Bathing time is a battle nearly every single time. It’s rare that The Girl will ask to bathe without prompting. Oh, and by the way, she hates it when I refer to her or her sisters as The Girl when I’m talking to the cats. “Awww, Luna, did The Girl annoy you while you were sleeping?” Yeah, that gets a reprimand from Gracie. She’s not The Girl in real life because of course she has a name that must be used. I think that’s funny because she’s a child who loves word games. She loves words that have dual meanings and dual spellings. She despises similes, metaphors, analogies, and idioms, but she loves other types of word play. However, that doesn’t mean I don’t use all of that to my advantage.
Sometimes all it takes is a play on words to get Gracie to do something that I need her to do. I guess it’s a form of reverse psychology along the lines of, “Oh no, you locked yourself in the bathroom!” versus “Oh no, she locked us out of the bathroom!” wording. I figured out how to get the child to bathe. This is a Very Big Deal. The ODD part of the Autism takes over and it’s almost always a battle.
“Gracie, it’s time for a bath.”
“I don’t need a bath. I don’t stink.”
“It’s a good time to have a bath. Your hair will be soft and we can get the marker and dirt off of your skin.”
“I DON’T WANT A BATH! I HATE BATHS! SHUT UP!”
“Gracie, if you don’t take a bath, I’m going to take your bath for you!”
“NO! IT’S MY BATH!”
::stomps upstairs while stripping::
Part of the trick is being willing to follow through with my “threat.” Sometimes I have to go so far as to step into the tub with my clothes on, although she’s called me on that one once or twice so I also sometimes have to start taking my own clothes off. That gets her to shove me out of the way and hop into the bath tub with a fierce,
“HA! I GOT IN FIRST! YOU’RE TOO BIG! IT’S MY BATH! YOU! CAN’T! TAKE! IT!”
Of course once she’s in the tub, she doesn’t want to get out. 🙂 I’m guessing this won’t work through the teen years or into her twenties. WTF will I do then?
It was once explained to me that while it feels wonderful to be in the bath, as it’s great for sensory processing, it’s the transition from wearing clothesto “not wearing clothes” … then from being in the air and dry to being in the water… then from the water changing temperatures … dry hair to wet hair
… and then having to get out again and the anticipation of it all on top of the transitional changes and sensory issues. I get that, I really do. Which is why I’m relieved that for now, playing with words the way Gracie seems to enjoy doing distracts her so much from the initial transition of difficult sensory changes.
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