Wednesday, December 17, 2008

snow days for Carver

This week we've been snowed in and missed 3 days of preschool in a row. I can't tell you how much it's made me appreciate preschool even more, just when I didn't think that was possible! :)

Yesterday in one phone call of reasonable length, he grabbed the butter out of the fridge to go squirt/shoot his sisters. One stick in each hand. As I put it back, I noticed the mustard on the kitchen floor, thankfully unopened. MINUTES later, he was carrying around the chunk of cheese from the fridge. Then it was the toilet paper, pulling it off with the intention of blowing his nose in it, but he doesn't have the skills to know how much is enough or how to stop - it's addicting, that TP. Then it was pushing the stool up to the sink to try and get water in a little cup he'd been playing with. Then to the pantry to try and help himself to fruit snacks, which brought the whole tub of snacky food down to the ground, spilling only slightly this time. I'm not exaggerating when I say that nearly every time I turn around, he's into something else inappropriate. He might just be running through the girls' play, taking toys from Grace, opening the front door because he can and because I'll ALWAYS come running to keep the snowy day outside. Maybe he's asking for play-doh, emptying something in the floor of the closet - something loud and with many pieces, a puzzle or the box of dominoes. Later, it was the pipe cleaners from our morning project with the girls spread all over the kitchen floor again.

I can see that he's searching for something, that he NEEDS something. But what? Why doesn't play-doh fix it? He's not hungry for food, he's hungry for sensory input. This is my sensory seeking boy - always seeking, trying to find it. I try to give him big squeezes, tight hugs, throws onto the couch, play-doh time, coloring, sticking connect-four style circles into a Fisher Price Noah's ark game. He loves the time with me, but I still never feel like he's satiated. Just writing this helps me organize my thoughts and try to see patterns. Because just like Carver, I'm always seeking answers and help.

Snow days are also hard because his big sisters are both home all day. Not only do they need something to do (even the best 5 year old and 7 year old can't entertain and feed themselves ALL day!), but they boss and nag and yell, "Car-VER!" in that way they've certainly heard their mother address her sweet boy. It's exhausting. I'm impatient with their impatience and that's no solution, for any of us.

We have one more chance for preschool tomorrow and then it's winter break anyway. It's going to be a LONG time til Jan 6. I've found myself slacking in our sweet preschool routine. It doesn't require as much of me and he's so fulfilled. Now it's back to the pre-preschool days (can you say that?) and I'm back to searching for more than a basic understanding of SPD. I need to know how to satiate this boy, which activities are going to fill his need. Am I supposed to be trying to calm him? Or get him going? I'm never sure.


Kari George (AKA Mom) said...

Hey Rachel! I was thinking about you yesterday when preschool was continually cancelled this week! So much for having 4 more days to get ready for Christmas, huh? I really enjoyed reading your blog and seeing Carver succeed in so many different avenues! Hang in there...we're going to all get thru this! Check out our new blog at! Also, have you checked out the book "The Out of Sync Child Has Fun?" It is written by the same author as the out of sync child and it gives some great ideas for helping Carver get that sensory input he is really craving. When Carson and Logan seem to be "out of control" I try to make myself stop and do a sensory activity with them to help them get it together again. That seems to help. If you keep trying things, hopefully you can find the things that really float his boat and satiate his sensory appetite.

Take care! Kari

Don and Amy Bennion said...

I've definitely heard William sounding impatient with his little brothers, and felt that pang of guilt knowing like you that he's heard those words in that tone from me. I think all the time about being a mom and how glad I am that kids are so forgiving, that they forget things, and that we always have a chance to change and be better. I'm not saying you could be better, because I am confident you are a fantastic mom, I am just reflecting on myself!

I am so impressed with your patience and the time you spend with your kids, thinking creatively, helping Carver. It does sound hard, but it also sounds like you are doing a great job. You are an impressive person.