We found out earlier this week that Ethan did finally get a permanent spot at the special therapy place that we'd been trying to get into. And not only did he have a spot, his therapy was going to be overseen by the head of the clinic, who is a very well-respected expert on sensory therapy (and many other things). So today we headed to therapy for another try at working on some of his bigger issues.
I felt like a rotten mother within approximately 30 seconds of walking into the room. Got the kids' shoes and coats off just fine, then the therapist said a phrase that sent chills down my spine "okay, so just go hang out with the kids in the play area and do some pretend play with them." I'm not sure if the look on my face was terror or confusion- but thankfully they taped the whole thing so that I can see my utter suckiness on DVD later!
Before you worry too much about me, I do interact with my kids. We read books and play play-doh and color. But when it comes to pretend play, I don't typically get involved. They do a good job of playing together and they understand each other and so I'm superfluous. And, honestly, I don't know how to do pretend play. I've never been good around kids and don't know how to play on their level. Projects or crafts? Sure. Just play? I am clueless.
So I spent 30 minutes looking like an idiot while the therapists (yes, there were two of them!) tried to give me lessons on how to do pretend play with the kids. And I understand the point that they were making, that this is important for helping Ethan learn to predict things and watch how others interact with the world and know what's going on in the world around him. And that all plays into how he interacts with food. So it's important.
But I still suck at it. As I told the therapists, I'm just too tightly wound to be a good mom in this area. I get stressed out by all the mess and the crashing of blocks/cars/books/whatever is at hand. Ethan's always been energetic and loud and now with 700-900 extra calories in him... the volume and energy is WAY up. And I have trouble letting go and just putting up with the mess and loudness in my tiny home.
This was already at top of my prayer list- learning how to be more patient with the kids and more involved. It's been a big struggle for me lately with all that's going on with Ethan, it's just so incredibly overwhelming and I want to hide in the bathroom all day. But that's not what I need to be doing as a mom, and is definitely not the right attitude. I need an attitude adjustment. I think this therapy is going to be more about helping me than helping Ethan!