If I say, “soap and water”, what comes to mind? A lingering, refreshing shower? A hot soak in a tub of scented bubbles? A freshly cleaned car? Spotless floors? Sparkling countertops and commodes? Clean kiddos? I used to think those things. Still do, actually, but more as a monthly achievement goal (with the exception of clean kiddos) than a daily accomplishment. I suppose most parents can relate. But let me add a creative twist: Judah.
Judah, my sensory seeking, hands-on, tactile-learning, curious explorer has introduced me to a new definition of “soap and water:” messy. With all my heart, I hope you’re at least smiling by the end!
Where many see a brand new fifty-five gallon freshwater fish tank with a handful of fish, Judah sees an opportunity for…you guessed it: water play! We’ve had several “mishaps” with the fish tank and, finally decided it was too much maintenance. Not feeding the fish. Not the monthly cleaning of the cold-blooded creature’s fecal matter. No. It was the all-too-frequent cleaning from Judah’s bursts of creativity, not to mention the replacement of our fine-finned friends.
One day, Judah dumped a bottle of dish soap into the tank. My only regret now is that I was too angry to take a picture of the sudsy bubbles dripping from the top of the tank down the front and sides, forming a wet soaking, soapy pool on the carpet. Two hours later, I finished cleaning the soap and water only to find more sudsy bubbles half way up the wall above the tank! It was a good day to learn patience. It may as well have been the introductory lesson because I lost it right after the shock of realizing what happened to the new bottle of dish soap.
The picture to the right was another fun day with the fish. After the dish soap disaster, I managed to avoid the blast from zero to “Defcon One” in under five seconds. However, the shock and panic of wondering what he got into jolted my heart rate through the roof. The realization of the contents for this specific water game (merely baking soda, olive oil, and eggs) brought my heart rate back to an even rhythm. I, then, found the presence of mind to realize someday, this will be funny, and I took a picture.
Sensory play takes on many forms in our family, but Judah’s favorite has been water play –both indoors and outdoors.
When he was 18 months, Neil and I introduced him to the garden hose with running water. Little did we know what curiosity and addiction that particular activity would spark in Judah’s brain. From that point on, Judah was hooked. We’ve had many adventures over the years.
Not all Judah’s sensory experiences have included water. Judah, also, likes dirt, laundry soap, body wash, spices from the cupboard, rolled oats (a big one), and maple syrup, to name a few. Below you may see my leftover plant. I had thirty-five indoor plants at one time; now I have one that I keep a close watch. To the right is Judah’s “maple syrup art” on the kitchen floor (it’s abstract art, by the way). The bottom picture shows that Judah has a unique way of looking at the world and doing things.
After all my frustration and in-the-heat-of-the-moment irritation is gone, I am left admiring my sweet son for his creativity. God has given him a mind that thinks uniquely, and He has a plan for this kiddo of mine. I am looking forward to seeing how God’s going to use him!
I tell Judah that he is a promise to be everything God wants him to be. He knows that Jesus loves him, and that makes him happy!
I am so proud of this boy!
“And I am sure of this: that the One who began a good work among you will keep it growing until it is completed on the day of the Messiah Yeshua.”
~Philippians 1:6 (Complete Jewish Bible)