Friday, January 20, 2012

Objects of Comfort

Children are resilient, everyone says. They bounce back from anything! Take Little A, who fell and fractured his skull in two places and didn't even need a bandage or stitches, just a few weeks of rest. The thing is, not all scars are visible from the outside.

After The Great Fall, Little A refused to go anywhere without his shoes on. They had to be on his feet at all times, even when he slept. (They are propped up on a chair or on the floor just off the bed). He would wake up if we tried to removed them in the night or mid-nap. Bathtime involved plenty of screaming, the fastest washes in history (shoes right next to the tub, in his line of sight at all times), and the shoes were back on his feet before they were barely dry, with the rest of him still dripping.

There was a time when we couldn't get Little A to wear shoes at all. He hated them, and took them off at every opportunity, leaving them on the floor in shopping centres and restaurants and running off barefoot. His classrooms and most homes we visited required leaving shoes at the door, so possibly he really didn't see any point in having to wear them.

We got him to accept them, finally, when my Mum bought him a very soft pair that made feet feel as though they were walking on pillows. Since then he's only wanted that pair, and we've gone up three sizes and several colours in the same style. We've been working on weaning him away and trying different pairs, but with limited success.

The aftermath of the Great Fall had them glued to his feet. We're not quite sure why - maybe because he fell at school without his shoes on and associated bare feet with being hurt. Maybe because he was made to stay overnight at the hospital and couldn't leave the room without his shoes on, and they were hidden away while was sedated and strapped to a hospital bed.

At any rate, the New Therapist and the New Shadow got him to wear slippers in the classroom. With a great deal of whining, crying and resistance, but they insisted, and thankfully after a few weeks of constant shoe wearing, he has now accepted that shoes are "only for wearing when we go outside." He's back to taking them off at home and in the classroom, but now keeps them on when we're at the mall or out and about. I hope he's over his post-fall trauma, and that there are no other scars to deal with.

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