Friday, January 10, 2014

Touch and Go

A few weeks back, I weeded out the clothes that Aria refuses to wear.  She was left with 4 pairs of pants, 4 tees, and 2 dresses.  None of it is what I would consider cold weather clothing.  In fact, much of it is what I'd consider more suited for summer.  She stopped wearing her Bear Paw boots a few weeks back as well.  I was so excited when I found those boots. It meant I could stop worrying about her poor sockless toes.  She hasn't worn socks in almost a year. So when she suddenly told me that she couldn't wear the boots anymore, something about the sole coming up just enough to irritate her foot, my heart sank.  She's been wearing some hand me down Keen sandals for the last few weeks.  They're good shoes, but again, something more appropriate for summer. 

I have two pairs of nice winter boots, brand new, just out of the box sitting in our apartment but the minute Aria tries them on, she is just as quickly trying to rip them off her feet.  Last week is also when I handed Lesley 10 pairs of handmade undies that I bought for Aria.  She did like them for a bit but one day she woke up and she couldn't stand the feel of them.  If Aria isn't going to wear them then I'd at least like someone to get use out of them.

Maybe something was in the air these past two weeks because 2 of the 4 pairs of pants Aria was willing to wear joined the reject pile as well.  I cried that day.  I know, it sounds absolutely ridiculous.  Crying.  Because of pants. 

But as I added those two pairs of pants to the massive pile of reject clothing, I couldn't help it.  There in that pile were the long sleeve tees, the dresses, the leggings, the sweaters, and hoodies that I had bought in the desperate hope that Aria would wear them.  At first, I just bought what I thought she might like, then only what she had tried on and approved...but I've learned that it doesn't really matter and that clothes that she tries on and approves is just as likely to end up in the reject pile as clothes that she doesn't.  I wasn't crying over the pants as much as I was over the overwhelming and defeating feeling that I am incapable of making my own daughter comfortable.

I feel like a failure. 

The growing pile of clothes is a visual reminder of my failures.  

We had a small success yeaterday.  Aria really wants to learn ballet.  I knew the clothing would be a challenge for her.  But I signed her up because she wanted it so much.  This morning as she pulled on the tights it was too much for her, she crumbled onto the floor pulling at the tights and wailing.  I told her she didn't have to go, that we wouldn't be mad but of course the problem wasn't that she thought she had to go, the problem was that she WANTED to go; but she wanted the clothes to feel right.  I can't say I blame her; I like my clothes to feel right too.  

I tried to hold it together but it's been a long few weeks.  Her sensory issues are harder to manage and I am at the end of my rope; I don't know what to do for her anymore.  I started sobbing.  My heart was incredibly sad for Aria, sad that something as simple as clothing can set the mood for her entire day, that it can potentially stop her from experiencing things she wants to experience.  She did go and she did great but like everything these days it was touch and go.  I left my name and number with the lady at the desk in case Aria had a meltdown in class.  

I've been doing a little research on sensory processing disorders and things are starting to make sense.  Her desire for huge bear hugs that take her breath away, the way she digs her legs under my body at bedtime, her trouble staying still and focusing, her anxiety, her struggles to fall asleep and stay asleep, her love for pillow nests... I didn't know what she needed but Aria has known all along and has sought the things that calm the sensory overload and bring her comfort.  

She starts OT soon.  All my hope hinges on the success of OT.  I'm never going to understand her struggles; I'm never going to know what it feels like to worry if the next sensation will bring pain and discomfort, but I'm hoping I can learn to be the support she so desperately needs. I love this photo of Aria.  This is what I want for my child.  Dancing, experiencing life without her clothes holding her back.

Anyone else have a sensory kid?  How do you support your little one?


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