Exclusive – you can only find them in one place, I’ve checked

The back drop to my life is a constant stream of little ditties, scripts on the whole. It’s like wallpaper, always there but not particularly noticeable once you’ve grown accustomed to the pattern. Because they’re collected from such varied sources, the ‘voice’ changes. It’s a bit like flicking through radio or television channels, variety. Here we have TIVO for many different reasons, mainly parental censorship and a need to avoid all advertisements. But now we have “Nonna” in residence so we also have adverts.

I try my best to hold a coherent conversation with “Nonna,” very early in the morning:-

“Wot you do den?” she asks, bleary eyed in the kitchen.
“Just getting a jump on breakfast,” I bellow since it is unlikely that she wears her hearing aid at 5:10 in the morning.
“Bananas…….an excellent source of Potassium.” echoes from the family room.
“It is dark. Is it night time or already is it dah morning? Where iz dah clock?”
“Over there, above your head, it’s just gone five in the morning.”
“Price line! Knee Go Tee AyTor.”
“Why you ave dah television on?”
“I don’t……..well…….the radio is on. That’s probably what you can hear.”
“Make a U-turn if possible.”
“I tink I watch dah BBC. You can turn it on for me…..please?”
“Are you sure, it’s still very early. Would you like to wait a bit, maybe later?”
“Dya wanna have music in your soul?”
“Wot time you say it iz?”
“Early, very early in the morning. You don’t usually get up this early.”
“You are making breakfast or dinner?”
“Love! Show me the love.”
“I tink I am confused a bit because it is dark still.”
“Hmm, maybe go back to bed for a while. Do you want to take a coffee with you, some tea?”
“Thanks so much! You’ve been a great audience tonight.”
“No. Thank you. I tink I shall just read. Ave you seen my book?”
“Elusive acid spitting Mongolian death worm.”
I pause in my book search and turn my attention back to my son.
“I beg your pardon? What did you just say?”
“Which bit is it that I am just say?”
“The last bit.”
“Elusive acid spitting Mongolian death worm?”
“Yes. That bit. What is that……exactly?”
“It is exactly…….in my imagination.”

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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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Wordy Wednesday # 7

Ms. Wordless Wednesday cuts straight to the chase,


“see! I'm not even going to bother this time Maddy,

go on,

just tell me all about it?”
“Golly, how gracious of you.”
“I get the picture, bad picture at that. I'm gonna get you that book 'Photography for Dummies.'”
“Your generosity overwhelms me, as always.”
“So what am I looking at then?”
“You tell me.”
“I can't.”
“Yes, you can, you're getting good at this now.”
“Well, I can't. I don't know your kids well enough and anyway they are a bit……er…….different.”
“I know what you mean but in this particular instance he's not being different he's being ordinary.”
“Is that supposed to help?”
“It's just a little hint to point you in the right direction.”
“Fine. Let me see. Well he has the mouth thing of course.”
“Well spotted. You remembered. When he's concentrating his mouth goes slack. Lip closure, or lack of it, is always a dead give away.”
“So he's concentrating on a…..what is that thing anyways?”
“Just an ordinary toy.”
“Ah! Got it. He's perseverating.”
“Nearly. I'm impressed. Perhaps I should have given you a ‘before’ and after picture?”
“Hang on a minute. There's a before? You're playing tricks with me. No fair!”
“You're right of course, but I didn't have a chance to do a 'before' picture and it would have been an even worse picture.”
“O.k. So what would the 'before' picture have been?”
“Major meltdown.”
“Not pretty? Probably just as well you skipped the 'before' then.”
“I thought so.”
“So what was he having a meltdown about? Do I really want to know come to think of it?”
“You don't want to know, and really it doesn't really matter, that's not the point.”
“What is the point?”
“The point, is that the meltdown passed. He calmed himself down.”
“So that's him calmed down right?”
“Exactly, or rather in the process of calming down, calming himself down in fact.”
“New toy?”
“Old toy, rediscovered.”
“The toy is magic?”
“Might as well be, but not really. It's just that we get all wound up sometimes, into a bit of a tizzy. We all need to learn how to calm ourselves down again. It doesn't really matter how any of us do it, just that we learn what works for us.”
“And that works for him? Watching those little coloured bubble things floating up and down?”
“Yes. Well……yes at the moment. It works at the moment but it might not work tomorrow or next week.”
“Bit like one of those Lava Lamps from the 70's?”
“You're showing your age dearie!”
“Oops! Still, progress nonetheless right? See I can use those English words too!”
“Indeed you can, and so eruditely.”
“Don't show off now!”
“As if?”
“O.k. so that's all for now huh?”
“Yes, lots of 'om' thoughts.”
“You kill me, you really do.”

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