Monday, May 09, 2011

mental health monday: negotiating with a three year old.

When your first child has Autism, you really have no clue how to deal with a "normal" kid. With Max, we know we need to teach him things step by step, and if we dole out the praise, he'll do pretty much whatever we want (except sit still for a haircut or poop in the toilet, but we're working on it). Cameron is an entirely different ball of wax. With her, we are forced to draw on a new bag of tricks. I have never met a tougher negotiator in my life. She is one tough cookie. The request may be as simple as to brush her teeth or get dressed, but on any given day she will absolutely refuse to do what we need her to do. The one thing that typically works (other than promises of junk food) is if we can get Max to do something first, and then ask her to do it too (see Cammie - it's FUN!). This is how we taught her to wash her hands, and now as you can see, she is now an old pro.

From what I understand, I am not completely alone in finding it challenging to get my kids to do what I need them to do. I am constantly looking for fun ways to engage them and to make them think that doing things like letting me brush their hair is AWESOME and WOW, when really, it sucks, and we both know it.

This is a pretty cool idea if you ask me: Softsoap has created a video that not only educates kids about proper hand washing, but also makes the experience fun and easy. I only wish that I had this when I was first trying to get Cam to wash her hands. The video features “The Dirties” a rock-band of germs performing in a stadium of raucous fans. The irresistibly catchy chorus of “pump the pump” reminds kids of occasions when it is necessary to wash their hands. Midway through the song, the band is transformed into “The Cleanies” by the power of soap.  Nice. Now, if they could just make an iPad app for this I'd be golden.

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Softsoap.


  1. Vaguely reminds me of the Toothbrush Family:

  2. I TOTALLY forgot about that video!! Lol. Good stuff I'm going to make Cam watch that tonight.

  3. Anonymous4:59 p.m.

    Do you think you've crossed a line using home videos of your daughter to sell soap? I mean, it's a home video and it is a commercial. Am I the only Fickle Feline reader who thinks this is wrong?

  4. Anonymous5:34 p.m.

    I agree that she's crossed a line, anon. It's a line I like to call "getting paid for this" and as her husband, I'm all in favor of it. It's not like she's using Cameron to sell cigarettes. It's soap.


  5. Anonymous10:06 p.m.

    What DID happen to the froggy soap?

  6. Anonymous1:32 a.m.

    I'm not sure how I feel about mixing personal blog content with ads... but that video is horrible on many different levels. Do we really want to raise a generation of germ-o-phobes obsessed with hand-washing, terrified of invisible ghoulies making them sick? I think kids need to eat a little dirt. It makes them stronger.


  7. Anonymous1:34 a.m.

    I should specify, I meant the terrible animation, not the video of Cameron, which was quite charming on its own.


  8. Anonymous7:28 a.m.

    If time with your baby daughter in the bathroom is for sale, then I'd like hear what isn't. You got a little money for it. Wow. Congrats, you've won the race to the bottom.

  9. Anonymous10:05 a.m.

    Ok, it's an ad for soap on a blog that we're used to reading about personal experiences on. Is that why some of you feel so betrayed? If you are a regular reader (and at least one of you says you are) you'll know just what kind of pressure Kat and her family are under and I for one think she's found a creative way to help pick up the shortfall.

    - Amanda

  10. I don't respond to negative comments from people that post anonymously. I will say that I have done partnerships/sponsorships on my blog before and will continue to do so. I only work with brands that I like and use personally, Softsoap included.

    If you have ever stepped foot in my home you would immediately see that we are far from germophobes. We don't make our kids wash their hands before dinner, and really, the only time we insist on it is after they go to the bathroom, which, you know, seems reasonable.

  11. Anonymous10:37 a.m.

    Telling Kat that she's won the race to the bottom is extreme and quite hurtful. I think anyone who reads this blog can see that Kat is a dedicated, loving mom who continually seeks creative ways to supplement a family income that is stressed beyond belief with autism therapy bills.

    It's okay to be angry about something you disagree with. But blasting someone without signing your name isn't going to change their mind. It's just mean.

    - Alana

  12. Anonymous10:44 a.m.

    Really folks, you are upset about a soap ad? Really? LMAO. Last I checked we are all living in a capitalist society.

    mb (Kat knows who this is.)

  13. Alex Oliveira1:51 p.m.

    Dear cowards,

    First note how my name appears first to signify that I am at minimum not ashamed of what I posted. Now then.

    Boy isn't it good to be you huh? Must be f**king nice to sit on your high horse of sanctimony and cast aspersions on Kat (and by proxy Scott) behind the cowardice of anonymity. I guess you're so proud of what you said that you just couldn't possibly sign your name to it huh? What's worse is that you probably are personal friends or acquaintances of Kat and thus you are additionally a two faced piece of crap.

    Since you take the the time to come and read this blog maybe you could take the time and read the entry where Kat lays out what the financial hardships are that come with raising a child with autism. Gleam some context for your ignorance perhaps.

    So with all due respect, go screw yourselves until you have lived one day outside your own comfortable lives.

    There was a time when it was considered the role of children to contribute however they could to the betterment of the family unit (tilling the fields or the milking the cows, whatever).

    I know that these days little precious Cody and Ashley go to Montessori schools and talk about their feelings and certainly would never be asked to do anything that wouldn't enrich their sensitive emotional journey on their way to being the next supreme court justice or other such leader of industry but maybe, just maybe, if doesn't cause you too much f**king outrage, maybe the parents could use their child's likeness in a very non-intrusive, non-exploitative way to just try for 5 minutes to get ahead of the challenges laid at their doorstep. Huh? Would that be ok with you Mr or Mrs Pious Asshole? Maybe you could give them that without the added bonus of your judgment and sanctimony you spineless cowards.

    I suppose if their child got into acting and made some money doing commercials that would be outrageous too right? Wrong idiots. It's called getting a huge leg up. I know 2 people who had their education paid for in full, no debt, no burdens, because their parents tucked away the money their kid made shilling for diapers and soap before they could even remember.

    You think those kids would rather have the debt load now or do think they were ok with their parents using all the means available to them?

    So seriously, with all due respect, and I do mean with all respect you are due, shut your mouths and go back to trolling youtube videos where your cowardice and baseless judgments are more tolerated.

    Stop being assholes, stop being shitty friends. Go live your own life and if thank the allahbuddhababyjesus you have a soft enough life to sit back and throw rocks from a distance.


  14. The best part about anonymous haters is when your friends come and support you. :-)

  15. Anonymous2:12 p.m.

    I tried to post this before but I don't think it took:

    One could argue that the race to the bottom is won by anonymously judging a woman who's doing her very best to support her family through financial and personal situations that most of us won't ever have to deal with, and frankly, most of us would find completely intolerable.

    Congrats Anons! Great work - you guys are medal holders!

    PS - Kat writes very personal stories on her blog all the time. It's not like she writes a business blog and randomly brought her family into a promotion. You have no issue with her publicising her family for 'free', it's that she's making a little money out of it. That's how the new genre of personal media works, I hope you get used to it or you will spend a lot of time being very disappointed with many people.

    (Kat knows who this is, I think, I just don't put my name online because I do business under it!)