It’s a rite of passage for a child: Learning how to bathe themselves. It can be daunting – soaping themselves up, standing under the shower… it has to be done, though. Mommy and Daddy can’t do that forever. Well, we hope that Mommy and Daddy realize that they don’t have to do that… with some exceptions like special needs or paralyzed children. But then there’s this video with a baby elephant trying to learn how to master this skill – with some hilarious results.
This takes place at a sanctuary in Thailand. One of the people there filled up a large tub of water. The baby elephant wants to wash himself, but he’s not sure how to go about it. He climbs in, dunks his face in the water. Most elephants wash their backs by arching their trunks over their heads and spraying. This little fella hasn’t mastered that yet. He can only spray his chest. He’s wet, but there are still large portions that are dry, and presumably dirty. Finally his mama comes over and pushes the tub away, like “You haven’t figured this out. No more!”
I know that when something is going wrong, I always wonder: How long am I going to be allowed to figure it out before someone steps in and stops me before I kill myself. Maybe the baby elephant was thinking that the whole time. “Oh man. Mommy’s going to be here any second. I have to figure it out… gotta figure it out. Got to – Oh.. Hi, Mom!” The timer went off in her head on what was the proper amount of time for him to learn. Nice try. Better luck next time, kid.
Nearly all parents, be they human or otherwise, experience this exasperation when they see their children struggling with learning something new like bathing. “How can they not know how to do this?” They’ve bathed themselves so many times that it’s so easy to do without thinking. A young baby elephant is still forming its neural pathways, so this inability to grasp this seemingly simple task is understandable. I still don’t blame the mother for yanking the tub away, though. There’s a limit.