He yanks out my last nerve


Well-Known Member
You know how you go along and think everything's okay, and then you get a setback, and it's normal kid stuff, exacerbated by the difficult child stuff, and it could be something small but you just can't handle it any more?
OMG, my difficult child made me so upset last night. (Okay, to be politically correct, I allowed him to make me so upset. :grin:)
husband and I got home from our "date night" around 9:45 and difficult child was not only still awake, but still dressed, lights on, playing with-the dogs on his bed, and bouncing a tennis ball all over his room. (He has a wooden floor so you can imagine the rebound.)
His easy child sister, who was supposed to be babysitting, had fed him, and at least had him upstairs in his rm.
He will do anything to avoid going to bed, and that incl. being manipulative. (I know, you're just shocked, LOL!) I had just told him to brush his teeth, and he retorts with-a nasty, "I already DID!" :mad:
I walk away to avoid engaging him. I came back a cpl min later and he approached me, shirtless, arms outstretched, for a hug. (See, that's the weird part ... he snips and snipes and snarls, but then doesn't understand why no one wants to play with-him or hug him.)
I give him a perfunctory hug, and exclaim, "OMG, you smell! I thought you took a shower!" (Diplomacy is not one of my redeeming qualities. :grin:)
"I DID!"
Then he pauses, knowing he has an opening (clever boy, he knew he could postpone bedtime), and says, "Should I take another one right now?"
He reeked so terribly that I had to say yes (I mean, I cannot begin to tell you how bad it is lately ... he's definitely into puberty). I insisted he put down the tennis ball, which by that time was driving me batty (every parent here with-an ADHD kid whose medications wear off at 9 p.m. will identify with-that, LOL! :crazy:)
So, I hear the shower running and I check on him, since I hear the tennis ball going inside the shower.
He slides open the shower door and steps out, ball in hand, wearing his swim trunks!!!!

"TAKE THEM OFF and START OVER!" I yell. "And give me that ball!"

Why, why, why, does such a simple task have to be so hard?

So, he finally gets back in (at that point, husband comes in, alarmed that not only is difficult child still awake, but showering!) and helps out.
Once again, difficult child steps out of the shower, and this time, reaches for his swim trunks, which are now soaking wet. (Did he think he was going to wear wet swim trunks to bed? Where is his brain??? Never mind. A rhetorical question, at best.)

I said, "NO. They're wet, plus there's a poopy mark inside and they need to be washed."

"No there isn't."

No look, not a glance, just a "No."

That's when I really lost it. I know you're supposed to calmly explain blah blah blah, or even walk away, but his utter opposition and insistence, with-no data, just infuritated me.
I said, "Oh, you know that, with-o even looking? Here--look." And I put the swim trunks right up to his nose.
"I want to hear you say 'No, there's not,' now that it's in your face."

"Well, I didn't look." (Ta-da!!!!)

"So don't insist on things when you don't know."

This is sososososoosoSO typical of his attitude.

And yes, I am going to sit down with-him, calmly, and explain, once again (lessee, is this the 10,492,765 time?) cause and effect and defiance and a know-it-all attitude, somehow using words and examples he can understand.
At some point, he's got to "get it."
It's one of my goals b4 I'm 95 and in a nursing home.

I am sooo in there with you every day. Unfortunately this is sometimes a typical night for us with a 16 year old :-(
We step forward and then we step back. Can husband give you one day's respite? That always helps me when I am just at the end of my rope.


Active Member
My difficult child will take a shower, but not use soap, or maybe use conditioner and no shampoo. What is the point?????? This drives me crazy too, I sympathize.


Terry, you made me laugh out loud. It's good to see you still have your sense of humor!

I feel your pain. For a long time, I would smell difficult child's hair when she got out of the shower because she had a habit of just getting it wet, but not washing it. I don't know why she would do that. She has very thick, long hair and trying to comb it without conditioner is pure torture for her (which, in turn, became torture for me...our difficult child's do like to share these things :smile:), but she did it time and time again.

And maybe you did allow him to make you upset, but our kiddos have a special knack for it. It's a gift. :rofl:


Roll With It
been there done that. WAAAYY too many times. Of course, my mom says that too. For about 3 years she used to LICK MY ARM to see if I used soap. Any non-clean, non-soap taste was immediately sent back to do it again. And the next day I had extra chores.

I had to threaten to lick my difficult child and he would go back in. Of course, with a little bro who is 8 yrs younger, well, some things get yelled back and forth.

I can remember sending difficult child back in to shower, with soap, and rinse the soap off, and dry his body, and get his ..... You get the picture. About the time I sat down from shooing him back into the shower, along comes 2yo thank you. 2 yo thank you starts yelling at the bathroom door (to 10yo difficult child), "USE SOAP", "WASH YOUR TINKY PITS", "YOU NOT OPPOSED TO TINK!"

Luckily difficult child was in a good mood that day, so we all got a chuckle out of it.

I would recommend trying to find out if bar soap is better for him, or if liquid soap is better, if one brand has a different texture, or whatever. We did eliminate a whole lot of wars by letting each kid pick what soap they wanted, and then they had to use it or I would wash them with my soap (one they did not like, but was not at all unsafe or hurtful!)

We had the same toothpaste battle, with full blown rages over it. This is part of the reason we did not invest in braces for difficult child. He would not take care of them, so why waste the $$?

Now the kids bathroom is a mess (read disaster) but it is mostly just stuff spread all over. Each kid has a shampoo (or 2), their own toothpaste, their own everything. It is the only way to keep any sanity.

Hugs ( and some Right Guard for those pits!)


ps. Maybe you could rent a neighborhood toddler to yell at him throguh the bathroom door? The yelling worked for us (2yo yelling, NOT us!)



Active Member
Oh girl.......been there, and done that so many times! Good grief, when will it end!?

And the shower thing - really! - what IS up with difficult children and that! :faint:

I understand totally!!! difficult child 1 is 16 years old and still only brushes his teeth, takes a shower, clips his nails, and uses deoderant because he knows if he doesn't and gets caught, he'll lose some of his daily "Reward Time." However, even with the negative consequences of not bathing, we still have to remind him to do it.

I know what I'm about to say next sounds unbelievable, but, it is honestly true. When difficult child 1 was in the 8th grade, there was a horrible odor in his room. I couldn't figure out where it was coming from. Finally, after about one week, I couldn't take it any longer. I tore apart his room. He had a bit of sh.. in a pair of underwear. He had wrapped the underwear in a clean shirt and toilet paper and put it in one of his draws. What was he thinking??? :grrr:

Monday morning he came to breakfast wearing clean shorts but the same tee shirt that he had slept in. He STUNK!!! He had to be told to go upstairs, change, and use deoderant. He said he couldn't smell anything... :grrr: Then he wonders why he doesn't have a girlfriend... :rofl:

I could go on and on and on and on, and I haven't even touched on difficult child 2 yet!!! :grrr: Don't be too hard on yourself. I'de like to see some of the tdocs that treat our kids take one of our difficult children home with them for only one week. I wonder how many days, hours, minutes it would take before the therapist lost it too!!! :rofl:

I'm glad your husband was supportive. I'm also glad that you and husband were able to have a "date night".

I always say that as long as we can keep our sense of humor, we're ok. See - you're still SANE!!! :rofl:

I hope tomorrow will be a better day. WFEN


Well-Known Member
Still sane? That's debatable, WFEN. :smile:

OMG, Susie!!!!
:shocked:my mom says that too. For about 3 years she used to LICK MY ARM to see if I used soap.
I am sorry. I refuse to lick his arm. I opt for the pesky 2-yr-old approach.

Poopy pants hidden in the room ... oh SO been there, done that! When my friends came over to strip his room last winter, they pulled pr after pr of underwear out of the closet. I just don't understand the whole closet-as-opposed-to-the-laundry-room-approach. Maybe he was reading CS Lewis and thought it was the Magic Wardrobe.

He smells so horribly again today, I could hardly drive home with-him. I bought him special deodorant with-o perfumes or dyes and will make sure he wears it every day b4 school. Of course, being a difficult child, he'll think it's a shiny, new toy and want to wear it b4 he goes to bed. Then again, maybe that's not such a bad idea ...


New Member
I have to tell all of you. I HAVE BEEN ENLIGHTENED ON THE ANSWEWR TO THE BATH PROBLEM. This information was provided by my difficult child. The resaon he doesn't like to bathe is because it takes to long to dry off :bath:

There, now everyone can understand why they all hate to bathe. I actually caught him after his bath, in wet underwear (put them on a wet body cause it takes to long to dry off) rolling on the sheets drying himself off cause then all he has to do is roll in bed!!! :rofl: I suppose somewhere there is some logic in this. I was also enlighted on using only conditioner. Conditioner is what you put on last, so why waste time putting on shampoo and then rinsing it and then putting on conditioner and then rinsing it, when you can just put on the conditioner and be done with it!!!! He's real SLICK when he gets out. I've even caught him in the bathtub with flippers and a snorkle mask!!!!!!

This is the only place and people I know of who appreciate the bath dilemma. When I used to work nights, I would always call home around "bath time". I would say, now, it's time for your bath. Don't give your dad any problems, okay. He would always say okay. Then, I would say, now, take your bath, USE WATER, SOAP AND SHAMPOO AND BE SURE AND RINSE IT ALL OFF. THEN DRY YOURSELF OFF AND PUT ON YOUR PJS AND GO TO BED. Finally, one lady came to me and said, I just have to ask you this. You tell him the same thing every night, why? I told her because if I didn't he wouldn't. I said, you mean your kids bathe with soap and water without being told? She just looked at me like I was crazy. He will go to all the trouble to run a full tub of bath water and never get in it!!!!

God love their little pointed heads.



Great thread!!! I am laughing until tears come to my eyes. been there done that with just about all of the above.

Thanks for enlightening me on why not dry off. difficult child 1 is ALWAYS wet after his shower & standard response is "I did dry off, I'm not wet."

Thanks for the laugh. I think if we didn't we'd all be crazy by now.



Well-Known Member
OMG, Sickntired, LOL! That is SO funny! I love the logic.
You do know, that when he gets a car, he will never take it to the car wash, because it will just get dirty again, right?
Yes, God love their pointed little heads. And their slimy, conditioner-only bodies.



Active Member
Crazymama, you said, "My difficult child will take a shower, but not use soap, or maybe use conditioner and no shampoo."

Richard Glover, a Sydney DJ and columnist, did some research on something he'd been told - that shampoo is a fairly modern invention; what did people do before they had shampoo?
According to the articles he found, shampoo actually makes hair oiler the more you use it. Shampoo removes the oil and the hair follicles compensate by pumping out more oil. The solution? Don't wash your hair with shampoo. Instead, you have to rinse it in warm water once a day, but nothing more. Of course it will get greasier but at about the six week mark it should have stabilised and your hair will feel perfectly OK - not too greasy or seeming dirty at all. because of course, it isn't dirty, you do wash it daily - just not with shampoo. The theory is, you won't need conditioner either, because the natural oils, once back in balance, do the job they were meant to do.

OK, that's the theory. So he decided to put it to the test, very publicly - he went on TV on a weekly basis and had the female reporters on the breakfast TV show give their own independent opinion. He talked about it on his radio show, he wrote about it in a newspaper column, he kept his blog updated. He also encouraged anybody else who was interested, to give it a go and report back via his web page on what they thought of how their hair was going, on the "Richard Glover challenge".

The result - surprising. Glover's hair DID get greasier but stabilised at about four weeks, it looked perfectly fine and the reporters who checked him over were astonished. But the 'Net poll - a lot of people said they had similar results to Glover, a lot of people couldn't stand themselves with greasy hair for long enough to wait for it to stabilise, a lot of people stuck it out and said it didn't work for them.
husband tried it. He found that it worked not badly for him, but he needed to use shampoo (a small amount) every couple of weeks. And seriously, I didn't have any problem with his hair, and I have a sensitive nose. Because any sweat gets washed out each night - water soluble. And the grease does balance a lot more than you think it could. But not enough for husband.
Here's a link - very funny but certainly not satire - this bloke is genuine.

Anyway, this doesn't solve the grotty kid problem. All I can do is share what's worked with us:
And it IS the boys who are worst. Never had a problem with the girls.
Boys begin to stink about a year before puberty hits. The problem escalates into mid-teens then continues into their twenties. It's an ongoing problem. Even clean teenage boys have their own distinctive smell ( said I have an incredibly sensitive nose!)
So, what to do?
First, assess the problem. Is the boy washing, but still smelling like a dead goanna?
* First, make sure he puts on deodorant IMMEDIATELY AFTER WASHING. Then make sure he also puts deodorant on EVERY MORNING. The deodorant MUST include a strong antiperspirant. There are some which smell good, some with no smell. You look for the percentage of active ingredient and let that be your guide.

* Next, check his clothes. If HE is clean but he puts on a stinky shirt, he has just wasted a wash. A stinky shirt will transfer its smell to his skin, to any other clothes he is wearing and to any furniture he's sitting in/leaning against. This includes the car.

* So you've checked all this, he's put on a clean shirt and he still stinks - then check the CLEAN shirts. If you have a dryer, pop in the clean shirts, one at a time. Smell each one as it is warmed up - sometimes the sweat smell remains from wash to wash and gets reactivated by body heat. There IS a cure... I'll tell you much later on in this post.

Now to the next layer of the problem - do you have a kid who refuses to wash properly? Who 'forgets' to wash his hair (or even give it a thorough rinse, Glover style)?
Here are several suggestions - we use a combination of them all.

* Letting him choose his preferred method of washing can help. This includes, as was already recommended, letting him choose the toiletries. A very important part of this is letting him choose his own antiperspirant STYLE - my adult men dislike roll-on deodorant because their armpit hairs get snagged (ouch). husband uses a pump spray, difficult child 1 uses a pressure pack famous brand (and so, therefore, difficult child 3 insists he has to use the same one, like big brother. We bought difficult child 3 the cheaper roll-on for now).

* The sniff test after every wash is a must. You can do it with a hug, surreptitiously, but if you have a known recalcitrant, there's no harm in being obvious. If they object, you say, "If I could trust you and you didn't habitually stink, I wouldn't have to do this. You think I LIKE doing this?"

* If the sniff test is positive for unclean and BO, the next steps are very important -
1) send him back to the bathroom to do it properly. Sniff test again. Keep doing this until he is clean - bathwater canot be recharged with more hot - if hetakes too long, a colder bath is fit punishment. Why should the globe suffer for his laziness?

Or alternatively, if you're in a hurry - remove clothes (at least the top half). If they've only been freshly put on clean, they MIGHT be OK. But in general, they go in the laundry. Next - wash again. Supervised wash. He's only washing the armpits and maybe back and chest - no stripping necessary. Wash with soap and water, dry with towel, use hair dryer to speed up the drying process and THEN put on antiperspirant deodorant.

Or if you're away from home and in a super hurry - I carry baby wash cloths in each bathroom and in the car. He gets handed a wash cloth and told to clean everything he can reach, and that MUST include armpits. No option to change clothes, no option to wash more thoroughly, but every bit helps. And if you REALLY want to ram the point home, get him to use the SAME washcloth on his face, AFTER he's done his pits. After all, he says his armpits aren't a problem, right?

2) Make sure he is dry and deodorised, then give him clean clothes to put on.

3) If time permits and he is STILL difficult, tell him you will wash him yourself, like a baby (and like you did when he was a baby) if he will not cooperate. And you will wash EVERYTHING. Taking mental notes maybe. I mean washing his hair as well. All of them, in every crevice. With your preferred Yardley of London jasmine and rose-scented products, maybe.

Now to perspiration smells - I swear by white vinegar. I had read about it and I tried it. You splash the vinegar on the sweat stain (also on the area that smells) and then soak the clothes (if they're really bad) in WARM (not hot) water and enzyme soak. I've also used a concentrated solution of normal washing detergent, you can then up-end the lot into the washing machine. If they're really bad it might take more tan one treatment, and you might need to do it every wash.
I find for normal upkeep, just the vinegar splash is enough, as t he clothes are put in the laundry. It doesn't matter if it dries, before being washed - it still does the trick.
Smelly car - vinegar again. easy child 2/difficult child 2 is currently deodorising BF2's car which his mother drove while chainsmoking. The car also smells of sweat and old food wrappers. It's taken a few months, but simply having small bottles of vinegar in the car, lids off while it is parked, is slowly deodorising it.

My own experience with the vinegar shows just how effective it is:

I had been given a small role in a local pantomime as Prince Charming (only had to come on right at the end, no lines or anything). This meant I had to wear a dark suit. We improvised with a pair of my black trousers, and a black coat from Wardrobe. But the previous wearer of the black coat had been a man who NEVER wore deodorant. I will refrain from making racist remarks, but culturally he was from a part of the world allegedly notorious for only bathing once a week - a colder climate, then he moves to Australia's heat. Plus he was a heavy smoker, as was his wife.
He had worn the coat in a summer heatwave production, when he played an escaped criminal on the run - literally. He had to run not only across the stage but around the entire theatre, over and over. He was wearing this heavy coat which alone would have been enough to make him sweat; and he was then doing a lot of unaccustomed exercise. He had played similar roles in the past and this was the coat he always wore. The coat had not been cleaned for the entire rehearsal/production run. I don't think it had been cleaned for decades. They then stored it in a plastic bag well away from the other costumes, the coat was so stinky. And the amount he and his wife smoked - I had actually had to leave active membership of this group because after just one rehearsal, my throat would feel red raw from the smoke they generated. I kid you not - I dropped in to visit them briefly once, you couldn't see one end of the living room, for the smoke. The walls were literally dripping with nicotine - yellow trickle stains streaked the walls. If I hadn't seen it, I wouldn't have believed it. I've been around heavy smokers, but never like this. And I'd not seen chain smoking for some time - with this pair it was in tandem - they would light the next cigarette from the stub of the previous one and simply keep going. I never saw either of them without a smoke.

So t he props people gave me THIS coat, and said, "Could you arrange to have it cleaned? We'll reimburse you - there's a slight chance we might be able to save the coat. But don't worry if we can't get it clean - frankly, I think we should just throw it away, it's beyond all hope."
The coat was unbelievably appalling. But knowing how dry-cleaning sets some stains (and smells) I figured I couldn't lose anything by trying to wash it in the washing machine. I didn't risk any other garments, though. I put this coat in the stainless steel laundry tub on its own and saturated the whole thing with 2 litres of cheap generic white vinegar (I always keep a bottle in the laundry). Where normally only a splash is needed, this time I drenched the whole garment. The lining was thoroughly contaminated and even the outside of the coat stunk appallingly. A combination of BO and stale smoke.
Then I soaked the coat in a concentrated mix of laundry detergent.
After a day's soak, I drained it. What poured off was dark brown. Then I washed it in the washing machine and again, the rinse water was dark brown.
I soaked it again in vinegar (another bottle) and then another laundry detergent soak. This time the drained off soak water was a tan colour.
I washed the coat again, and the rinse water was only a little bit discoloured. The coat was hung outside to dry, it was horribly crumpled so I ironed it - a sure test for BO permanently in the fabric, because the heat of the iron will release the smell. And the was no smell! I had defeated the coat!
The drama group reimbursed me for two bottles of vinegar, much cheaper than dry cleaning, and a lot cheaper than buying another coat.

And ever since then - if I could get that coat clean and deodorised with nothing more than vinegar and a bit of extra laundry detergent, no teenager's BO will ever defeat me. Vinegar will work effectively on any protein smell or stain or any similar problem of animal origin, as long as you don't use hot water which will cook it in.

No rubbing needed. Just wet it and soak.

And one last point - the reason easy child 2/difficult child 2 is deodorising BF2's car is because I have made the kids accountable for their own clothes. The now realise that wasting a wash wastes their time and their effort. They use that bottle of vinegar I keep in the laundry - use it, or end up not wearing clothes with BO that hasn't washed out. They were made to wash poopy pants when they were little, made to change their own bed when they wet it, not in any sense of punishment but more a matter of personal responsibility. Poopy pants need to be washed, and it's not mummy who did it. The bed needs to be changed and the sooner the kid learns how, the easier it is on him when he wets the bed in the middle of the night - he can deal with it himself and tell mum in the morning, when the sheets are already in the laundry. A kid who did that for me got a big hug for being grown up and responsible, he certainly didn't get punished for wetting the bed or pooping his pants. These things happen.

So in their teens - extra responsibility has to creep in. Their body has changed the rules and is making them messy too easily, with greasy hair, resultant acne on their back and foreheads (from the hair grease - keep it clean, keeps the skin clearer) and the really ripe teen smell. And because it's THEIR smell, they often can't notice it. Or they're too busy to deal with it right now.

difficult child 1 went through a really bad patch when he would refuse to wash, refuse to wear clean or tidy clothes and simply refuse to cooperate in these things. I think he was actively working to keep everyone away from him (except his equally stinky friends). Even his teachers complained. We knew difficult child 1 was depressed - getting him onto antidepressants eased it enough so my above techniques were able to begin to bring about some change.
Then he got the volunteer job in the zoo - and would come home stinking of animals after shovelling manure all day. He WANTED to wash!

Good luck with this one.


timer lady

Queen of Hearts

Has husband sat difficult child down & explained the puberty thing to him man to man? I know that for wm, when husband took over (foster dad now) on personal issues of this nature is certainly worked better than if mom (ewwwww) knew.

I hope you find that last nerve - our little wonders need that nerve to survive. :rofl:


call 911........call 911
It's so nice to know......that I am never alone in my thinking of poopy pants. Mine would poop all of his, and with our bedroom door locked for theft reasons, he would go outside, got the ladder, crawled in the bedroom window, got his step dads BRRRRRRRand new package of underwear stole 3 pair, pooped those and left them in his room as if.

Yup.....I get ya sister...I really really get ya.

When we talked to the psychiatric. DF said "IT's not bad enough he craps his own pants, but NOW he's stealing and crapping in MINE."

No one will EVER forget that....the psychiatric. did his best to not laugh with us.

Ahhhhh a smelly boy, smelly pants, smelly room, smelly bed,,,,smelly boy for sure. Makes you want to use one of those pre-loaded soap guns and just blow them up against the wall for a sure deal bathing.

Hugs to you, soap to the boy
Glad to see you have a fanstastic sense of humor.