Ah, the joys of Sensory Processing Disorder.
We are making progress, I can see it every day. The meltdown at the chiropractor's office yesterday - after being asked to back down from a spat with his sister, he started to lose it. Crying and being frustrated turned into pulling on his hair and then punching his eyes. Every mental discomfort becomes physical discomfort, and he comes undone. Keenly aware of the horrified gaze of the older couple sitting in the waiting area with us and the sideways glances from the reception staff, I pulled him onto my lap.
"NO!" he yells, "DON'T TOUCH ME!!" He struggles to get loose. Quietly I say to him, "Here, push on my arm. Push me away from you." He begins to push on my arm, getting deep pressure therapy by virtue of his own struggle. All it takes is a few moments, and he begins to visibly relax. "You're not pushing hard enough," I say with a smile. He giggles. All is well.
I wish he'd make progress about his feet, but I fear we may never see it. I dread buying shoes; it is an ordeal that I need a bottle of whiskey, a rope and a tractor to accomplish. The rope and the tractor are simply to drag him into the store and hold him still long enough for me to find shoes that fit him - shoes that he will actually WEAR. They must fit loosely so that nothing pokes his foot. They must be reasonably soft. It helps if they have a picture on them of Lightning McQueen or Buzz Lightyear. He's motivated by his characters. But if they poke his foot in any way, if he can feel a seam or a tongue, forget it. We're all done with THAT pair, thankyouverymuch. The whiskey? That's for me. Just call it anaesthesia.
C also refuses to wear socks. His sister does as well. Its a genetic preference, I'm sure, because on weekends I rarely wear them either. I go barefoot constantly as soon as the weather is warm enough, and if shoes are required, they're usually slipped on bare feet.
Winter is always a concern. The sock refusal seems fraught with dangers -- waiting for the bus, recess, walking between the portable and the main school, all in sub-freezing temperatures. The rains of spring don't really alleviate the concern, but I've learned to just sit on that desire to FIX and understand that so far he hasn't actually lost a foot to frostbite. The likelihood that he will make it to adulthood without socks seems more possible every day.
But the buying of shoes -- always something to avoid. Just last night as I was getting him out of the tub and into his PJ's I noticed the bottoms were pulling away from the fabric in the front. Oh, great. How long can I delay buying shoes? Days? A week maybe? Definitely need to do it soon.
Not soon enough.
A phone call today from the school. One of the duties on the playground was concerned because my son has no socks and his shoe is falling apart.
I'm getting better at not feeling like a complete parenting failure when things like this happen, but there's always a few moments where I close my eyes and let the feelings of shame, anger, frustration and resignation wash through me. Then I take a breath, compose myself, and thank the person for calling. Its not their fault, they're new, they don't know my son. They don't live this. I suppose if I was the playground duty on a cold Tuesday in February and I saw the kid who looked normal running around without holey shoes and no socks I'd probably assume there was some negligent parenting going on too. Or maybe not. Who knows?
Will they let me add verbage to his IEP to the effect that no one is allowed to question the state of his shoes, at least to my face?
Pardon me while I go grab a rope from the barn, rent a tractor and buy a bottle of whiskey. I've got some shoes to buy.