Well, we gave up on making Grendel put actual shampoo on his hair. And, we've been somewhat lenient on the entire soap-while-showering thing. Until tonight. It's been in the nineties the last couple of days. So, needless to say, without the use of soap: Grendel stinks!
Grendel does condescend into taking two 'showers' a day. However, these activities typically involve him standing naked under a stream of warm water for five minutes (or more, if he's too lazy to move on).
Tonight, the running of water took less than three minutes. So, I insisted that he revisit the activity in such a way that his pits (which I sampled) didn't stink. When he came out smelling about the same (after the second shower), I told him that he had a choice:
- Shower WITH SOAP
- Bubble bath
- Removal of his mattress from his room (sleep on the platform or the floor)
Choice #3 comes from the fact that we bought him a (somewhat) pricey mattress last year. He is rather tall. So, we agreed to get him a comfy mattress in the full-extra long size. This size is an utter pain, since sheets are hard to come by and never discounted. So, I refuse to let him stink up the mattress with his cloud of stench. I informed him that if he was comfortable going to school smelling like a swamp, that was absolutely fine by me. However, I would not be allowing him in my car for any reason beyond the absolute necessary transport (like doctor and dentist appointments, and guitar lessons) unless he lost the green cloud that surrounds him. Nor would I allow him to ruin his mattress with his putrid stench.
He agreed to a third attempt at showering. He came out with his hair smelling like shampoo and his body reeking a bit less (still some B.O., but to a smaller degree). So, he got to keep his mattress, for now.
I am a VERY MEAN MOM. Truly, I have given up on caring what he looks like or smells like. However, I won't inconvenience my nose for the sake of his rebellion. And, someday, he might want to sleep on a mattress that doesn't reek of the homeless.
Note: I know that there are worse problems that one could have with one's teenager. However, I had an epiphany this evening. The Fates assess what each parent's bar is for "acceptable teenage behavior" and they make sure that each teenager comes in JUST under that particular bar. It is a spiritually growth opportunity for both the parent(s) and child, regardless of the level of the bar.
I pointed out to Goblin that we should be grateful that we are not poor-white-trash, with a much lower bar for our progeny. Otherwise, Grendel would be stealing cars and shooting up on the corner instead of refusing to use soap in the shower.