she has soap in her eyes and that they are stinging. I am not sympathetic; in fact, I am annoyed beyond belief.

“Are you bleeding?! Are you dying?! Do not yell for me like that anymore! This is unacceptable!”

She is the boy who cried wolf all the time. I can never believe her when she whines and cries for me because it happens so often; how am I to know if it’s real or if it’s just an attention ploy? She is using me, and I have been enabling her ever since she was a baby.

I know this is my fault.

Do I do this because she is my only girl? Because she is my middle child? My boys can handle taking showers on their own just fine. How come I let her manipulate me? It’s gotten to the point where I’d almost rather she not shower than have to deal with all of the drama of her finally getting clean!

Stephanie Elliot is Manic Mommy. Visit her at or

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