Wednesday, March 19, 2008

I sense a song coming on

It sounds like the soundtrack to 'The Simpsons' outside my house this afternoon; The part where Lisa is playing her saxophone and the rest of the music becomes muted in the background. Well, to be more truthful, it's really more the beginning strained honks of a sax and even more the sound of a bison or other large animal giving birth to an even larger one with much pain and suffering scattering up and down the the bass cleft.
 I don't mind it though. I even sort of cracked the back door open a hair and listened while I tidied up in the kitchen. I like things that take me back to the 80's, the days I was rockin' my own beastly sounds on the good ole French Horn while wearing my finest of fluorescent clothing and eye shadow.
My brother played his saxophone much more like Lisa Simpson than this guy in his backyard blowing new holes in his instrument. My kids got the "surround sound" version while playing outside and I had to laugh at my little Dandy when he came in through the doggie door (er, didn't I mention the human door was standing open yet the hobbit sized one is more fun, I s'pose) because when I said "Isn't that saxophone music fun to listen to?" he said "Yeah, I told him to stop."

I didn't actually expect him to like it but I wanted to hear what he would answer knowing he has a huge sensitivity to noise. Dandy has lots of quirks, some of them are more easily titled than others. The noise thing falls into the "sensory" category which is one of the issues Dandy's occupational therapist tries to address with him at his therapeutic preschool. It kinda sounds like a day spa when I call his school that. And sometimes when I describe it as such, I feel like people suddenly imagine that he spends his time away from me in a vat of mud with cucumbers on his eyes listening to Enya oh so soft and low. Of course it could just be me getting those images. I dunno.

Where was I? Oh yes, my little Dandylion. Everything is too loud for Dandy except for Jamey's or my parental voices, go figure. He's gets a huge case of the Whadyasays when we talk to him, but turn on the shower water and the screeching begins. "IT'S TOO LOUD!!" he bellows holding his ears as if he were standing in front of the amp at a Billy Idol Concert(I know. I'm still in the 80's) getting the Rebel Yelling of his lifetime.

The sensory issues we first noticed he had were more texture related. Since baby dude Dandy came into our lives at just under two, we had a bit of a crash course on his likes, dislikes and the like. He could only handle dry food. And if an item was somewhat gloppy, it had better be fed to him very carefully because there would surely be panic and horror if he had to touch anything stickier than a crouton. That was the first time I realized this kid and I had a little something in common(sniff-I know, it's magical really).
If I can, I avoid cutting melon and baking bread for the same reason. "STICKY!! I'M STICKY!!" my brain yells each time.  So, though I don't always totally fold at these challenges, I could kind of relate on some levels to his disgust. 
Especially when Dandyboy's therapist sent home his homework one day and it was a little container of Flarp. "Hmm...Ok. This is nice he is supposed to play with this stuff like Play-Doh. No prob"......Oh looks a little wet and uh, gloppy. "Get it out Dand. Go ahead." I encourage. He starts working himself up into a small lather. "Can you get it for me?" he pleads from a safe distance. "Gulp. Um. Sure honey....ah, ohhhh," ICKKY! I can't do my five year olds homework.
Finally I just shoved my finger into the tiny container and scooped at it quickly all the while keeping as composed an expression as possible. Then, evil genius that I am, I suddenly realized I could whistle good old Ratchet over to team up with brother on this special assignment and BADA-BING problem solved! I hurriedly slopped it at the always game Ratchet and rushed over to wash my hands. Whew! That was a close one. One face saved, another pulled. Neither of us much more willing to bag taffy at the fair.

Ah but it's all a process of course, just like all of the other more serious challenges Dandy faces as he looks toward kindergarten. He's definitely come a looooong way with his highly capable but highly doubtful little self. His therapist says he works them over more than they can ever work him. And that's true. He knows all of the info one needs at his age to succeed. But he IS a tough cookie to crack sometimes (probably trying to keep his creamy fillings from spilling out). And if he thinks he can't do something well, then he doesn't want to try it at all. 
That's the main not as easily nameable issue he seems to face. Willingness. But we know what our little boy has accomplished and as soon as he believes in himself, he'll be able to do whatever he wants to do!  I see a giant bakery in this boys future!  He's a Dandy that one. And he regularly turns our hearts into the insides of a Cadbury egg. 
 Speaking of eggs...HAPPY EASTER EVERYONE!!  And don't forget to thank Jesus for his amazing gift to us all! 


Tally said...

Oh Shan, I'm teary-eyed. You know I can't handle that! Sweet sweet Angel!

Trish said...

So you have angel babies too! Aren't we blessed?

WendyJanelle said...

This just totally cracked me up!!

"STICKY! I'M STICKY!" Hilarious!!

Does your Dandy have issues with dry skin? Personally, everything feels 100x worse to me when my hands are dry. I CANNOT touch paper or silk-y fabrics with dry skin. It just makes me cringe. I also have a sound-overload issue(and yes, I do have three boys and a daughter...)
Just a thought, though...maybe certain soaps would help his skin, and then he wouldn't be so sensitive to the touch of things. I like Dove and the moisturizing body wash...I know, good luck getting him to use that!! ;-)

Sara said...

sweety-sweet-sweet, shan. That little guys has come a long way. How could he not with so much love poured on him. I love that he came thru the dog door. Ha ha.
Happy Easter!

Jamey Clayberg said...

Good post lady! Rock on Dandy-o. Hey I have some fancy gizmos for your blog we need to get set up one of these days.

Arl said...

As you know Ethan has a few of his own quirky ways and I have referred to the book Out of Sync Child as a guide. Ethan's teacher is reading it right now. I know that these sensitive issues seem harmless but they keep our little ones from experiencing a lot of things.

Sounds like you and Dandy are dealing with your sensitivities together. :) Keep up the good work, I know it is hard.

I just love the picture of you two.

Anonymous said...

Sweet sweet boy. I have missed seeing him. Tell him " Mom and Tots" said hi! Dana

The Shan said...

Thanks for nice comments dear ones! Yes, he is a smootchable little silly!

Wendy, he doesn't really have dry skin on his hands but they sometimes seem like they have that super-sensory thing like when your nerves are working over time. His hands and feet have strange pains and are easily "hurt" though don't look wounded. He had what was called a "Cerebral Palsey incident" in the womb that may cause this we're not sure. I know what you mean about the fingers though-mine are rough like cat tongues grabbing everything and snagging clothes. Haha. Yes, I might need to try that stuff. THANKS :)

Arly, you are my role model for patience and understanding young lady!! I'm going to look that book up once and for all!! xoxo

Oh and Arl and Dana, I am ready for you to start your blogs now are you?

dean r said...

oh i agree that picture is heavenly. and gizmo shmizhmo jamey. ha
God really knew what He was doing giving you all that boy. such love!
can't wait to see the fam again. later.