Category Archives: Mollinator

Therapy Thursday: The Whistle Game

I’m squeaking in on Thursday after a long day of dental work. Thanks to a Percocet and a pain free induced state, I napped for 2 hours today… now I’m wide awake at 11pm. This won’t make for a happy Friday. I will take it since for the first time in 9 days my tooth hasn’t been in excruciating pain.

Anyways… Therapy Thursday. We have been lucky enough to get Molly into both behavioral and occupational therapy for her Sensory problems. I can’t even thank the woman who got this ball rolling enough. She was our lifesaver. These therapy sessions have given us a lot of knowledge and activities to try and experiment with so today I thought I would share one of our favorite OT games. (Disclaimer: I invented this game, not our pediatric OT. It was invented by my orthopedic PTA brain once we were told to work on weight bearing through large joints). The kids call it The Whistle Game. Basically it’s this: I use a Tabata Timer app on my phone and force the kids to exercise. 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off for 4 minutes, come on kids… burn those calories! We pretend we are animals for 20 seconds at a time. This also helps for turn taking and quick thinking. At each whistle one of the kids picks an animal and everyone acts like it until the whistle blows again, then the next kid picks an animal. This is really good for weight bearing through the extremities as they crawl and slither around the floor and it gives Molly the proper input and help her calm down and keep her from full body slamming Charlie. I strongly recommend playing this game before making dinner. This helps change things up as the kids are getting bored and need something to do and it also helps give them the attention they crave before you need to disappear. It’s amazing how much can get accomplished if you give the kids your undivided attention. This game only backfires when someone chooses “horsey” and then everyone wants a horsey ride. Then you are the only one working on all 4s. What’s great is that this game allows for a lot of variety, not feeling animals today?? That’s ok, we sometimes do actual exercises: jumping jacks, squats, push ups. or running laps. You can really do any activity you want for this, the possibilities are endless.

There are a ton of free tabata apps on the phone, I use the HIIT app for Android. It’s Free and it’s easy enough to use that Molly has figured out how to use it so they can do it while I cook.

Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) is a tricky diagnosis to have. For one, the medical community (the DSM) doesn’t recognize it as a stand alone diagnosis although many children have it without any other co-morbidities. It can also go with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), ADHD, or other Learning Disabilities (LD) as a symptom of these disorders, and many times SPD’s behaviors can look just like behaviors for ASD, ADHD or LD. In our case right now we are playing the waiting game. Many of Molly’s behaviors could be plain SPD or depending on how she develops there is a possibility of ASD. Now the problem is when you have to wait you have time to observe. And if you observe with knowledge you notice EVERYTHING. It’s like going to webMD to research why you have a headache. In 10 minutes you think you have brain tumor. Same thing when observing your possibly autistic child. It’s even worse when you have a “normal” child. I find myself comparing their language skills constantly. Charlie who has only been talking for 3 months seems to have more functional language than Molly who has been talking for 3 years. But that’s not what gets me. It’s her parroting that alarms me. She repeats phrases, changes her tones and imitates her friends or TV characters. She has the same conversation with her imaginary friend over and over again in different situations and she says appropriate things at appropriate times that are always the same utterances. The other night she had an entire conversation with me about her Leapster quoting her Leapster. That’s when I realized- she’s not autistic, she’s ME!

My ability to carry on conversations made up entirely of TV or movie quotes is only inferior to one other person I know, my brother. For as long as I can remember the majority of mine and my brother’s conversations will include quoting and often the conversation will be entirely quotes. Barely ever do we make up our own jokes, we just parrot others. Somehow the movie Major League is appropriate to quote no matter subject you are talking about (Airplane! is also very quotable).  This skill also baffles my husband who half the time has no idea what we are talking about because the quotes can be out of context to anyone that hasn’t memorized entire movies. For some reason, that seems to only entice our quoting even more, just so we can laugh at with Stampy. (In all fairness, he’s probably laughing at with our idiocy). It’s not something we really thought about doing, it just comes out naturally, just like breathing or eating.

I guess you can say that quirky parents create quirky kids.

“Big Gulps huh? Alright, see ya later!”
big gulps

Full Sensory Painting

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My creativity is pretty low today, but that’s ok because Molly requested to paint. She is a sensory seeker needing to touch, smell, and immerse herself into whatever it is that she’s doing. Today, full face painting! This can give us peace for at least 20 minutes. 20 minutes! That is 20 minutes without frustration, without hearing “MOMMY!”, and without high pitched screaming and/or crying. (The screaming commences once in the tub, apparently water is unfit for full body immersion.) It is the 20 minutes I love during the day because everyone is happy.

Do you have a sensory activity that you love?

How Molly Will Save My Fellow Shoppers

I have a real problem. It’s of the farting kind. It’s not your typical several farts a day kind of problem, it’s several an hour. If I and the others around me are lucky. I should probably be checked out by a doctor, but it’s entertaining. I’ve been able to get away with it for a long time, thankfully to a best friend that lost her sense of smell and a husband who wooed me with dutch ovens. Not really, but he did it often enough you would think I liked it. I also fart in stores. That smell you get when you walk down an aisle but no one is there, that was me. Sadly, these days are coming to an end.

Why?

Because my daughter has the sense of smell of a blood hound. And she announces that things smell. LOUDLY. She can smell things that no one else can smell. Sometimes I wonder if she is just saying she smells something for effect. However, it only took once twice, er…. half a dozen times for her to out me in the store before I learned my lesson.

So, my fellow shoppers rejoice! The crop dusting has ended but be warned for she may call you out one day.

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She smells something and she doesn’t like it

Poop Happens

I hate poop. It is my Achilles heel. I use way too many wipes to change diapers in fear I may get poop on my hand and the very thought if a child pooping in the tub gives me nightmares. My dislike is probably better classified as an irrational fear than anything else.
Other than your typical baby blowout, I feel I have been very lucky in the poop department. Charlie has pooped in the tub but never under my watch and no one has taken a poopy diaper off and played with it. Our house has remained poop stain free for 4 years! That is until last night. Molly didn’t take off her diaper but she did manage to get the out of her diaper and then to rub it on the nice, somewhat new, light tan colored carpet. Ugh. I wanted to cry.
So there I sat, 9 pm, staring my nemesis in the face. First things first, Pinterest. Of course Pinterest had the answer, is there anything that site can’t do? I thank you, Living Aloha, for your insight into cleaning poop. Borax and hot water blotted that mess right up and I even got to bed at a somewhat decent hour with no panic awakenings of a poop-filed house.

Parenthood

I’d like to thank my parents for never censoring the TV my brother and I watched while growing up. We got to watch a lot of movies good and bad (and all unedited!) such as Parenthood with Steve Martin. I guess watching it 500 times as an impressionable child allowed me to have an epiphany one day- Molly is Kevin!!! It was all so clear as I thought about it. About a week later my brother was visiting and during one of Molly’s screaming fits he looked at me and said “remember the movie Parenthood?”. Yes, Tom, I remembered. Thanks to this happening at least once a day in my house, I doubt I will ever forget this movie.

We Went to a Birthday Party (sort of)

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Birthday parties are fun. Or birthday parties are a day of high anxiety for the Mollinator and I. This time we had a trick, headphones. Thanks to our OT we had this handy trick to shut out the outside world and it’s strange sounds. Typically, birthday parties go like this: Molly gets really excited to go, we get there, and I spend half the time trying to get her in the door, then the other half trying to peel her off of me, cake is served and we go home. Thanks to the headphones, my Mollinator agreed to go into the bounce house fun land and begin to maneuver around the non-bounce house games. For twenty minutes she played by herself, but was happy and not clingy. Yay! Success! Then she met a 6 year old girl to play with. Yay! Double Success! Then cake and ice cream. Did I mention she left my side for 10 minutes??? Now, she didn’t talk to any of the kids from her class or the birthday boy but I guess we should accept the fact that she entered the party as a step in the right direction.

I may take stock in headphones.