Saturday, August 22, 2009

The dangers of finger paint

You all know that due to our daughter’s SPD, we’ve avoided artificial coloring in our food for over 2 years now.  Now, we even have to be careful about non-edible things like finger paint because it soaks in through the skin.

Tonight was just classic!  R was in with Bug while she was having her bath tonight and I was doing some other things, so I didn’t go in until near the end of her bath time.  I got there just in time for the show!

I went in, just as R has given her the “2 minute warning” (she needs a lot of help with transitions), only to see her acting like a laughing hyena that just finished off a pot of coffee.   I truly thank my Heavenly Father she was *happy* hysterical this time, but YIKES, was it nuts in there!  She was  attempting to clean up her toys, but was bouncing & rolling around in the tub (as much as one can actually bounce in a tub) as the water was draining out and didn’t even stop when it was empty.  She was laughing hysterically and her body was just out of control.  She couldn’t stop herself, and I was beginning to think she was going to bust her head on the side of the tub with all that slipping, sliding, rolling, & bouncing!

I had to bite my tongue not to laugh at her out loud, as I was so thankful that she was at least in a good mood for this one, instead of the opposite, which is common.

At some point, I looked over and saw the RED finger paint that she had been playing with in the tub, and turned to ask R, “How much of that got on her skin?”   He replied, “Umm, a HUGE amount!”.  Suddenly, we knew exactly what was going on.   Yes, *I* bought her the paints.   She’s a sensory seeker, and gets out of control with paint so I figured letting her paint in the tub was a no-brainer.  Obviously, it was a no-brainer as I wasn’t using my brain when I bought them :)   R confirmed that they had a similar reaction last time he had her use them in the tub.

We had to literally pick her up out of the tub since she couldn’t focus enough to step out on her own.  She couldn’t even hear us talking to her.  We wrapped her in a towel, and I carried her to her room where I laid her down on the floor and prepared to give her a little massage in the hopes that it would calm her down a bit. 


Instead, the instant the lotion (the same one we’ve been using since she was a baby) touched her tummy, she screamed out that it was HURTING her belly button!

Fine – wiped it off, tried the chest.

Nope! That hurts too! 

Ok, I said, we’ll do a massage another night.  

She insisted she wanted a massage, so we rolled her over and tried her back/bottom/legs.  

“That hurts my butt!”  (We couldn’t help but laugh at this one)

We gave up and tried to move on to PJs.

She put her button down shirt on backwards, and tried to convince us that she should get to keep it like that.  We told her if she could get it on, and button it herself she could wear it like that.  She got 10 seconds.  Didn’t make it.  We finally convinced her we’d do a “backwards day” for homeschool one day and she could wear it all day long.   By the way, I don’t really care if she wears her PJs backwards, but I didn’t want to get woken up at 2 am with her screaming that she wanted it turned back around – something very likely to happen.

Ok, finally PJs on.  Check.  

Now, we need to get 2 stories read because if we stray from the routine, we’d be in even more trouble.   We picked out 2 of the shortest stories we could tonight, and attempted to sit down to read them.  She was all over the place, laughing, bouncing, still hysterical, so R and I each read our story as fast as we could.  I don’t even think she heard most of it since she was talking pretty much the entire time.  Normally, we would have stopped reading if she kept interrupting, but tonight she wasn’t even aware of it.

After the stories, we gave hugs and kisses and put her up in her top bunk.   At that moment, she proceeded to kick her legs hard and yell “I don’t want to go to bed! I’m not tired! I won’t go to bed!”

Excuse me?

She *never* fights us about bed when she’s sane.  Never.   She was given a choice of keeping her light on and having her usual reading time, or throwing a fit and losing her reading time.   We did manage to get an apology from her, so she got to keep the reading time.  

Secretly, we’re hoping the Melatonin kicks in soon and she won’t need much of the reading time anyway!

During this whole episode, I was reminded of that day in the department store over 2 years ago when we first saw her clearly react to food coloring.  It was scary!  Tonight, I just praise God that we were able to laugh during the whole thing.  No yelling, no tears, no frustration.

And somehow – by the grace of God – Bug actually had a brief moment of clarity when we asked her to say her prayers.  She thanked God for her day, for her family, and for JOY & 

Praise God for joy and laughter!  Even if it was chemically induced tonight.

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