Shower time for my daughter ended in tears in the other night. Mainly from her, but some from me, too.
The household was lightly frazzled by evening, anyway, after some Olympic niggling between the kids.
My patience was gossamer thin by the time I tried to get my girl into the shower cubicle, to set about washing her hair.
But she wouldn't step in. And she wouldn't stop scratching.
People with Prader-Willi Syndrome can have a tendency to skin pick. I'm not just talking about the urge you have to pick at a scab once or twice before you force yourself to leave it alone. I mean doing it repeatedly, enough to cause infection and even scarring.
With my daughter, it manifests itself in the form of scratching. She often ends up with a sore-looking neck or arm after sitting and repeatedly scratching an itch. We put E45 cream in her back at night to ease her urge to scratch along the length of her spinal fusion scar (or at least the bits she can reach).
On this occasion, it was defiant. I told her to get in the shower and stop scratching her tummy, which had lots of red marks on it. But for some reason, this turned out to be one of those rare occasions when my daughter decides out of the blue to be rebellious. She looked me straight in the eyes, planted both hands on her stomach, and started scratching even more furiously, her skin turning an angry red.
I tried to grab her hands but she increased the speed, her nails digging in and even causing a couple of pin- prick-sized spots of blood to appear.
There followed a short battle, where I had to resort to the underhand tactic of bundling her in the shower cubicle and deliberately aiming the nozzle so the water flowed over her face and into her eyes (which she hates).
It broke the spell. The scratching frenzy finished.
She was struck with the guilt that always hits her after a display of odd behaviour. Floods of tears ensued.
A cuddle on the sofa , a light hot chocolate, numerous sorrys from her for ignoring me and several sorrys from me for shouting, and it was all over, as quickly as it had begun.
Video is Morphine - Scratch