So this is a true story about the Bogeyman…. very apt for Halloween …. but not as you would expect 😜 When you think of the Bogeyman you get a picture in your mind right? For us, in our house the Bogeyman has a different meaning😄Read on ..
Ok. I’m not gonna lie, it’s taken my husband and I years to get our Son CH to blow his nose. Honestly. I believe it can be common with all kids, more so than I thought.
It made for an interesting time over the years, when our son used to have a runny nose, very warm knees / joints and so on with colds and countless bouts of tonsillitis almost every month (until he had an operation to remove them). After that he still got ill only with ear or chest infections.. ALL of these of course dictate you will have a runny nose for sure, or at least our CH did.
He didn’t like the sensation of blowing his nose, the noise and all the feelings and senses that it affected during the process. We tried all sorts. Yet his autism and sensory challenges affected his recovery process, meaning he would be under the weather for longer than expected.
It got to the stage where I actually welcomed getting a cold myself so I could sit with him and casually blow my nose nearby, trying to engage him enough and in such a way that he could see what and how I was doing it. ‘Look at Mumble ! If Mumble does it like that maybe I can’ was the response I was hoping for. The problem with that was the issue of me being asthmatic and more often than not, a cold would lead to a chest infection which would not shift at all unless I obtained medication from the GP. Daddy cool tried by trying to use you tube videos as CH loves an iPad .. we tried our own social stories, got the teacher and GP on board to incorporate it appropriately too, in a not so obvious way of course. The GP even prescribed nose spray to prompt the process – we still often have to use that now.
** Advanced Warning if you’re of a queasy disposition 😜 **
Bedtime was interesting. At some point we would be tidying CHs bed area and we’d notice ‘items’ stuck on the wall .. or under the pillow .. on the side of the bed frame .. you name it .. bless him we laugh about it now lol lol. We would find loads of them. You know what I mean of course . bogeys (eeeek). Bless him, in his own way he was getting rid instead of blowing his nose. It went on for years lol lol. We’d leave tissues under the pillow, put them next to his bed, you name it we tried it!
I can’t even remember how it all came about, but one day a year or so ago, I got home and there was CH sat with Daddy Cool watching film ‘Despicable Me’ (again), and guess what? they were both blowing their noses, covering one nostril and blowing down the other, then repeat for the other side. Somehow Daddy cool had managed to succeed, had got CH to use tissues, he just couldn’t remember how they’d got to that moment. It doesn’t matter. Those of you who are connected in some way with autism will ‘know’, quite often you have to pick (forgive the pun here) your moments whenever you can, and sometimes you get real pockets of magic happen when you least expect it. Daddy cool was now officially affectionately known as the bogeyman.
So from here on, the blowing of his nose was much much easier. We incorporated it into CHs daily routine at certain times of the day, and most of the time he would follow this daily routine and sometimes realise at ‘blowing nose time’ that there wasn’t much need for it today, and that was still ok. Sometimes. But this actually got him into a routine so he wouldn’t forget to check. So, forgive the pun again, but like I say; pick your moments !
The next thing was to prevent the bedtime bogeys being stuck everywhere. To get him to use a tissue instead, or at least to request one if needed. We kind of got round to that eventually, instead of thinking outside the box we got rid of the box. We had bought CH a new bed, to make his room and him feel more grown up. We got rid of his car bed and bought a strong metal bed frame where the bed was at the top, accessed by a ladder, and underneath was a desk area which we could make into an ‘office’ and games area for him. He loved it! We bought a bright green ‘pocket’ to hang over the side of the upper bed frame – so he had pockets next to him to put tissues, or any items he chose to take with him to bed. For example, he used to take a model Titanic ship with him, his favourite Christmas bauble, you name it, he once even took an unpeeled potato to bed with him for a few days! The pocket as we call it, has 3 sections, so we used to put a few tissues in one of them for CHs easy reach.
It does work .. ok .. it works ‘sometimes’ so long as we remember to put tissues in there for him. I will be honest sometimes we forget. In those instances, I often get called at any time of the night depending on his sleep .. ‘Mumble!!!!!!!! Mumble!!!!!!!!!’ Of course I go running in, and guess what?! CH will be sat up in bed, right arm and hand stretched out with two fingers clamped together. ‘Bogey for you Mumble, here you go!’ he says lol lol. We’ve clearly forgotten to put tissues in ‘the pocket’ again, typical Mumble and Daddy Cool. Oh dear oh dear. In these situations I seem to be THE ONE that CH likes to call. He won’t give his bogeys when sat up in bed to anyone but me. Such joy, bless his cotton socks, love him to bits of course.
I’m therefore honoured to be ‘the one’ chosen as the bogey collector. And actually, if you think about it then, we don’t just have a bogeyman anymore, we now have the ‘bogeylady’ too.
I told you at the start didn’t I.. it was about the bogeyman and now bogeylady ….just not in the way you initially thought! Happy Halloween xx