A child with SPD and Anxiety Disorder can sometimes equal a recipe for disaster.
This weekend the boys and I visited the local YMCA to inquire about a membership. We got the grand tour and the boys were delighted to see a giant, 2-story slide by the pool. While I was signing up for the membership the boys were glued to the window watching the pool and the slide. I overheard one of the other people working at the Y telling the boys that they’d have to pass a swim test before they could go down the slide. They had to be able to swim 25 yards on the bellies and then 25 yards on their backs and then tread water for 30 seconds. Eli asked about treading water and was immediately anxious about the fact that it involved being in water where he couldn’t touch.
I finished what I was doing and we left. Eli sang YMCA to me for the better part of the ride home. I can only assume that the hand gestures that go along with the song were being performed as well.
Not much was said about the Y that day except that the boys would start swimming lessons again soon and that both boys wanted to do karate.
We got up yesterday morning with the understanding that the boys could go swimming at the Y after we finished running our errands. Throughout the morning Eli started talking louder and louder and began making various sounds – noises just to make noise. He was running, jumping, climbing, tipping chairs, throwing – well, you get the picture. He couldn’t stop. We took some time to discuss his feelings thermometer that he learned with the psychologist. We talked about the breathing techniques he learned with the psychologist. During this discussion he just got goofy and silly and wouldn’t cooperate. We talked about the things his OT has taught him when he’s feeling this way. Then I sent him to the basement to work out some of these things!
For those of you that don’t know, our basement is a sensory heaven! We hired some folks to finish the basement a couple of years ago and we hung swings and have a trampoline that the boys have access to whenever they want. It’s great for Eli when he’s on overload but often he won’t go down without being told to. I long for the day when he seeks out what he needs on his own!
Anyway, the basement seemed to only make things worse. Eli did something to make Keegan mad while down there (I’m guessing it was the non-stop talking that put Keegan over the edge). Keegan pushed a swing at Eli and it hit him square in the nose. He came back upstairs crying. There was no blood so we continued to move forward with our morning.
We left the house to run our errands. Bad choice on our part. We took all that was Eli yesterday and packed him into the confines of a vehicle. I’m pretty sure I lost my mind during the car ride to the store and back home. We had him go to his room when we got home so that I could get a break and so that he could have some alone time.
We left for the Y and FINALLY got out of Eli that he was terrified about taking the test so that he could use the slide. We were able to explain that he wasn’t going to be taking the test until after he had more swim lessons and felt more comfortable in the deeper water. It seemed to help a little. Unfortunately with his modulation issues he was already up so coming back down just wasn’t an option for the remainder of the day.
We swam until we were exhausted – well the adults were exhausted anyway! We came home, relaxed in front of the fire and ate a little popcorn. We got the boys to bed a little early because the exhaustion finally set in for them too. Swimming seems to be a great outlet for them.
If only the story ended there…
Poor Eli woke up around 2am complaining that he had black snot all over his face. That set off alarms even in my totally exhausted, mostly comatose brain. I went to the bathroom with him and helped him wipe off his face. I walked into his bedroom to find that his bed looked like an animal had been slaughtered in it. It seemed as though he DID end up with a bloody nose after being hit in the nose with the swing – it just took more than 12 hours to set in.
So I cleaned up his bed and gave him a new pillow to sleep on. Part of me felt the need to start the laundry immediately. Of course, the comatose part of me was ready to crawl right back into bed. I should have started the laundry because Eli was up moments later anxious about the blood and wondering if he was going to wake up covered in blood again. It took almost an hour to get him calmed down and back to sleep.
Now? Now he and Keegan are playing in the middle of the living room floor. They are playing nicely and Eli is calm. The blood still comes off and on but he doesn’t seem to be too worried about it. I must have done a good job not making a big deal of it in the wee small hours of the morning. And, the theme of the day is RELAXATION! I have some minor chores to get done around the house today and the boys get to relax and play. We have nowhere to go and nothing important to do. Hopefully we can keep the calm so that school goes well this week!
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