22 Hours in Philly
End and Beginning

Summer School

One of the things we were told to "work on" this summer was...shaving cream. No! Really. We have a note from a therapist and everything.

OBVIOUSLY, a lot of Noah's sensory/tactile issues have improved dramatically over the past year. He'll walk barefoot in the yard, play in the sandbox, get dirty at the playground -- sometimes he'll even fingerpaint! Imagine that! But shaving cream still freaked him out.

And oh, but early intervention folks LOOOOOVE the shaving cream. They paint with it, "cook" with it, encourage the kids to get really messy with it. They've been trying to get Noah to play with shaving cream for a good two-and-a-half years now. It's like an SPD rite of passage: BOW DOWN BEFORE YOUR GILLETTIAN GODS.

But he wouldn't go near it, ever. He refused. Sometimes there were tears. Sometimes he'd hide under a table. By the end of this school year he would simply scream "NO THANK YOU" as soon as the can of foaming gel made an appearance. His teachers eventually stopped trying -- Noah was improving in so many areas that they decided he maybe deserved a pass on this one little quirk.

So that was on our list of suggested summer activities from his OT -- try to get Noah to play in shaving cream or similar slimy-textured materials. I admit I wondered if they were making a bit too much of this -- don't most adults have certain textures that give them the willies? And don't we all manage to compensate and/or avoid them and/or more or less survive just fine? Who died and made shaving cream so goddamned important?

But since it is such a big part of the school day and curriculum, I agreed to see what we could do at home. I had this big whole plan involving Ezra and the bathtub and good old-fashioned peer pressure (mmm, sweet delicious rivalry), but then I kept forgetting to actually try it. I thought about maybe doing something Huge and Awesome with our wading pool but...come on, even I knew that had disaster written all over it. Put the buy-one-get-one-free coupon down and WALK AWAY. 

Yesterday, Noah asked to play with his phone. I said sure...after we played one last game. On a super-spur-of-the-minute impulse, I tossed a couple little toys in a bowl and buried them in shaving cream. I told Noah he needed to find all the toys I'd hidden in the bowl. Then I stepped back and bit my lip and cringed a little, waiting for the kind of reaction his teachers described.

"Okay!" he said.

He tested the foam with one finger, then quickly found the first toy. He then shoved both of his hands into the bowl and pulled out the rest.

"I found them!" he announced.

15 seconds. The whole endeavor took exactly 15 seconds. No crying, no resisting. He even laughed and posed for a photo before calmly trotting off to wash his hands. No big thing.

Shaving cream: 0

Noah: 3,490,029,280,901

Photo (26)



Woohoo Noah! Now he you can give him a razor and ask him to do your legs :-)


Honest to GOD, Amy. With this AND the whole ocean thing, you are a frikkin' genius. And a really good Mommy. Good job to you AND Noah!


Wheeee!!!!!!!!!! Great job Noah!


Go Noah! (Also, I can't get over how much he looks like Jason here. He's getting so big!)


Yay for Noah!!! But, um... when did he become a 13 year old boy? Seriously! There's no more bebe left in there!!


I wish we lived closer because I would bake that child cookies for his monumental accomplishment. And squish him with hugs if he would let me. Way to go, The Noah!


i doubt his teacher's ever made it as fun or rewarding as you.

and shaving cream and peas freak me out.


Dude. If I had a sensory sensitive kid, at least I would know he/she came by it honestly.

The first time I saw the whole "shaving cream activity" at my kids' school, I got shivers up my spine. Bleh. Shaving cream is only appropriate on my LEGS, followed shortly by a RAZOR.

I am in Noah's court on this one.


I never comment because I'm a classic lurker cowering to your awesome momness...but, just had to say that it's more like teachers:zero, brilliant mom:1st place ribbon! ;)
PS, I wanna be just like you when I grow up! :P


Good job, Noah!! But, I have to say, for some reason, shaving cream gives me the willies too and I don't think I have sensory issues... so I get why it would give him pause to put it in/on his hands.


Nice job, Noah!! The texture that makes me cringe....cotton balls....getting the heeby-jeebies just thinking about it!


stop making me cry at work!


Yay, Noah! I'm so jazzed for the little guy!


Yay Noah!!1!!!11!!

AND just when did he get so big?


Noah has one up on me. My toiletries = fine. Other people's toiletries? No thank you.


Wahooooooo! WTG Noah :) And honestly, my kids love the stuff and I say no all the time. Not a texture issue for me...nope, it smells awful!


Go Noah. Just don't make him touch paper mache:). My kids hated that stuff.


Occasional commenter back to thank you once again for this blog, for its regular reminders that there's hope for my own kid and his alphabet soup of adhd and spd, along with asthma and multiple food allergies. So... thanks. Again.

Jen L.

Rock. On. Both of you.

Jen L.

Rock. On. Both of you.


work on THAT, teachers! Also it is UNREAL how much he looks like jason in that pic.


Awesome Noah! I have a list somewhere for Drew where I check things off and add some on...it is getting shorter, as is Noah's.

Ice cream for Noah...with a spoon!

Hairy Farmer Family

Ohhh, lady, Noah gives me hope! Hope that one day we can put Harry within 100 yards of porridge oats in water without him trying to climb through the nearest wall!

What a clever and awesome little chap; 3,490,029,280,901 indeed!


Way to go, Noah!!!! (And, honestly, WAY TO GO, AMY!!!!!!!!!)




Go, Noah!


Stop making me cry at work! You are amazing and so is Noah.
FOAM, just writing it gives me shivers and goose pimples. Gah, I hate thayt stuff. Now I am skeeved out.
Noah, you are a champ. If my mom had told me to get the toys out of the foam, then we would still be waiting on the toys to come out!


Stop making me cry at work! You are amazing and so is Noah.
FOAM, just writing it gives me shivers and goose pimples. Gah, I hate thayt stuff. Now I am skeeved out.
Noah, you are a champ. If my mom had told me to get the toys out of the foam, then we would still be waiting on the toys to come out!


Stop making me cry at work! You are amazing and so is Noah.
FOAM, just writing it gives me shivers and goose pimples. Gah, I hate thayt stuff. Now I am skeeved out.
Noah, you are a champ. If my mom had told me to get the toys out of the foam, then we would still be waiting on the toys to come out!


Shaving cream is one of our issues too ... I am totally going to try that this summer! You are awesome - great idea!


I love how polite he is in the face of his fears. "NO THANK YOU" is a pretty hilariously awesome thing for a PreK kid to yell when they don't want to do something, instead of NO NO NONONONONOOOOO!

Belly Girl

When I first read "GILLETTIAN GODS", I thought you were trying to spell "guillotine" and I was all "whoa, she totally misspelled that and how does that make any sense anyway? silly bloggers with their silly....ohh wait. I get it."
me: 0
Amy: 3,490,029,280,901


Yay, Noah!!!


Also second the comments that he looks so grown up! Awwww!
I was going to suggest whipped cream if it was a struggle - who can resist the goodness of whipped cream!? But instead Noah and Amy triumphed with the shaving cream! Go Noah! (And Amy ;)


Wonderful casual approach to it! Congrats Noah.


I was going to suggest whipped cream but then he went and was awesome again =0) I love that kid!!!


AWESOME!!! Just goes to show a mother knows best ;-)

Also, I hope you don't mind me asking--where did you get your couch?

Dawn Bent

SCORE!! that makes me giddy.


WOOHOO! Go Noahhhhhh! and yeah, we play with shaving cream at my special needs summer camp. My brother is a 1:1 for a little boy who LOVES shaving cream. My brother? Well, when he was in preschool he looked at finger paint and said "Excuse me? I must have a brush for this!!" He survived his camper playing with an entire tray of shaving cream. I am very proud!


Do people still fistpump? Who cares, because I just fistpumped. Go, Noah! We knew you could do it! And we knew you could do it, too, Amy. You're a good mom!


Go Noah!!!!!


Man, he is so cute. And I am so proud of him. (Good quick thinking on your feet, Mom.) :)


High five Noah!!! (And Amy!)


Woo hoo! Way to prove 'em all wrong


Awesome !!!

Jello is what gives me the willies.


Just when you least expect it, there they go surprising the hell out of us.

And I am anti-bananas, mushrooms, stiff fabric and knotty pine. I am also 36. Take that for what you will....


Complete and total awesomeness.


What an amazing little man!!!


That kid is Awesome from top to bottom. he gets it from his Mommy (and his Daddy, I'm sure, but this is your blog, so revel in it).

Tina C.

why not used whipped cream too?? he could look for jellybeans in there or ice cream.


Yah for Noah! I bet those teachers all get major kickbacks from the evil conglomerate of shaving cream companies because, really, who still uses that stuff?

Your comment about how he'll finally walk on grass reminded me of a boyfriend in high school who once CRIED because I planned a picnic for us and when we got to the park they had just mowed. He absolutely refused to walk through the clippings, even though I promised he could put his hand up my shirt if he would just sit on the blanket with me. So be glad Noah is on his way to...hopefully better, less slutty girlfriends than I was.

mrs. q.

Awesome, dude.

You may also want to try that weird Mr. Bubble foaming bath soap. It's basically pink shaving cream that comes out of a whipped cream can. My kids go nuts with it in the tub.


Okay, for realz. When Did Noah become such a super badass?

Go Noah!

And, Go Amy! Where would he be if he didn't have such supportive, genius parents that push him in ways that will take him the rest of his life to appreciate?!

Parsing Nonsense

Shaving cream? Really? I used to love playing with my Dad's shaving cream when I was a kid, but I LOATHED newspaper and still do. I can't stand the feel of it on my skin, and getting the ink on my fingers gives me the shivers.

So, you're right on about the textures things. Now, if someone offered me a cupcake to sift through a stack of newspapers, maybe I'd make a concession or two...


Um. Did you know that Noah is a little boy and not a baby anymore? I read you daily so I don't know why I was so shocked when I saw his picture and realized how big he's gotten. Way to go Noah!

Lisa R.

What an incredibly beautiful little boy! Who is not afraid of shaving cream!


Shaving cream! Be nice and clean! Shave every day and you'll always look keen! My husband has been on the prowl for his favorite shaving cream (Aveeno extra-sensitive), which has been out of stock all over town, so I find myself singing that daily.

I'm anti-nylon. Windbreakers, tents creep me out. The SOUND of it rubbing, the zippers...uggggggh.


Oatmeal and grits anything slighty resembling it make me cringe. I don't care how many toys you put in them. Ain't fetching them out. So, good job little Noah! You are a bigger soul than I am.

And just forget about slugs. Xanax anyone?


Did he watch you put the shaving cream in the bowl? I wonder if perhaps he might be weirded out by the stuff coming out of the container - it's a small container and then all of this stuff comes out - how does it all fit?? Just curious.


The kiddo is doing better than me- I am 27 and WILL.NOT. be walking outside barefooted- especially not if the grass is wet. I also hate things like creamed corn, grits (we're from the south) and oatmeal- because they are slimy. Oddly enough, before becoming a vegetarian, I did eat raw oysters... which is pretty close to just slime, so.... anyway. Noah is seven kinds of awesome, and when did that kid start looking like Jason instead of you?


Woo hoo! (Sniff.)


Yay Noah! You're a tactile challenge rockstar!


We tried shaving cream two days ago! Good CRAP it made the bathroom smell awful.

Chipmunk will play with it with one finger, but it it gets on his palms that's it. WASH IT OFF WASH IT OFF WASH IT OFF I NEED A TOWEL I NEED A TOWEL AWUGGHSFKJSHFfggg EMERGENCY.


samantha jo campen

I love this kid. Have I told you how much I love this kid?



Good job Noah!!! Way to go mom! :)


Wooo hooo Noah! He is doing so great. I love to see the pics of him looking so proud of themselves. It's awesome to get to be a proud mama but when you see the kid being proud of themselves, that's the best! You must be loving that!

I do think sometimes kids have a special sense for things that the adults around them feel are important but they can't understand why. I bet Noah was really suspicious of shaving cream! I know my kid gets like that.


You made my tear up. Again. Go Noah! And good job Amy! I have become so addicted to your writing, your beautiful children and the fun+real heart that radiates through it all. To sound all weird and freaky. But that best describes it.


maybe your shaving cream doesn't smell bad.

Why don't you ask him why he used to hate shaving cream? I wonder what he'd say.

Kate@And Then I Was a Mom

Yay, Noah!

Also, re: earlier avoidance of shaving cream. I'm thinking Noah just developed common sense earlier than most.


Awww, you're such a good mom! Creative too!


Noah stories make my day! And I really needed to hear a mommy-win story this morning. So happy for you both!


HUZZAH! YAY FOR NOAH! AND YAY FOR AMY! You're a great mom, lady. For shiz.


YAY!!!! YAY!!!!!


Rock on, Noah!!!!


This post was a little ray of sunshine in my afternoon. What a kid!


Way to go Noah! He has come so far.


Flat out amazing! I agree though why on earth is shaving cream so important. My son also does the very polite screaming "no thank you" as he buries his face in the carpet and writhes in horror. Good times, good times.


Flat out amazing! I agree though why on earth is shaving cream so important. My son also does the very polite screaming "no thank you" as he buries his face in the carpet and writhes in horror. Good times, good times.


Awesome job!!! Though it made me think about my "willy" producer -- nail files! The sound, the feeling, everything about filing nails makes me physically sick! Yet I manage to get my nails done about once a month (since I can't bring myself to attempt to file myself), and I even found a manicurist who knows how neurotic I am about it so she files quickly and with a "soft" file...long, rambly story to say that yes, many of us have issues we work around well into adulthood (32, ahem!). But, it's great to know he'll be able to shave one day! :)


Awesome Noah!


Seriously. I'm turning 30 this year and...I avoid touching shaving cream and whipped cream whenever possible. In fact, I don't even like to LOOK at whipped cream.
They are definitely in the camp of things that I merely cope with and am so relieved when they're no longer nearby. *sigh*
Anyway, HUGE congratulations on yet another victory- for BOTH of you :)


You are one creative mama! And that is one wonderful little man, right there!


Nice job, Noah. And you are a genius. Also, I hated the shaving cream activity as a teacher, the whole room smelled like a men's locker room for days.



Heather Ben

Take that shaving cream!


You go, Noah!! And way to go, Amy! What a happy moment for all!


YAY for Noah!

My son had no obvious "issues" at nursery, except a phobia of the canvas tunnel. We cajoled/bribed/threatened for years to no avail. One day he just got up and did it - for no reason we could think of. Still, at age 8 he refuses to have facepaint within a 20 metre radius of him. Funny how we have these quirks, special needs or no, but mostly we get there eventually : )

From Belgium

Ah, Kids. This is why we love them.




Sweet sweet TRIUMPH! Good for you two!


That is awesome for Noah, and some great quick-thinking parenting too! I second the PP's idea of the Mr. Bubble foam soap - comes in a can like hair mousse/whipped cream, it's pink, it smells good, and it gets you clean. My daughter LOVES it (disclaimer, she does not have SPD so that's not an issue).

LoveFeast Table

Pudding works like a charm! I knew a teacher that would finger paint with pudding!




Thank you so much for sharing Noah's accomplishments. Every time I read about something new that he has overcome the more and more I want to root and cheer Noah on! WOOH HOOW!


Shaving cream is icky. I won't and don't touch the stuff either:) Ditto for cotton balls and those makeup removal pads.
Good for Noah though - the right motivation totally works for him! It does seem odd to want to waste that much foamy crap on preschoolers though - I never played with shaving foam as a kid! Who knew it had become such a rite of passage?!


Did you know shaving cream works as soap? I'm a teacher, and when tie kids' desks are gross, I spray shaving cream on the desks, give them math problems to solve in the shaving cream, then wipe it all off. Whoo hoo - pencil schmutz gone!!!!!!!


I was thinking if the shaving cream didn't work maybe 'whip cream' in a can! :)

Sara Mallory

That's awesome! Shaving cream doesn't freak me out but I do have an unnatural aversion to a stick of unwrapped Wrigley's gum..i'm getting shivers.


Where is the Like button? Go Noah, go! Show that shaving cream who is boss.


Okay, I was doing fine until I got to the score at the end and then I burst into tears.


You guys are so great.

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