Autism & Bath time: Mommy triumphs in wrestling match.

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…

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0 thoughts on “Autism & Bath time: Mommy triumphs in wrestling match.

  1. Girl…you totally made me laugh with the child turned angry octupus notation! We tend to call mine a ten armed monkey, and she HATES baths so I can completely feel your pain. And yes, back up is sometimes helpful. Another might be bubbles (bubble bath or even blowing bubbles in the bath). On occasion these are helpful to us. On the other hand, there are always days like this when you just can’t convince them that the water will not fry their skin and they are going to fight. I think sometimes it would be easier if I could just spritz her with some perfume and call it good. LOL!

    1. You CRACK me up!!! LOL! Yes, bubbles are often a mommy’s best friend. And, I figure, even if our little ones don’t want to take a bath, at least we get plenty of opportunities. Plus, it’s a nice way to keep the floor clean:-)

  2. Super description of the difficulty of parenting an autistic child. I really like the way you described the final round as well as the “Note to self”

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