One day near the end of last school year, the school nurse called. This is a typical occurrence, so I didn’t freak out. She always has at least one of our boys in her office. She said that Aidan’s Kindergarten teacher had walked him down to see her because he was inconsolable and wouldn’t tell anyone what the problem was. He was crying and distraught, but wouldn’t, or couldn’t, let anyone know how they could help him. He just kept saying he needed to come home.
I had one thing to tell the nurse– ask Aidan if his socks are bugging him. So she did that, and sure enough, I heard him sniffle “yes” on the other end of the phone. I asked to talk to him, and we sorted out the sock issue. I had made him wear socks that morning because he had gym class at school that day, and needed socks for his gym shoes. The feeling of the socks was bothering him so much that he had a total meltdown. Couldn’t concentrate. Couldn’t speak. Couldn’t function. All he could do was cry and hope someone would rescue him from the horrible feeling of his socks.
I packed Ella up and we headed to school to bring Aidan his crocs. He took his socks and shoes off, changed into his crocs, and lit up the room with an Aidan Smile. He gave me the biggest hug, and asked quietly through his remaining tears if he could come home. I said no, school was almost over, and now his feet would feel so much better that he’d be able to stay and finish the morning. He agreed that now things were right with the world, and skipped back to his classroom.
If I hadn’t known my son and his sensory issues so well, I might not have known that all that drama was just because Aidan had socks on his feet. It’s the craziest thing, how just a pair of socks can make someone go nuts. So many times, the way my kids behave is a product of their sensory system not working the way it’s supposed to. I’m always on the hunt for ways to make daily living more successful for our family; ways to calm overly sensitive nervous systems so that we can still do necessary things like flush the toilet, brush teeth, take a shower, wear jackets that are too ‘puffy’, get a haircut, visit a museum, play on the playground, endure the cafeteria at school, and sometimes…even wear socks.