The picture in my mind of a mommy caring for her child when she has a boo boo is seeing the child, sitting on the toilet, seat and lid down of course. The child sobs inhaling a quick one-two breath as a tear falls from her eye onto her leg that is propped up onto the bathroom sink. The mommy has her organized first aid kit ready and applies the antibacterial ointment and then a Band-aid and softly gives the boo-boo a little gentle kiss. The kiss instantly heals both the boo boo and the anxiety of the child as the daughter gets up, says, "Thanks Momma!" and then runs off to play with the harp music fading off in the distance.
OK. So, maybe the harp and the "Thank you" is a little over the top, a girl can dream can't she?!
This girl is learning that what I imagined as a typical mom healing a typical boo-boo to a typical child is merely a fairy tale. As a young toddler, Sienna was very accident prone. She would walk forward, with her head turned backwards and run straight into a glass door knob. She'd panic and scream and run away and hide far away from me. I would try to run to her to console her but then I realized that I just caused more anxiety to her little two year old body and brain that was just learning how to make sense of what just happened. I still get upset when I realize that I can't help my little girl and her boo boos. I have bought all kinds of boo boo packs bulk packaged Band-aids. But, even these don't provide any relief to Sienna when she falls or bumps into things. It is so heart wrenching to be a mom and not be able to comfort my child when she is hurting.
Take yesterday for example. Sienna learned to ride her bike without training wheels last week and we are proud as peacocks for her. She just wheels around and navigates her bike like a six-year-old-on-a-purple-princess-bike-professional. Yesterday as I was getting dinner ready, the front door flew open and I saw Fred holding Sienna like the men held Marilyn Monroe in "Diamonds are a Girls Best Friend." Only, Sienna wasn't draped in diamonds and a red dress, she had her bike helmet on and her butterfly polka dotted sun dress was covered in dust and gravel. She screamed like she was dying so I quickly ran to her. Fred dropped her off on the couch for me to do triage and he left to go get the bikes he had to leave five blocks down the street. Sienna wailed. Her sister Sarah rushed to see what was wrong and started crying at the sheer intensity of it all. I put on my sincere and worry face and asked her what happened. She screamed in a "scratchedy" volume that only a mother could love. It reminded me of the small penguin on Happy Feet, but that is another post for another day.
I told her to try to relax while I sprinted to get my handy dandy first aid kit. OK. So, I am not that organized at all. In fact, the only way I was able to locate a Band-aid was because every time, I mean EVERY time I go to the grocery store or drug store or any store, I buy Band-aids. My daughters go through Band-aids like they go through water. They love Band-aids and tape in fact. Don't ask me, it's a sensory thing... Any way, back to the trauma. So, I grabbed the box of Band-aids and with a leap and a wink I looked Sienna in the eye. I told her I would put a little ointment on the Band-aid and then put it on her knee. You see, with kids on the spectrum, you have to constantly tell them what is happening next. That way, in a world that seems so out of control for them, they are able to have some heads up to what is about to happen next. So, I was just remaining in step with my usual form of communication with Sienna when she let a demonic yelp and appeared as though she was going into convulsions. I tried resting her fears with both hands up to show her I had dropped the weapons, er... I mean the Band-aid and ointment. She then kicked at me, not caring if my face was in the way and shouted, "Get away from me! Get away!" She repeatedly screeched out "No! No! NOOOO!!!!" in a sort of rhythmic chant as if she were being attacked in a horror film.
All I wanted to do was put a Band-aid on. I have never tried using any strong burning antibacterial medicine that might have given her a fear to all future medications. I tried to comfort her with just a wet paper towel which she threw across the room. "How about the soft Nemo boo boo pack?" I gently suggested. Again, "No! No! NOOOOO!" Coupled with a "GO AWAY!!!!!!!"
So, I ushered her little sister and we walked out of the room. I tried to go back to fixing dinner all while Sarah kept asking what was wrong with 'SeeStu." I repeated her question to her with clear pronunciation. Another method I practice in trying to help my two year old's speech. I said, "What is wrong with Sister?" Ummmm....
That my friends is a loaded question! Oh, where do I begin?
And today, I leave you with this quote, "I just want to be a mommy who kisses her little girl's boo boo when she falls off of her princess bike. That's all I want. Is that too much to ask?