Finding Ninee » Sharing our parenting and special needs stories with heart and humor.

Having to make bath time fun: A side effect of autism?

It’s celebration time!  I have no idea whether Tucker deciding that he hates me shampooing and rinsing his hair in the tub is a side effect of autism or developmental delays or is it simply a Tucker-quirk.  But it’s been sort of sucky lately and makes me feel like an asshole because I end up just dumping a bucket of water over his head while keeping my fingers crossed that I don’t accidentally water-board him.

He hates it.

That is…he did hate it.  Until I I had a rare moment of parenting excellence.

I gave him a hand mirror and told him to look at his awesome spiky dinosaur hair.

Here, look.  He’s even dumping water on his own head.  


If you, too, struggle with being allowed to rinse the shampoo from your kid’s sticky food-encrusted hair, feel free to steal my parenting excellence.  It’s far and few, friends, and should be shared whenever it shows itself.

  • Lori Lavender Luz - You. Are. Brilliant.

    Good job, Mama!May 16, 2013 – 11:43 amReplyCancel

  • Kenya G. Johnson - Awww that’s wonderful! This gave me a big grin.May 16, 2013 – 11:43 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi - Kenya,
      Thank you <3 and glad you got a grin.May 16, 2013 – 11:46 amReplyCancel

  • Janine Huldie - Love this idea and seriously Tucker is just too cute!! You really did your work on this one and just love how it can be something so simple that makes it all better for them at this age!!! Thanks for sharing Kristi 🙂May 16, 2013 – 11:44 amReplyCancel

  • Diana @ Nanny to Mommy - My daughter went through this phase. :/ Stinks. I wish I had your stroke of brilliance. I just had to let the stage ride itself out. 🙁May 16, 2013 – 11:59 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi - Diana,
      Sorry to hear that you had to ride it out!May 16, 2013 – 12:18 pmReplyCancel

  • K - GENIUS!! And Tucker is too cute! I love his dinosaur hair. (:May 16, 2013 – 12:14 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi - Kerry,
      Thanks, you. I love his dinosaur hair too 😀May 16, 2013 – 12:18 pmReplyCancel

  • Stephanie @ Mommy, for real. - That is genius! My oldest HATED me rinsing shampoo out of her hair until she was SIX. That is a lot of years of screaming and crying, and I did not have any brilliant ideas to make it easier. In case her little sister follows in her footsteps, now I have a new trick! You should pat yourself on the back for this one. Those pictures are so awesome, and proof that your trick works!May 16, 2013 – 12:23 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi - Stephanie,
      UGH to her hating rinsing shampoo until she was SIX. I hope the mirror trick works for Tucker for a few more years. And you’ll have to let me know if the trick works with your youngest, should she also hate the rinse. MWAH.May 16, 2013 – 4:53 pmReplyCancel

  • Jessica - Good work! 🙂 My son hates this, too. He can’t stand water on his face (but he loves to swim, go figure). What I do is give him a wrung out or dry face cloth and let him dry his face when he needs to. I also got a plastic bendy pitcher type thing (at Target) to dump the water, so I can control it a bit better and keep it from his face. He still complains, but at least it’s not total torture. 🙂 PS: Tucker is so adorable!May 16, 2013 – 1:41 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi - Jessica,
      Thanks! Yeah, we started giving Tucker a small towel when we do it, too. It seems to help. I love the bendy pitcher thing – may have to go to Target this weekend!May 16, 2013 – 4:52 pmReplyCancel

  • Dani Ryan - What a brilliant idea!!! I’m totally trying this!

    My daughter doesn’t mind me shampooing her hair, but rinsing it is never fun. She doesn’t cry like she used to, but she doesn’t enjoy it. It will be easier when she understands the concept of putting her head back so the water doesn’t get in her face! Like you, I just end up dumping water over her head. But now I’ll try this! Thanks!May 16, 2013 – 2:15 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi - Dani,
      YAY – let me know how it goes when you try it. Rinsing SUCKED for us until we did the mirror thing. And good luck!May 16, 2013 – 4:51 pmReplyCancel

  • Jessica Smock - Great idea! Genius! And just adorable…May 16, 2013 – 2:26 pmReplyCancel

  • Dana - You would think we wouldn’t have shampooing issues with an 11 year old, but he never gets it clean. He slaps on the shampoo, rubs it in for 5 seconds, and stands under the shower for 10 seconds to rinse it out. I’ve resorted to coming in and taking the nozzle and rinsing it myself while he covers his jewels (he is 11, after all). Makes me miss the bathtub days!May 16, 2013 – 3:42 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi - Dana,
      HA to him covering his jewels while you rinse his hair. What is it with these kids and them hating the rinse? Gah! Maybe you could threaten him with the bath??May 16, 2013 – 4:51 pmReplyCancel

  • Emily - Don’t you love when you do something awesome that you think should be recorded in the Guinness Book of Parenting book? Yeah, my excellent moves are few and far between too, but I think I totally deserve a medal or something when I think of something clever…as for that spiky dinosaur hair — incredibly cute and you are one smart mama!! Congrats to you on this one — you deserve it!!May 16, 2013 – 3:48 pmReplyCancel

  • Joy - Those pictures are so cute! What a brilliant idea! Have I told you lately that you are awesome?? xoxoMay 16, 2013 – 4:18 pmReplyCancel

  • Kristi - Joy!
    Hmmm…I’m not quite sure that you have told me that I’m awesome recently, I’m thinking….actually, YES! I do believe that you said something along those lines. But I could be remembering me telling YOU that YOU are awesome, ’cause you are so awesome. Thanks, sweets! XOXOMay 16, 2013 – 4:47 pmReplyCancel

  • Kristi - Emily,
    I’ll bet your excellent parenting moves occur more often than you realize because you rock raising your three boys, who also rock because you’re their mom! And we do deserve to be recorded in the Guiness Parenting Book! Somebody should get on that.May 16, 2013 – 4:49 pmReplyCancel

  • Jen - Great minds think a like!!! When Isaiah was younger, because of the Sensory Processing Disorder, baths were a nightmare! I bought him this play shaving kit, hoping that would help, it came with a mini mirror. Well that was all he needed too! When I realized how awesome it was I let him hold my makeup mirror (not that I wear any:-)) and we would do crazy stuff with his hair. The other thing that helped was they sell this foaming shave cream in colors in the kids bath section of Wal-Mart he LOVED being able to draw all over the tub with foam!May 16, 2013 – 6:04 pmReplyCancel

  • Roshni AaMom - That’s an awesome strategy! Big A also hated having his hair shampooed, so I think it’s just that some kids are sensitive, that’s all!May 16, 2013 – 6:39 pmReplyCancel

  • John Bryson - I’ll have to try that – my 2 year old hates the shampoo part of bath time and I’ve taken to just dumping water over her regardless of the production she puts on. Great thinking!May 16, 2013 – 6:51 pmReplyCancel

  • Susan Zutautas - Your tip sure would have come in handy for me about 20 years ago 🙂May 16, 2013 – 7:04 pmReplyCancel

  • Deb @ Urban Moo Cow - You should patent this. 🙂May 16, 2013 – 7:53 pmReplyCancel

  • Kristi - Jen,
    Great minds DO think alike! How awesome!
    We don’t have the shaving cream but we have colored crayon soaps that he sometimes loves. Thanks for the suggestion!

    And DEB, do you think I could??? 😉May 16, 2013 – 8:21 pmReplyCancel

  • Kim Pugliano - Noah used to put his ear in the water of the tub and celebrate that he went underwater. He hated to get his face wet. It terrified him. Water in general terrified him. Three summers of swimming lessons was a waste. He either cried or looked at me so sadly. Then one day when he was about 7 we were at my sister’s and everyone was jumping in the pool at the deep end but Noah. If he was in the shallow end and started to venture into the abyss accidentally he became hysterical and frantic. Joe placed himself smack down in the middle of either side and told Noah to jump in and he could reach him no matter what. Noah jumped as far as humanly possible until one time he didn’t. He swam all the way across. A friend had left and when he came back he was astounded. Noah was proficient from there. Best. Day. Ever.May 17, 2013 – 3:11 pmReplyCancel

  • Rachel Demas - Lemons into Lemonade! Love it. He is having a blast!May 17, 2013 – 7:38 pmReplyCancel

  • Shay - Great job! We never know how creative we are until we become moms, right?May 18, 2013 – 9:13 pmReplyCancel

  • Linda Atwell - love!May 19, 2013 – 1:16 amReplyCancel

  • Kristi - Kim,
    We’ve flunked swimming lessons for the past 2 summers. Sigh. Wow to Noah just picking swimming up like that – awesomely cool! So SO cool. Best day ever indeed!May 19, 2013 – 5:03 pmReplyCancel

  • Kristi - Shay,
    So true that our creativity is showcased as mamas!May 19, 2013 – 5:07 pmReplyCancel

  • Kristi Rieger Campbell - Maybe it’ll come in handy with the grandkids one day?? May 16, 2013 – 9:29 pmReplyCancel

  • Kristi Rieger Campbell - From the comments, I’m guessing you are right! And here I was – thinking we were so alone!
    May 16, 2013 – 9:30 pmReplyCancel

  • Kristi Rieger Campbell - OOH yeah, try it! Let me know if it works??May 16, 2013 – 9:30 pmReplyCancel

  • Kristi Rieger Campbell - He really was and what a change from his “before the hand mirror days.” He actually wants to take baths now. May 19, 2013 – 9:01 pmReplyCancel

  • Kristi Rieger Campbell - 🙂May 19, 2013 – 9:02 pmReplyCancel

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