Monday, January 21, 2008

Bit Nippy, Eh?

I recently spoke with the woman who did Ethan's observation back in November. She was quite insightful and pleasant to talk to, and I felt an immediate rapport with her. We chatted at length, not only about my son, but about her own kids and their experiences dealing with sensory integration issues. She had some great advice on how to help Ethan deal with environments of excessive stimulation (like a noisy classroom), and also things we can do at home.

Things like buying foam bats and beating the crap out of each other.

Or squishing him with a pillow.

Or making him carry heavy things around the house.

Yes. If you can believe it, these kids actually do respond well to these activities. Kids with auditory processing disorder, like she believes Ethan has, tend to need lots of physical stimulation to counteract the painful stimuli. They need joint pressure (hence the squishing and the lugging), and roughhousing to release the pent-up energy (aka the beatings).

And I am nothing if not a caring mother. If I have to beat him senseless, well, that's what I'll do.

Out of love, of course.

(An excuse to beat my child? How jealous are you right now?)

In the classroom, for a short-term solution until we can get him into occupational therapy, she suggested we get him a pair of earmuffs that he can put on when the room gets too loud for him. So, off we went to the sporting goods store this weekend to buy him a pair.

We found some nice gray camouflage ones. And while we were there, Ethan fell in love with a stupid looking reindeer hat.


Seriously, it's like a reindeer/platypus hybrid. If you saw an animal like this in nature, you would shoot the poor thing and put it out of its misery. But since we were expecting some arctic winds through our area this week, my husband went ahead and bought it for him.

He hasn't taken it off since.

When I took him to school yesterday, being that it was a holiday, his regular teachers were not there. He was in a new classroom with new teachers, and he was feeling a little uncomfortable. He asked me if he could leave his retarded reinypus hat and earmuffs on.

I said he could. I understood that he was using them as a sort of security blanket, as he does at times with his coat. It's not unusual for him to leave his coat on in new environments. If it helps him cope with the stress of the situation, it's fine by me. And if a ridiculous hat and earmuffs make him feel more comfortable, only the world's biggest bitch would have a problem with that.

(Can you sense the foreshadowing?)

Okay, the new-to-him teacher was not a bitch, but she is used to working with the older kids. She's a third through sixth grade teacher who is obviously unfamiliar with Ethan's peculiarities.

As I was saying my goodbyes, I kept feeling the weight of her stare.

So, the kid wants to wear his fugly hat. Big deal!

She was still staring when I spoke with the other teacher about his eccentric apparel.

When Ethan walked me to the door.

When I gave him a kiss.

When I waved good-bye.

Then I heard it. A pithy little remark under her breath.

"Must be cold in here."

I paused for a fraction of a second, considered turning around and giving her my best "I'm watching you" DeNiro gesture. In the end, I didn't. I'd already explained Ethan's little get-up to the other teacher. She understood. And since this was just a one-day arrangement, there was no use getting into a "thing" with her.

I left.

Walked out to my car, and happened to catch a glimpse of my reflection in the window.

I mentioned it was cold, right?

Yeah. Let's just say it was noticeably so.

(Basic physiology, wench. Get over yourself.)


The Casual Perfectionist said...

It's been a tit bit nipply here too. I mean, it's been unseasonably cold. Yeah, that's it. ;)

Lis Garrett said...

You have a lot more restraint that I, my friend!

missburrows said...

He is adorable and you are an awesome mom. The rest is not important.

Avery Gray said...

Momma--probably should have worn a thicker sweater. ;o)

Lis and Miss Burrows--thanks!

Natalie said...

It took me a few minutes to "get it". I was prepared to tell you how much of a better person you are for not saying a word and then it hit me: she was talking about YOU. I'm a little slow today.


Avery Gray said...

Natalie--oh, good! I thought I might not have made that clear. Maybe some creative italics are in order...

CamiKaos said...

I swear if I hadn't been wearing my big puffy coat today I would have been having some... um... noticability issues too.

Lizzi said...

What I want to know is, did you shake 'em at her when you went to pick Ethan up?

Misssy M said...

I know hats..and that's a great hat. I think he can pull it off as inside wear. When have teachers ever understood how to "work" a garment?

Caffeine Court said...

What's the matter? Does she have "nipple envy?"

What a byotch.

Love the hat. My daughter wears stuff like that all the time. It's her thang!

Edge said...

Like the new profile pic BTW.

I just hope his hat soesn't start to lay eggs.


Edge said...

giggle ... someone said "tit" and "nipple" giggle


Edge said...

My wife doesn't wear lacey bras because of that. But I think it's hot.

On the hat. I'm curious, what about just some cotton in his ears or those little ear plugs. I had to use them to keep my ears from hurting a few nights ago. They cut sound by like 30 decibals and they even come with a little case. You can buy flesh colored ones ( here's where I make my money as a writer with the tie in )




And they look like stiff nipples.


Jod{i} said...

Oh ...Oh My!

The foamy things are great arent they?

loveyh said...

HA! I am still laughing at the hat.

And the fact that your hibeams are on. I bet she was distracted all to hell.

terri said...

I got all the way down to Natalie's comment before I "got it."

And I just willingly admitted that.

And I haven't even been drinking.

It's stress. Or lack of sleep. Or I'm just a moron.

Kimberly said...

Heh heh...brilliant.

Avery Gray said...

Cami--I didn't grab a coat on the way out the door. Oops! ;o)

Lizzi--baby, I shake 'em at anyone who will look! LOL!

Misssy--silly frumps wouldn't know style if it bit 'em on the ass!

Jill--what else could it be but nipple envy? Ha!

Jef--thanks! My husband thinks it makes me look younger than my other one. And I'm all for looking younger. I'm still laughing at your little joke about the flesh-toned earplugs. Take you awhile to think that one up? ;o) Seriously though, he can't use them because they block too much sound. Crazy, huh?

Jodi--indeed they are! Therapeutic for both of us!

Lovey--we have that affect on people.

Terri--it's okay. You can blame it on me. It was a little cryptic!

Kimberly--why, thank you! ;o)

Doodaddy said...

Eeeek, I'm feeling a little titillated now. (Ooops, bad word choice, I guess...)

I worked with a kid with an auditory processing deficit once -- the ear muffs are a fantastic idea. Wish I'd thought of him! (Or, for that matter, one of his countless caregivers and teachers. Hmmmm.)

Good luck...


Groovy Mom said...

OMG! Was that woman really commenting on your anatomy? Jealous, I'll bet. ;-)

That hat! I tried to talk my husband into buying that exact hat for himself yesterday. His job keeps him primarily outdoors so he was looking for something to keep him warm during this cold snap we're having. He didn't think it looked professional enough. Silly man.

Darrin said...

HA! Loved this post! Nice twist at the end!

holly said...

i was really let down by the lack of butt-kicking in this. that's where i am today. i was looking forward to a good old fashioned butt-kicking at the end.

next time?

but my violent (today) heart (brain, actually) was melted (warmed?) by the cuteness of the kid with the new-life-form hat.

seriously i need less coffee.

Doozie said...

Hmmmmm....nice to have teachers who are snarky huh?

So, I would have brandished a knife at her

I like that retarded hat, it has character written all over it, when he's done with it maybe I can have it?

Emma Sometimes said...

Does the hat come in 35T? I would SO wear it.

And really? Is the teacher really a dude? What woman complains about another woman 'getting cold'?

I'm going to be the good friend and say I liked the other picture better. The black and white makes your picture (when small sized) look like the Joker's smile but really, when your avatar looks like Cousin It, you can say those things. (You can push me off the top of the bump and jump on Saturday.)

sybil law said...

Hahaha that is just funny. Nipply goodness. Even better if it offended her!
That hat rocks, too. :)

monkeysandmarbles said...

wow...i'm impressed with your willpower. i would have ripped that stare right off her face and rammed it down her throat!

i don't understand why some people become teachers...people like this that obviously lack any of the compassion, understanding and open-mindedness needed to work with kids.

nice hat, though! ;-)

meleah rebeccah said...

You RULE as a mom...THAT picture is precious!!

Huckdoll said...

Way cute kid. Future heart breaker for reals.