Independence

I just had a huge mom win.

I successfully bathed all three of these little monsters in the shower.

Cooper first. Then Sawyer and the baby.

There was so much water. So. Much. Water. It was on the walls, the ceiling, and puddled on the floor. We used 4 towels. There was an incident with a shampoo bottle and a glass of water.

Boys I tell you. But all three are bathed and dressed in jammies. I feel like I moved to expert level parenting.

Showering is a big deal. I’m not sure if I would have known that before I had Cooper. Self care and bathing and caring for ones self. It’s not a given for everyone.

For years we didn’t know if Cooper would ever willingly shower. Or understand how too.

I’ve talked to countless parents of older children about bathing and self care. Some conversations gave me hope. Some worried me.

I remember during our hardest days, I would wash my son’s feet in the bathtub and imagine him as a man. The tears would fall from my eyes. So many that sometimes I thought I might fill the bathtub with my worry. Would I be doing this at age 70 I wondered.

But time has a way of going on.

So we practice showers. We practice them in the kitchen with our clothes on. We use social stories. We pretend to scrub our hair and wash our bits and dry ourselves off.

We practice everything really.

Tonight, he willingly got in. He had a choice you see. Shower tonight or in the morning. He chose tonight.

Choice equals independence. Remember that. Cooper gets choices. His disability doesn’t negate that.

I talked him through his whole shower. Step by step.

I stand outside the glass door, sliding it over when I need too. I reach my arm in and put the soap in his hair. I mimic the actions he needs to take.

I squat down and reach in with a bar of soap. My clothes get soaked.

His hands aren’t strong enough to wash the soap out of his hair. Not yet. But he can dry himself. That’s an epic skill!

You may think it easier just to bathe him. But this old mom thinks about the future a lot.

He’s no longer two or three. He’s ten. And I won’t be here forever. I want him to learn as much independence as he can possibly learn.

And he’s showering. I tear up still sometimes. Because I am so proud.

When nothing is a given, everything is a blessing.

Oh, and Cooper has his first day of school tomorrow. He’s been home for so long living his best life.

It’s time though. Back to fourth grade.

Wish him luck!

Finding Cooper’s Voice is a safe, humorous, caring and honest place where you can celebrate the unique challenges of parenting a special needs child. Because you’re never alone in the struggles you face. And once you find your people, your allies, your village….all the challenges and struggles will seem just a little bit easier. Welcome to our journey. You can also follow us on Facebook, subscribe for exclusive videos, and subscribe to our newsletter.

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Finding Cooper's Voice is a safe, humorous, caring and honest place where you can celebrate the unique challenges of parenting a special needs child. Because you're never alone in the struggles you face. And once you find your people, your allies, your village....all the challenges and struggles will seem just a little bit easier. Welcome to my page!

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