Saturday, July 17, 2010

Tonight's Fight -Done and I Won!

About 8:30 tonight, I started talking to Kurt and Maya about it being near bath and bedtime. Trying to get them into the idea of the bath, ya know.

Kurt was first in line and put up a bit of a fuss at first that a bath/shower would hurt him, would be too hot, would be too cold, would get soap in his eyes. Every excuse possibly known and in the vocabulary of a 4-year-old boy with autism.

I finally convinced him that if he would just listen to what Grammie tells him as we go along, he wouldn't get soap in his eyes and also, he would get clean and smell really good too!

The last time I tried to do this routine with him, it was a dismal failure as he squealed, jumped, slid and almost fell head first in the tub and he wouldn't back up into the shower, wouldn't hold the washcloth tightly across his eyes and wouldn't lean back into the shower spray, gradually.

Tonight, he stopped fussing as soon as he stepped into the tub -although he did insist that I put the plug in the drain. (Probably because he's a bit afraid of the drain -and that's because we think he thinks the drain will suck him down just like it does the water.) I had him back into the shower spray. Gave him the washcloth to put tightly over his eyes and got him to lean back a little to get his head wet and he LISTENED to me; did exactly as he was told! Got the shampoo on, worked in and when it was time to rinse, once again, he did exactly as he was told.

The result? A clean little boy, with a body all sweet smelling and sanitary and with a really big smile on his face too!

As he stepped out of the tub into the towel I was wrapping around him, he said "Bath all done. No soap in eyes!"

Yep, Sweet Pea. You got that right!

Next up, the Problem Child! Well, tonight that's what she was. Usually, the mere mention of a bath or shower and she's right there, ready to hop in but tonight, it was a royal hassle of arguing with her, trying to convince her a shower would make her feel cooler, calm, relaxed plus smell better too! (Plus, make her clean and look like the pretty little girl that really exists under the layer of grub on her face, arms and legs tonight.

Finally, I got her in the tub. Got her hair washed and her all cleaned in record time. I used some Blackberry and Vanilla shower and bath gel and told her it would make her smell really nice. So when she got out and I started to dry her off, I made the comment to her that now she would be "Fresh as a daisy."

To my surprise -and shock too -she then asked me "How does a tulip smell fresh, Gram?"

Took me a minute before it registered to me how she came up with that question till I remembered kids with autism do tend to take everything literally and after all, I had said she would be "Fresh as a daisy" hadn't I?

And now -ten minutes after the bathing hassle, drying off, dressing time has been completed, both kids went up to bed, voluntarily!

Oh peace! Oh Heaven!

At last!


TechnoBabe said...

Exhausting but exhilarating to have some bath time with your grandkids. You have so much patience. And love, lets not forget the love.

Berni said...

A victory indeed

Skittles said...

Good job, Jeni!

I used to be afraid of bathtub drains, too.. lol)

... Paige said...

drains make weird noises and suck the water and maybe toes too.

my how tiring baths can be

Maggie May said...

Give yourself a pat on the back and put your feet up with a cuppa & a large piece of cake. I think you deserve it!
Sweet little children when they get out of the bath/shower smelling all sweet and nice! I know that feeling.
maggie X

Nuts in May

Sandee said...

Enjoy the peace and quiet. I can so relate. :)

terri said...

Congratulations! You won the battle without too much of a fight, it seems.

Jocelyn said...

Well done, Gran! We used to have to pull out the swimming goggles for the hair rinsing time. Such howling!

When I look at all you do for and with those kids, I am unable to even think about my own mom, who's never been present at a birthday, Christmas, or bath time for either of my kids. She has no idea.

Suldog said...

Mister Rogers once or twice did shows concerned with the idea of the drain sucking down not only the water but also whoever was in the bath. If you could find one of those shows being run on PBS, or on tape somewhere, I bet it would help a lot. Fred Rogers has a way about him that connects even with autistic children, mesmerizing them and keeping their attention. Have you ever visited John-Michael at "Just Being John-Michael"?

He has an autistic son, and he once related a wonderful story, in my comments section, about how he made a connection with his son, one he thought might not happen, due to Mister Rogers' influence. The comment is at this post of mine...

Linda said...

I am reminded of that old song ...

"Emma, where are you going?
Upstairs to take a bath.
Emma with legs like toothpicks
And a neck like a giraffe ..."

I don't remember all of it but I do remember that it ended with "Oh my goodness! Oh my soul! There goes Emma down the hole!"

I never looked at a bathtub drain the same way again!

fermicat said...

Ahhh, domestic bliss! Well done.

Debbie said...

What great memories you are giving them!

Suldog said...

Jeni - My apologies. In re-reading John-Michael's writing, I discovered that his son has Cerebral Palsy, not autism. I think, though, that my main point is still valid. Fred Rogers can reach and teach and touch the souls of many who otherwise might seem unreachable.