We had a rough weekend. Well, I probably should say A had a rough weekend which in turn means we all do. Ever since A started kindy last year we have worked a lot on him being able to self regulate for the six and a half hours a day he is at school. He has only had three meltdowns at school this entire year so far. One at his first afternoon of after school care, one when I tried to get him to do a morning of before school care, and one about 2 weeks in as I was leaving one morning. He does such a fantastic job of keeping himself calm and measured at school that it tends to consume him by the weekend.
Don’t get me wrong, this is what we want. He needs to be able to do this to get through school, through life. To be honest, don’t we all do this to a degree? Hold it all in until we get home from work then vent to our partner or family about what has plagued us that day? It does however make for difficult weekends. This particular Saturday morning A slept in. He normally gets up around 7 or 7.30 of a weekend but once it got past 8 I sent hubby into his room to make sure he was still breathing. He finally woke up about 8.15…. and it started. Nothing was right. He couldn’t eat any breakfast, it didn’t taste right. He couldn’t play with Little Brother, he couldn’t get the game right. Then it came to getting dressed, and NOTHING was right! In the past we have dealt with many clothing issues. It started when A was a newborn. He couldn’t stand to be undressed. He hated to have his clothes changed. He detested having a bath. Here we were, first time parents with a child that would not be consoled, no matter what we did. At about 3 months he was diagnosed with Gastro Oesophageal Reflux Disease which answered some of the questions, but not all.
At about 18 months we really started to notice how particular A was about his clothing. He wouldn’t take off his shoes or hat at day care, even for nap time. If a teacher that didn’t know him tried to take them off him all hell would break loose. At 20 months he would only wear orange shirts. At 22 months he would go through a dozen outfits a day, if even a single drop of water or crumb fell on him he would have to get changed straight away. At 2 he was chewing his shirts until the entire front was soaking wet.
On Saturday it was jeans. Last year we had major difficulties with long pants. Jeans were too scratchy, everything had to be super soft. They had to be just the right length. They couldn’t “flap” at his ankles and at the same time they couldn’t touch his heels. By the time winter hit we were down to one pair of tracksuit pants. He had a dozen other pairs of pants he just couldn’t wear. His distress was obvious, tearing at his little legs until they almost bled. My mum taught me to sew and I made him pants made out of the softest cord and jersey we could find and made them exactly the right length.
I think I had been a bit complacent. He had been going fine with his clothing, wearing jeans with no issues. Until Saturday. He desperately wanted to wear them, but the fabric brushing against his ankles was driving him crazy. After an hour of desperate tears, we found a solution. Long socks with the jeans tucked in. Stylish. Really Stylish. But by this time I didn’t care. I just wanted the screaming to stop. And it did. He needed to be able to feel the fabric against his skin and the socks were providing just the right amount of pressure.
By Sunday morning he was still wound up. Daddy took him to his soccer class and I stayed home with Little Brother to give them some alone time. He was still struggling by the afternoon so we suggested a go on the trampoline. This often helps him find his balance.
He followed this up with a 2 hour bike riding session on his newly training wheel free bike. We finally had our boy back.
Today was Tuesday, Grandparents Day at A’s school. Grandma and Pa Dave offered to take A to school since they were coming anyway. A dealt with the change to his routine like a champ. He took the day filled with sensory challenges in his stride. I picked him up from after school care happy and calm. He came home and did his homework, ate his dinner and played nicely with his brother. They both had stories and went to bed with no tears. By 8.30. My house is calm, tidy and functional. I am reveling in the normalcy. I will deal with the next onslaught on Saturday. But for now I am just enjoying the moment.