Monday, November 17, 2014

Snow day for a kid with sensory issues (and a mom with a mood disorder)

Today is a snow day, and though I would prefer my two oldest kids be in school, I was ok.  Not particularly out of sorts.

The boys played video games in the morning, and N was happy watching old episodes of The Wizards of Waverly Place on Netflix.  I went through some school papers to recycle and used the Dremel tool to cut holes in some dried gourds with the intention of having the kids paint them and make them bird feeders.

In a lull, the kids decided they wanted to go outside to play in the snow, which led to the ordeal, from which I am still trying to recover a few hours after the fact.  Parents of kids with sensory processing problems know about the ordeal of winter dressing.

N and M just put on their ski pants, their coats, mittens and boots and head outside.
G is an altogether different matter that involves at least two episodes of tears for him and a surge in my blood pressure that lasts for hours.

I got his snow pants on with minimal squirming because I reminded him that I would pull his inner pants' legs down.  He wanted to wear the liner of his jacket, so I put that on him and then put the coat on top of it.  He became upset because he wanted the liner attached to the jacket; the liner zipper was touching his face and bothering him.  Now this could have easily been done without him disrobing, but the zipper set him off so much that he had to take both off.  Crying ensued, so he had to calm down.

When I got them on again (with the liner attached to the jacket), he then began complaining about his sleeves, so I pulled his shirt sleeves down inside his liner and jacket.

He complained about the boots next because they hurt the inside of his foot, which I had tried to prevent by putting him in high calf socks.

And then it was mitten time.  Even though he is 7 years old, I cannot buy G gloves because getting his fingers inside the slots is just a sensory nightmare.  He still has problems even getting his thumbs into their slots in the mittens.  And then there is the dilemma of fitting the gloves underneath the coat ends so he doesn't get snow down inside his globes.  The coat ends have to be snapped or he gets upset.

After who knows how long doing this, he and I headed outside.  The kids played, and I shoveled the drive.  In the 15-20 minutes that I shoveled the drive G came to me no less than 5 times to complain about his gloves, his boots coming undone, his gloves coming off again, snow in his hood (because he refused to wear a hat because it bothers him), and a knot being tied in the rope of the sled (which he couldn't stand either).

Basically, one minor thing sets him off which is followed by everything setting him off for a good long time.

I know he can't help it.  I totally empathize because I have my own clothing sensory issues.  But I'm never in a good place when my "routine" is interrupted (by a snow day or sickness or anything), and having to attempt to appease and settle a child who is freaking out about how a texture feels is unsettling because sometimes there is nothing I can do to make it not feel weird.

In my effort to decompress, I did find this, which made me feel better.

His worst and my worst (needing routine and not being able to get out of a bad mood once one has settled upon me) coincide on days like this to make it feel much longer than what it actually is.

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