"Mom, how does the Tooth Fairy fly through the air?"
"How do YOU think?"
"I think moms do it."
"But how can a Mom be a Tooth Fairy?"
"Good moms are lots of things, Princess."

Friday, January 29, 2010

OT and the Woodpile

Yesterday, kindergarten was taught by a substitute. Thankfully, Peanut is now able to manage herself at school in the care of a sub. As opposed to the principal and myself wrestling a screaming, writhing mass of teeth and nails into my Suburban mid-day. This is still very, very hard on her, though, and she has a tendency to let it all loose when she gets home. Yesterday, she wanted immediately on a computer program, then accused me (with opera-worthy wailing) of putting her in the wrong spot in the program. I tried to show her how to navigate to where she wanted to be, but she kept interrupting to tell me why my ideas wouldn't work. Then she logged it off and went wailing and stomping to her room, kiddie-cursing me all the way. When she came down, she followed me room to room and waiting for me to look at her so she could give me the evil eye. I said, "you want me to notice you are angry at me." She exploded, "yeah, cause..." and went right back into her argument. I said, "I'm sorry you would not let me help you. Now you can choose to stay with me quietly, or to go into another room." She went into the living room, where she found a kalediscope (that has been sitting in the bottom of the toy box for two or three years without having ever been touched) taken apart and scattered on the floor. Enter more wailing and moaning and gnashing of teeth. It really was very dramatic; I have to give her credit.

I dropped the ball with this one, but thankfully Josh is pretty good at this whole parenting thing himself. He sent her to the woodpile.

I love consequences that not only don't really feel like a consequence, but accomplish something, too. And the wood pile is dual-duty. Thing one: stacking firewood by the house used to be my job. Thing two: stacking wood is "heavy work."

Both Princess and Peanut have sensory dysfunction. The best way I can describe it is they don't seem to be able to pinpoint where their body is in space. They kind of feel like they're floating around, not connected to anything. When their anxiety rises, they become "disregulated." Princess manifests this by wandering room to room, spinning, rhythmless dancing, and tapping and noise-making. Peanut sticks her finger in her mouth, chews on things, talks louder and faster while making less sense, and wails. "Heavy work" causes their large muscles to work together and kind of gives them a "center." And they feel calmer.

Lucky for me, a lot of housework can easily be made into "heavy work." Princess lugs a big rubbermaid container full of clothing to and from the laundry room. Peanut wipes the table after dinner. They pick up the sofa cushions so I can vacuum underneath. They make their beds. Gardening, wheel-barrows, wagons, and pushing against a wall all work, too.

(But the best stuff is the stuff I don't have to do).

No comments:

Post a Comment