Whoever said parenting is a breeze MUST have been referring to the gale force South Easter!
“Argh, silly socks! Come on, I can’t take it anymore!” This, my cue to step in and try and solve the 6:30am dilemma. As I step into the bedroom, I am hit by a tornado of socks, clothes, shoes, etc. The drawers have been pulled out, clothes everywhere! I feel my irritation rising, I know it’s going to take at least 20 minutes to deal with this!
“Kai, what’s wrong? Can you please just get done now? Just put on your socks for goodness sake!” words spoken with a hint if impatience…
He replies with clenched teeth, the anger rising and his body over flowing with intolerance while flinging another pair of school socks on the floor! “None of my socks fit. I don’t know why we have to wear silly school socks!”
I take a deep breath and sit down next to him on the bed and start stretching the socks, one of many ‘steps’ I need to take (excuse the pun!) to finding the ‘perfect’ pair of socks, for today!
Finally I manage to get the socks to feel ‘just right’ on his small feet. I leave him to put his school shoes on and 10 minutes later he is still busy! “Mooooooommmyyyyyyy!” Comes the call from the tornado ravaged bedroom. “these shoelaces are too long, it keeps touching the floor when I walk!”
“Oh for heaven’s sake” I think to myself, really now!
He grabs the scissors and starts cutting at the laces! Frustrated beyond belief!
Finally I persuade him that the best thing to do is to swop shoelaces with another pair of shoes. We do this, but now the shoelaces aren’t tying right! “OMG give me strength” – I blurt out! I yank his foot onto my lap and start tying his shoelaces. “Noooo, I can do it myself, just leave me alone!”
After many attempts, he finally let me tie the ONE shoelace. He walks down the passage to ‘test’ it out. Comes back, “arghhh, this one is too tight”, and so the shoelace-tie-perfect testing starts all over. After the second attempt I manage to tie it ‘just right’.
Finally, after 40 minutes we have socks and shoes on, ready for the day!
Many people look at my son, a happy go lucky child (most days); he is kind, a great friend to have and a real hard worker! But what most people don’t know is that he struggles with some sensory challenges, certain things need to be done in a certain way, it needs to be done just right, it needs to feel just right…
I don’t always have the patience, some mornings it feels like I’m navigating the South Easter with one wing on by back, trying to make it through the morning in one piece!! No wait, trying to make it through the morning with BOTH of us in one piece!!
I have to appreciate these parenting challenges. A lesson in patience, tolerance and empathy. Parenting the sensory and slightly obsessive compulsive child is not easy. Parenting any child is not easy, it is rewarding – infinitely rewarding, but definitely not easy!
PS – he only wears school socks, even on weekends. Believe it or not, it is his most comfortable socks, and only the soft, dark grey, long socks 🙂