Monday, January 04, 2010

a pause for the Toddles

And did I mention that it snowed?

Also, that the rose colored glasses are somewhere, but I'm too tired to go find them. No sooner had I counted my blessings, than two of them ran down the hall and annexed most of my bed. When I retreated, the shorter one followed. Considered his options. Climbed into the twin bed where I was hiding.

I found you! he told me, cheerfully. Now we can snuggle.

And there's no really loving, gentle way to explain that, hey, kid, I love your snuggles - but I'm just not so much loving it at 3.56 of the a.m. Sigh. I know the drill - and if the Knuffle Bunny Dad didn't catch a break at this hour, then I'm probably not going to, either.

The kid is ruthless. Also, have I mentioned? fairly awesome.

Today was his long delayed 4 year checkup. He scored above the 25% for height, and at 60% for weight. whoa. You can count his ribs, but he's a solid little guy. And apparently, a chatty one.

Hi! said the suddenly non-shy Toddles. Is that homework?

In the doctor's waiting room, a woman looked up from her questionnaire. Well, it kind of is homework. Her companion leaned over. Do you have homework? The Toddles grinned, delighted. Well, I don't have math homework, like my brother, but I have robotics, and that's kind of something I like to do at home also. So it's homework! The adults smiled at the little guy, as he explained about how he makes robots, how I only know half of robotics. But I'm figuring it out each day.

I was tempted to explain (it's a study on child development, they use Lego - not wires), but she was so clearly enjoying the adorableness of the little kid that I don't bother. A nurse called the Toddles' name, and the adults looked slightly disappointed as he zipped off, his monologue unfinished.

One heartening checkup later (normal, normal, normal, and oh, cool said the pedi), the Toddles needed four vaccinations. This is came as a bit of a shock for both of us, as the first departure from our delayed vaccination, one at a time approach. We'd used this approach as an effort to avoid triggering the Toddles' immune system. Umpty-ump allergies later, the damn thing is triggered. And the Toddles, perforated. Cheerfully, which unnerves the nurse somewhat. It hurt, he told her. That's why my body went like this - and he did a fairly precise imitation of the taut arc of his back, and the set of his shoulders as the needle hit his thigh. But my legs are feeling good. Hurting 10%, but the rest is just fine.

The nurse hit the floor, and as we left, I heard her telling the other staff about this little kid, who said... But for all his calm, the Toddles dove for his bag, walking out of the waiting room wrapped in comfort. He had his binky in his mouth, and his favorite bits of cloth curved around his shoulders, and whisking gently across his cheek. His eyes were unfocused, and his face relaxed, melting into the comfort he was creating. All of that chatter, that cheerful, lovely boy stuff - and the improbable inoculations - and here was what balanced it. He walked next to me in a bubble of Toddles-touches, the sensations that he'd explained once as being things that feel right, and make me happy. I rather envied him.

From down the hall, a clear, quiet tenor drifted. When it passed the Toddles, he looked up. Smiled at the slim, dark man. And reached up, stroking his bit of cloth across the man's arm.

The man blinked, and stopped singing. Smiled back at the Toddles, who explained: it's edges, and reached up again. The man's face shifted to quizzical, then worried - is this okay, Mom?

Oh, um I said, hastily. That's something that he says is a good feeling, and I think he's trying to share it with you.

And the stranger's smile returned, streaked with delight. I've found a friend today, he said, surprising me with his pleasure. Or maybe a friend found me. He put his hands together, touching them to his forehead. May you be blessed, he said, and pulling a hospital ID from his pocket, disappeared into an office. Wrapped in his comforts, the Toddles nodded solemnly. Blessed, he told me. And I drove us home, determined to tell the cute story about the kid, the shots and the shared comforts that followed.

But of course, the comforts are bits of fabric that are frayed just so, brushed against the face in this one, proper way. And the oral comforts of the binky, that his brother eventually replaced with a thumb. The Toddles is awfully pragmatic about his edges and his binky - I could set my clock by him, the preschool teacher said, he goes for his edges and binky every day at the same time - but it's much the same thing. Tactile input, sensory input that balances his day's needs.

Which brings me circling back, I suppose, to the OT. Right, then, it's time to stop hiding and finish that next post. But for now, I'll leave you with this: the Toddles, re-balanced. And, might I mention, still awake at midnight...!!?

(Hey, Mo Willems: about that 2 am thing - can we discuss the example that Trixie's dad is setting?)


The Toddles said...

"Thank you for reminding me of my binky. I had forgotted it and you reminded me!"

One Bean Counting Man said...

(All comments seemingly attributed to "The Toddles" and "The Eldest" are probably the intellectual property of a Bean Counter. Probably.)

Jay said...

Sounds like we are going through it at the same time. Our 3.5 year-old had his first OT session on Monday. I am a born skeptic. But even if the SPD / SID thing is woo, the therapies are at worst harmless. The therapies make a common sort of sense to me. Even if they aren't necessarily evidence-based-medicine, they are logical. I'm committed for the initial 3 month run of OT. We can't afford it. But hey, the stakes are high, right? I'm looking forward to your next post.