Wednesday, January 27, 2010

So what do you DO all day?

A very common question for the stay at home mom. My old response (other than a raised eyebrow and a "what do YOU do all day") was, "I don't know, but it took all day." Some days this is still my answer. Trying to entertain the kid, make things interesting (for both of us), hopefully teach him something, enforce the rules even when you just want to let it go (you'd pay a high price for that later!), keep him safe (easier said than done), love him (easier done than said), and keeping the house in order (nearly impossible) while making dinner, bookwork, and if I'm really lucky---maybe speak to an adult for a few minutes. Somehow this takes all day. I mean, I suppose you could let your kid entertain himself all day, but that sort of defeats the purpose of being a stay at home mom, doesn't it? (sometimes I turn on a cartoon so I can go to the bathroom by myself...but he always finds me)

Anyway, many days, I have a totally different answer, but no one really wants to hear my list, so I usually just use the former response. This is all to say that the therapy with James is very involved and since the more you do, the better, we do a lot of it. Not only do we do all the sensory therapy, but James has a severe oral defensiveness, meaning he does not eat...anything. My child lives off of Pediasure, which isn't even remotely made to live off of. In between two naps per day (about 3 hrs between each nap and bedtime), we try to do a session of each therapy. The sensory therapy can really take as long as I want, depending on what we are doing. Some examples are: touching icky toys, tunnel crawling, giant foam room, playing with shaving cream, swinging, bouncing, jumping on the bed, squishing between pillows, spinning, etc. Most people will read this and think, 'well, this is just playing.' And it is, but there is a purpose to each 'game' and many of them are things that are very difficult or uncomfortable for James, so that is what we are working through. In some ways, it's nice to have such a structure for the day's play. Then comes oral therapy. We have some mouth exercises and tooth brushing (which is very new that he'll allow me to do).

Then there is food play. You got it---I am supposed to show my kid how to play with his food. Anything to make it fun! When he blows bubbles in his drink, or spits something out, or...guess what's really fun? Oh yeah, throwing it. lol But seeing as James has only just started to even touch things like yogurt, applesauce, meat strips, and lettuce, we gotta make it fun! And we are seeing real progress. He has started to lick a spoon, sometimes even with something on it. Every now and again he will put his hand in his mouth. He'll drink juice sometimes, even some soup. He chews things up, but spits it out because he doesn't know how to swallow it, and doesn't really want to. And in the process makes a monumental mess! It's funny, til I find...something...on the wall weeks later. Seriously, we're going to have to paint our house after this!

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