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I Am the Mom of the Kid Bouncing on the Waiting Room Couch

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My son has sensory processing disorder. I am the mom of “that kid.” “That kid” that is bouncing on the waiting room couch, talking too loud, crawling under the table and chewing on his shirt sleeve.

I am the mom who lets him do it — because he needs to.

Today he went to the aquarium, had a sugary treat, walked down a busy sidewalk, ate lunch at a restaurant and helped me at the grocery store. But now he is done. That was too much. I pushed him too far. He pushed himself too far. Now we are in a quiet waiting room, at an appointment for his brother. To him the quiet is too quiet, the light too bright, the wait too long, the couch too soft, his shoes too bumpy, his throat too dry.

When we get home, he will be able to let it all go. He will scream, cry, rock, sway, throw things, hide under blankets, crash into pillows. I will sit nearby and say, “I’m here. I’m here. You’ll be OK.” His brother will eat dinner on his own and feed the cats for me.

Finally, he will release enough steam that he can tolerate being touched. I will hold him, rock him, shush him and say, “I’m here. I love you. I’m right here.” He will agree to eating two bites of dinner and then he will ask to go to bed. Completely exhausted from it all. I will read a bedtime story to both boys. We will do our bedtime hug/kiss/secret handshake rituals and they will both read themselves to sleep. He will wake throughout the night. Unable to feel calm, even in sleep.

I will sit in a silent house. I will pour a glass of wine. I will breathe. I will remember he has come a long way. The meltdowns due to his sensory processing disorder don’t happen daily anymore. I’ll remember that today had beautiful moments where we were all in synch and having fun. I will tell myself that tomorrow is a new day. I will remind myself that sometimes saying “I’m here. I love you” is the most important thing I can do.

Follow this journey on Not Fit Mom.

Originally published: July 23, 2016
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