Our apartment is gorgeous and new. And small. Two bedrooms, on small living area, kitchen, bathroom, tiny utility/laundry room. There are no hallways, no transition spaces. When the doors are open, you can see every room from every spot in the house. We live in the damp Pacific Northwest, and a lot of effort is required to get outside. Our funds are limited and our boy has sensory processing disorder. So we gave up our home and turned it into an occupational therapy gym.
Tour the little place with me, and we’ll highlight our cheap, free, space saving home gym. That loveseat you see, half on the carpet and half sticking into the kitchen? We bought it used, cheaply, because it’s not for sitting. It’s a trampoline for jumping on and off of. It’s also a many pillowed squish box: a place for deep pressure when the child wedges himself between cushions. The space between the loveseat and his train table isn’t usually leg room. It’s a tunnel, when pillows or blankets are stretched across. When we get to our scheduled ‘sensory time’ in the getting ready for school schedule, it serves as a tunnel, just short enough that normal crawling won’t work and he army crawls through. Then it’s around the couch, doing a bear walk, bunny hop, or frog jump, as I encourage him with corresponding animal sound effects. Back on his belly, and through the tunnel again. …continue reading
“The haircut” happens three times a year: around Easter, Christmas and one other time during the summer months.
The first time we did an at-home cut, he was terrified of the clippers. It was just like the one at the barbershop, but our guy, Lou, retired. Lou and I would hold J down in the kid seat. J used his little legs and all the power he had to kick and kick and… scream. Hot tears ran down his face. We’d give him toys before the haircut he could play with, but it seemed to make no difference. After perspiring with a racing heart, it was over. I’d have his hair all over me and there would be marks on his wrists by me from the resistance and fighting to keep him in that seat.
This happened every single time we visited Lou. After awhile, we began to chuckle during the cut since we became pros at getting his haircut in 10 minutes flat.
At home, I covered up his body with a big sheet. When the hair would make its way down his neck or to any exposed skin, he would panic and try to brush it off. Combine that with wet tears and it spelled disaster. I was so desperate to get the hair cut. He’s trying to grab the clippers out of my hand and yelling at it like it’s “a monster– “Get away”– while I’m cutting the hair. It’s finally over and he’s overwhelmed. I am crying now because I think we’re never going to ever have a “normal” haircut where there are no tears and no screams and no kicking. …continue reading