Wordy Wednesday – deep proprioceptive input

Ms. Wordy Wednesday is alarmed on arrival.
“Good grief Maddy! Is he o.k.? What did you do to the little chap? What is that huge thing on him? Or was it an accident? Is that a tooth brush in his mouth? Did he choke?”
“Um…where should I start? That big blue thing is a wedge, shaped like a slice of cake and we use it to do some amateur occupational therapy stuff.”
“You're right, that is a tooth brush, he's cleaning his teeth, he didn't choke and it's not accidental that he's under the big blue wedge, he did it deliberately, himself.”
“Um…..somehow…..that explanation doesn't seem to help very much.”
“Sorry. Let's start at the beginning. That's my youngest one.”
“Ah, the one with all the extra raw exposed nerve endings.”
“Yes and the 'don't touch me above the shoulders' thing.”
“Ah! So cleaning teeth must be a big issue around your house?”
“Yes indeedy. A very loud, screaming issue.”
“Actually, now that I look more closely at his face…….he looks quite happy!”
“He is. He's found a coping mechanism.”
“A coping mechanism?”
“Something to help him cope with the agony of cleaning his teeth.”
“Yes, I know what a coping mechanism is, duh! I just can't quite work out what it might be?”
“Do you notice a huge, five foot by 10 foot, blue wedge?”
“Sarcasm doesn't become you! Yes I see it. How could I miss it, but how does it help?”
“Say you're experiencing something painful, like at the dentist.”
“Do you grip the arms of the chair or dig your nails into your flesh to distract you?”
“Yes to the former no to the latter.”
“O.k. how about during child birth?”
“How do you mean?”
“Did you grit your teeth, grind your teeth, grip something with a stranglehold?”
“Ooo you're not helping today.”
“So when was the last time that you were in real pain?”
“Er…..when my son fell off his bike and we rushed him to the ER. I kept talking to him and reassuring him but my mind was racing. I think I must have said every prayer I know a thousand times.”
“Ah. Not quite what I meant but that still works. Your brain was in pain so you distracted it with something else, another activity by praying so you didn't have to think about the other stuff.”
“Yes, I suppose so. Doesn't everybody do that?”
“Yes I think they probably do, but sometimes they do it in other ways. For my son, deep pressure keeps him grounded, literally in this case. By having his whole body squished it helps calm him, so that he's better able to deal with the unpleasant sensation in his mouth.”
“You sound a bit doubtful?”
“Well it's not exactly portable is it? I mean how much does that……wedge weigh?”
“I don't know, but it's certainly heavy.”
“Not really a long term solution.”
“True, it's temporary, but it's his personal fix and now we know, we can make other adjustments.”
“Such as?”
“We have a couple of weighted vests that do the same job and a couple of other vests with Velcro that can be adjusted to give you that same feeling of snugness.”
“Yes, like you swaddle babies to calm them, or how your mum pulled the sheets tight when she tucked you in at night, or that heavy winter coat that always feels so reassuring.”
“So “proprioceptive input” is just a big word for squishing!”
“In this particular instance, but there’s a lot more too it than that.”
“Another time then?”
“Sure. Oh and don't let an occupational therapist hear you say that! She’d have my guts for garters!”

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Womankind – idleness is the devil's work

Womankind – idleness is the devil's work
It's great to be a woman in today's world because we are always busy and never bored.  I'm so busy right now I hardly have a minute to write, but no matter, because most of my writing is already written a week ahead of time, which means I just have to push the 'publish' button.  I rarely do 'real time.'

Meanwhile I do laundry, wash, dry, fold and put away.  When I'm not doing that I fill in with childcare, homework, band aides and kisses goodnight.  I have friends that I can call for a chat, people I can meet and always the never ending shopping.  I am just like every other busy mum and stay at home parent.  I'm so busy that many things back up, so that instead of darning a sock I'll throw it away and buy a new pair.

I must be a strange spectacle, beetling about my house dressed to the nines amid housewifely duties.  I dressed at 5:20 in the morning, all ready for an evening out.  I knew then, that it was unlikely that an opportunity to 'dress for the evening' would present itself.

The wonder of busyness is that I am occupied and have no time to think.  Thinking is generally bad for my mental health, far better to be busy and have no time to dwell.  I can scrub my children with a Brillo pad until they sparkle and gleam.

I have been so busy the last few hours that I'm all caught up, even though my spouse isn't here. I could go into the garden and manicure the lawn with a pair of nail scissors, to occupy my time and stop my brain from whirring.

Maybe it's time to put something in alphabetical order, some books perhaps, to calm the chaos.  Perhaps I could stand with the duster buster in one hand, mid air, with the switch in the on position and catch the microbes before they have time to settle. He's not here because he's in England, at his father's hospital bedside.  I don't expect either of them are doing anything.  They are not busy.  They can chat if his dad is conscious but other than that, I expect they're pretty static.

When it is very late and very dark I go to my bedroom, strip off and flop into bed as I am completely out of 'busy.'  So few short hours between this morning, and now.  Men!  What do they know? Just give me the chance to tell my father in law how busy I really am, an opportunity to cherish.

Maybe if I start hunting now, I might find a sock to darn by morning?

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