Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Beware The Groove!

There are some fairly predictable ways that Connor's special needs affect him. And then there are some things he does that are just weird. Not in the whole medically-alarming way, though he has plenty of weird things that go on there, too (his seizures that look a whole lot like heart failure, as an example) but I mean weird as in, well, things that just kind of make you take a step back and go, "Huh. Okaaaaaaaay."

Take waking up as an example. My child usually has no problem with transitions, which for a kid with his variety of sensory issues is actually pretty awesome, but waking up after a nap is a whole other story. Here's Connor's wake-up routine:

First of all, he has to wake up on his own. If someone else wakes him up, he gets what we call the "shakes"-- he looks like he's really, really low on blood sugar or perhaps going into withdrawal from lack of chocolate pudding. His whole body trembles. We had to tell all of his babysitters about these, because the first couple freaked out and thought they were seizures. He will be completely uncoordinated for at least the next half an hour. After he's awake enough to realize that it is Your Fault he is not asleep any more, he gives you this surprised, incredibly hurt look, and then becomes The Saddest Boy The World Has Ever Known. For the rest of the day. As a result we try our darndest never ever to wake him up while he's asleep, because it ensures crabbiness until the next time his head hits the pillow. Don't throw off the groove, people. Beware the groove.

When he does wake up on his own, which is thankfully most mornings as I try to schedule activities in the afternoon, you never, never go in and pick him up if his eyes are open but he's not making any noise. Connor has to lie in bed after he wakes up for at least twenty minutes or Sadness Occurs. I have no idea why this is-- he just seems to need to get his bearings or something.

Case in point: Yesterday afternoon Connor decided would be one of those extremely rare days when he takes a nap. Usually he just lies in his crib for an hour and talks to the ceiling. Anyway, I walked past his door and saw that he was awake, and assumed I just hadn't heard him talking to himself. I should have guessed he wasn't finished with his warm-up time, because he didn't act like I was the most exciting thing he had ever seen in his entire life when I walked in. I picked him up, made him an afternoon snack, and he reacted like I was trying to kill him. Also he had no bones in his body. Imagine trying to feed an extremely unhappy squid strained peas and you'll have a pretty good idea. I picked him up again and he clung to me and cried. I tried reading him a book. I thought I was reading If You Give A Mouse A Cookie, which doesn't to my mind have much of the air of tragedy about it, but Connor was evidently hearing chapter XXXI of Anna Karenina, the part where she says "God forgive me everything!" and throws herself under a train, because every time I turned over the page his little lip would tremble and then he'd lose it again.

I set him down on the kitchen rug for a second to make him up some milk. Here's the face that shows exactly what he thought of that idea:

Finally after about forty minutes of this nonsense, and it took me this long only because I am a dense idiot, I realized what must be bothering him-- I had thrown off his groove. He had been wanting at least another ten minutes of lying in bed talking to himself, and here I was rude enough to interrupt that. I put him back down in his crib, and not only did the kid immediately stop crying, the little stinker actually smiled at me. Then he went back to staring at the ceiling, entirely ignoring me, and making his little cooing "I'm just starting to wake up but I'm not ready to get out of bed" noises that I had so rudely interrupted forty-five minutes before.

Ten minutes later, he started making his "hey Mom, I'm ready to get up" noise, I walked in, he reacted with his usual flattering excitement, and then he was not only fine, but perfectly happy. I set him down on the rug to get that milk again-- keep in mind that this is not TEN MINUTES after setting him down on the rug resulted in the picture above, and this was his expression:
Huh. Okaaaaaaaaay.



Edit said...

He is so funny! I love it that he knows exactly what he wants...that is so adorable! Good thing you figured it out, so you can not interrupt him next time :)

Connor's Mom said...

I really should know better by now. I mean, it's not like this is anything new.

Julia O'C said...

Could Connor be any cuter? Seriously.

I found your blog from reading the comments on To The Max - and I'm so happy that I did! I have a little guy (just 2) P-ACC, among other issues.

I look forward to following your blog. You're a great writer!

Connor's Mom said...

Hi Julia!


I personally think he's extremely cute, but I sort of have a biased opinion, so it's nice to hear it from other people.

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