My little girl is sensitive — if something bad happens, the association takes a long, long time to go away.
She accidentally turned on the fan twice in the bathroom, which scared her, and she is just now regaining the courage and confidence to turn the light on by herself again. (She stands on a little chair to reach.)
She fell off a dining hall chair, and now whenever we go there she freaks if her chair is wobbly — and most of them are.
Since around Thanksgiving or so, she has been upset about baths. Fortunately, we only have to do them twice a week.
Tonight, we started talking about the bath after dinner — in an effort to give some advance notice, help her adjust to and prepare for the ordeal. She cried and was upset in the bath, but not uncontrollably sobbing or trying to climb out. She had a washcloth to hold onto like a blanket, and both of us were in there to help console and encourage her. After she was washed and rinsed, she actually started to have some fun, and played in there happily for another fifteen or twenty minutes.
I’m proud of her, learning to accept and manage her emotions a little more and not get thrown into a panic.