Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Day 8: Wits and Wills

The official score is -- Simon: 2, Therapists: 1, Mommy: 0

As I mentioned earlier, Simon is starting to get a bit more frustrated. He's also starting to get a bit tired of the constant therapy -- something we all could see coming since he far prefers independent and self-directed play. Our infernal meddling is really starting to irk him.

Yesterday, Daddy took Simon to KKI for what we are starting to refer to as "Morning School." There were some tears at separation, but they were reasonably short lived. The general grouchiness persisted. The OT would pull out toy after toy, trying to spark some interest in our taciturn little guy, but he flatly refused to play.

OT: Simon, how about Potato Head!!

Simon: No, no, no. Shakes the head vehemently. NO.

OT: dumping the pieces out onto the table -- "But look at all this great stuff! Let's play!"

Simon: NO, NO, NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

OT: "You don't want to play? Ok. Let's put it away. Can you help put it away?"

At this point, Simon thinks he has scored a victory. What he fails to realize, is that the entire time he is satisfyingly removing the offending toy, the therapist is getting him to stretch, pull, grasp and release the objects using his left hand and arm. In other words, he is working on therapy.

Simon: 0, Therapists: 1

Today, I took Simon. There were a LOT of tears at separation. But I kissed him good bye and closed the door. I then proceeded to wander the halls of KKI, passing by his door every few minutes to (let's be honest) torture myself by listening to his building melt-down. About 20 minutes in, I couldn't take it anymore and knocked. The therapist cracked the door (I think she knew it was me) so Simon couldn't catch a glimpse, and said she wanted to give it another ten minutes. I told her where I'd be waiting.

Sure enough, a few minutes later, a red-faced, tear-streaked little guy came out of the room to go and "find Mommy." The deal was he had to carry a bean bag turtle in his left hand the entire way. Finding the terms acceptable, he came to get me and tearfully fell into my arms. I'm pretty sure those final sobs were simply to punctuate how awful I was for leaving him in the first place.

Together (with the turtle), we made our way back to our classroom. With me hanging out in the background providing encouragement and an occasional cuddle-break, we managed to get through another hour or so of "work."

Simon: 1, Therapists: 1, Mommy: 0

However, when the PT switched with the OT, Simon took the opportunity to up the ante, and raised his price. I was still in the room with him (and, honestly, I really enjoy watching and participating -- I learn so much that way, though I know I am a distraction), but he was melting down again and wasn't interested in further cooperation.

It went down like this:

Therapist: Simon, let's play with this Elmo microwave!

Simon: Moooooommmmmmyyyyyy........

Mommy: Come on, Simon! You can play with Elmo! How fun, let's see what we can do!

Simon: Mooommmyyy.. want to go? Go bye-bye in the car?

Mommy: After we finish here. Simon is a big boy, let's play!

Therapist: Look Simon, Mommy is here! Let's make her something to eat with this fun Elmo microwave! You can push the buttons! What food should we make?

Simon: (Ignores Therapist, looks at Mommy) Go get some food? Go bye-bye in the car? Get a BAGEL? Want some Turkey Bagel? Go? Get a BAGEL! In the CAR?!

Mommy: (Sigh.) Okay, Simon. You play like a big boy and after we are ALL DONE I will take you to get a Bagel.

Simon: Turkey Bagel?

Mommy: Yes. Turkey Bagel.

Simon. Okay!

We got through the rest of the day this way. He'd complete a task, remind me of our bargain, and then we'd get through the next task.

Repeat, bribe, repeat, bribe, repeat.

Finally, we were done for the day and, true to my word, I took the little guy out for lunch to his favorite place to get a bagel with turkey. He was thrilled, and I don't think I was imagining that he was just the tiniest bit smug about it.


  1. Smug with a turkey sandwich, and that's okay. Thanks for writing. So many people could learn from you.

  2. COCOA mom
    sorry laura, im laughing. he's is a smart little