Sunday, October 10, 2010


Today was a day where I could see everyone one around me looking at me like I was a normally friendly dog on the verge of going into pack mode. Not good.

I can't say I don't know where a day like this comes from because they tend to happen on Sundays that follow cycles where I haven't had a non-working day for two or three weeks.

"Child. Child. Child! Child! CHILD!" I can hear myself sounding more and more like one of those unreasonable parents at the playground that is so obviously overwrought, but I find almost no way to stem my feelings.

My wife, gratefully, was having a better day, and stepped in where necessary to head me away from the cliff I'm still perfectly prepared to drive right over.

Not that the kids were much help either. Both of them were in ON mode like I haven't seen for a long time.

My boy refused to nap and clung to me like he was trying to set down roots. I love the little guy, but I've got chafe marks from where his little hands were gripping the scruff of my neck. I'm so glad he finally went to sleep.

My daughter, who to be fair is used to me having a pretty fair amount of patience, kept going at my personal space in small ways that ultimately undermined my sanity:

Me: "What happened to my wallet?"

Girl, laughing: "It's not your wallet Daddy, it's a birthday gift for my brown bear!"

Me: "Where are my keys?"

Girl, looking innocent: "I think I put them someplace."

Me, looking like Charlie brown losing his kite to the tree again: "Arrrghhhh!"

Normally, I'd have the patience and this would all be cute and delightful. Today, I'm just glad I'm married, and hoping that the other 364 days of good behavior will convince my family I'm worth enduring.

"I'm overreacting I'm sure .... tomorrow will be better ... there's always those last beers in the fridge ... the traffic will be light going to work on Columbus day ...," there's a long parade of hopes, little hopes coaxing me back.

I just feel when I'm like this more and more like the old line from the country music tune The Bug: "Sometimes you're the Louisville Slugger Baby, Sometimes you're the ball."

Oh boy! I better go to bed.



GingerB said...

Remember the immortal words of Scarlet O'Hara - tomorrow is another day. And entirely possibly, a better one. I'm glad you are posting again. We are trying our first go at Constraint Therapy this week, please let me know if you have any suggestions to make things easier on my family, I'd appreciate it.

David Sexton said...

Hi Ginger,
Thanks for the encouragement. Things got a little better towards the end of today.

Here are the things I remember about the therapy.

Visual distractions are a big help when getting the fitting done. Music might help too. They need them to hold still for a good half hour, so it's tough.

We relaxed all the rules about baths, junk food, bedtime, movies, etc… for all of us.

We gave my daughter a heads up that her brother would be wearing the cast, very much like we gave her a heads up when he was born.

We called in as many favors as we could from family, friends, neighbors to help.

We got some toys for my son that would respond with minimal motor control - big buttons - and made music or fun sounds.

I prepared my 20 second explanation speech for any stranger who happened to ask about his "broken arm."

If the cast is removable, and you need to put it on, I find putting my son in front of a movie distracts him enough that I can get it on him - movies are generally a major treat.

Watch your head, when they learn to use the cast as a hammer, it can really smart.

I gave him things that were satisfying to thump with his cast: anything that rings or bangs.

Also be prepared for other kids to want to play with his cast. I freaked the first time someone grabbed at it. I calmed a bit afterwards and learned to guide them through it.

Video tape before and after the cast. It's hard to know how effective it was unless there's something to actually measure.

Oddly, my son's first round didn't produce much more activity in his left hand, but it spurred his speech and walking, which he hadn't shown much interest in. I think the constraint does spur development, it's not always the development you're hoping for. This last round (his third) was more to the point - he started doing stuff with his left hand and arm; and he's still holding onto the benefits two months on.

Good luck.