Sunday, November 26, 2006

I Had an Epiphany

Just when I was at a loss for something to post and actually considering just posting something, ANYTHING just to get today's post done, it was time for SmallBoy to shower. This is the boy who, a year ago, we couldn't keep OUT of the shower. He loves to take baths now, but has been giving us much more resistance to taking a shower. Tonight, we insisted on the shower. He was dirty from lots of playing, dirt, the mud that's been brought about by the weird, yet beautiful weather we've been having inChicago. His hair STUNK. No way was I having him sit in the tub, wash himself, then wash his hair in the water that now contained all the yuck that was on his body. It was a tough one, not ugly, just tough, but ultimately, he agreed to the shower.

We've discovered lately that SmallBoy, when he bathes, be it in the tub or in the shower, never completely washes his hair. In fact, it is rare that he even does more than just rinse the back of it with water. HELLOOOOOOOOO! DUH!!!!!!!!!!!!! If he's not getting ALL of his hair, then what are the odds that he's WASHING his hair completely, or, for that matter, at all.

Armed with this new found knowledge, PC and I discussed a couple of options, none of which we liked, especially since he is 10 years old.
Option 1: Tell him to make sure he washes his hair and do the smell test when he gets out. Pass = carry on, fail = get undressed and go back and do it again.
Option 2: Go in and wash it for him.
Option 3: Stand in the bathroom and watch him do it.

Pros to all three options: Only one - we know his hair got clean. Cons: Let's start at Option 1. Most kids would be pretty pissed off if, after they were out, dried, and dressed, they were told to go back and do it again. Ask an ASD child to go back and do this. The only thing PC and I could see coming out of this option was a mound of stress and frustration for all of us. Option 2: He's 10yrs old and old enough to be mortified by his mother washing his hair for him. Option 3: Same as option 2, but at least this time he'd be doing it himself. We settled on option 3.

I went in and walked him through it. As he was wetting his hair, I noticed that he, again, only got the back of his head and the back of the top of his head wet. I directed him to close his eyes, lean his head back like he was looking at the ceiling, and step back into the water. This took a number of tries before he would do it. He wanted to look down and let the water roll forward (all while standing with his back to the water - I tried having him face forward, but that didn't fly). Once he got his hair wet, I made sure he used a decent amount of shampoo, but not so much that would create a lather that, for him, would take a while to rinse. I observed that his washing pattern was the same as his wetting pattern - back and top of the back. I instructed him, as I had with the wetting of the head, to get the front and the sides. As he lathered, he put his head down and ran his hands forward, thus creating a runoff of soap. It was here that the light bulb clicked on!

SmallBoy did not want to get soap in his eyes. He'd had a bad experience with that once and I can't blame him for getting upset and trying to avoid that situation again. I carefully walked him through a good rinse and then, when I was satisfied, I left him to his privacy.

I shared my epiphany with PC who immediately chimed in, "Well, let's get him some swim goggles! Yes, I married a genius. Now, the question remains - where can I find swim goggles in the winter? Before I ran out and started the impossible, I wanted to share that shining moment of clarity with each of you. Tomorrow, I should have some pics to share.


Kristina Chew said...

Charlie has the same dislike for soap in the eyes-----hence, frequent trips to the barber for a buzz cut. He's not one for goggles but maybe he'll follow Small Boy's lead in this....

KC's Mommy said...

Yay PC! That is a great idea! Goggles, I should try that with Big Brother!

Laura said...

Definately try one of the sporting good stores, like SportMart or Dick's Sporting. They will definately have some goggles this time of year. But what a great plan! With G we actually had to get Latex free ones, or she would up with long-lasting raccoon eyes due to being allergic.

G, however, has very long hair and has only recently take a big interest in keeping it clean and lovely. Remind me to tell you the deodorant story though, and the "10-year-old funk."