Our little boys have this very annoying habit of waking us up at 6:00 in the morning on the weekends. They do this because they want to go downstairs to watch T.V. In order to discourage them from doing this, we keep sending them back to their room to play with toys until a more reasonable hour. They respond to this request by repeatedly coming into our room, every 2 minutes, until they wear us down to pleading, weeping, and finally submission. I know we've heard a lot on the news about various torture methods being deployed by the government. Clearly none of the people using these techniques are parents, because if they were, they would know that trying to sleep in the vicinity of an impatient and persistent child is one of the most effective torture methods out there. They keep coming in to our room, and we keep telling them to "Go play!". Then I lie awake (my husband, lucky him, can fall back asleep in a matter of seconds. I really kind of hate that.) and wait for the next appearance. It's like waiting for the next drip of water from a leaky faucet.
During one of these times of lying in wait, I overheard a conversation between Logan and his little brother. One of the sweetest things about the two of them is that even though people can't always understand either one of them when they speak (Cameron is only two, and Logan has a speech delay), they can understand each other perfectly. So they were having a conversation, and I couldn't quite hear the question Cameron asked him, but I could very clearly hear Logan's answer. And what he said nearly broke my heart. He said, in his sweet little voice, "I no like to play because it makes me sad."
I understood why he said this. Playing in the conventional sense is very hard for Logan. Planned, intentional movement is challenging for him, because two of the areas of his brain that are damaged are motor and visual/spatial. What we tend to think of as "playing" is actually hard work for him. And it's not something he can naturally pick up on his own. We've had to show him how to play, every step of the way. It took five years of sitting down with him and a pile of blocks for him to be able to build a tower. And now he's old enough to realize that other kids don't have that same problem. So when he plays, and it's difficult, and he senses that it shouldn't be, it makes him sad.
I let the tears run down my face, and I knew that we had to change some things. I always knew playing was difficult for Logan, and so we didn't push it because we wanted to give him a break. But clearly he needs more from us. And he can learn all kinds of things, when we work on it with him over and over and over again. So, let's "go play". Together.
Several posts ago I shared that we decided to try ADHD medication with Logan. I was a little conflicted about it but thought it would be smart to at least give it a try. Well, it lasted two days and we decided it was not the right course for us. Logan is normally a very happy little boy, but after only one day on the meds, he was an emotional basket case. And he kept telling me that his tummy hurt. He was just not himself, and we weren't seeing any positive effects. So we decided it wasn't worth it. But recently I've been doing research on vitamin supplements. I discovered some supplements that help the brain function more efficiently, and this particular brand (a brand I'm familiar with and I have used their products for the past 20 years) has had some success with children with developmental delays. So I called my mom and ordered some. They arrived, and then we were faced with the issue of how to get him to take them, seeing as they are in pill form. After staring at them and hoping for a brilliant idea to appear, we decided to crush them up a little and then dissolve them the rest of the way in milk. This worked alright, except that every time I gave him the doctored milk to drink, I kept thinking of Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory, and the episode where his friend drugs him by putting Valium in milk, and he gets totally stoned. Logan's expression of confused distaste only added to it. But every time I said "Logan, drink your milk", he'd take a sip. And then wrinkle his nose and look at the glass like" what the hell is up with the milk lately?" So now we are making breakfast smoothies and mixing in the crushed vitamins. So far that's working better. But we don't even know if all this effort will even pay off. Oy vey.
I am so glad you are here! Welcome to my blog. Look around and make yourself comfortable, because this is your space, too. My name is Amy, and I am no stranger to the ups and downs of life. Join me as we search for beauty and authenticity, tell our truth, and hold space for each other in the messiness of life.