by Jennifer Dyer
Most days Rachel loves baths. With the sensory issues that accompany her autism, water is often calming. Sadly, on the days she needs a bath the most, she is not in the mood. Last night was one of those times. We’d spent hours outside rolling in the grass. A bath was not an option.
I used the cheerful mommy routine and managed to get her upstairs. I even cajoled her into my bathroom, but she make a quick dodge to the closet. Then the fun began. Ha… Ha…
I drew water into the tub, but she said, “No, no, no.”
Fine. I turned on the shower.
Nope. Back to the closet she went. And sat behind the door with her weight against it.
I turned the tub back on and wormed my way into the closet. Five minutes later, I managed to get her to the tub’s side…six feet away from the closet. With a mighty heave, I picked her up and wrestled her feet into the water. But she escaped when I grabbed for the soap. I sloshed my way over the increasingly wet floor to retrieve her.
As we were both wet, the difficulty of my bath time maneuvers went from a two to a six, on a scale of five. Plus, hubby was gone with eldest, so I had no backup. After ten minutes of wrestling with my child-turned-angry-octopus, I stepped out of the closet and prayed. Loudly. Then I dove back onto the game. By this time it was: Rachel-6, Mommy-0. In a move a wrestler would envy, I got her into a hold and stumbled back to the tub. Even though I slipped on the two inches of water that covered the bathroom floor, I managed to get her into the water. Sadly, I did not get out of the way, so I also went down…under her. But still, at least she was in.
But wait. She feinted right then left and almost escaped. I took a risky dive and pulled her back in long enough to soap her off. Two quick dumps with a cup of water took care of the rinse cycle, as she was back out, drying off. I hauled myself out and, five towels later, had finished drying up the bathroom.
And that was when hubby arrived back home.
Note to self: next time wait for backup.
On the plus side, I got a great workout…