Small changes, big challenges
I have neglected the blog somewhat (again) for a while, and as I write this I am emerging from another fortnight of illness, bringing the current period of miserable poorly child to 4 weeks. My little monkey got over his ear infection and then got an infection on his skin in the outer ear so once again we came back from the doctors with enough medication to start a pharmacy, all of which requires a war to administer! More antibiotics, an ear spray and a cream. If I am entirely honest, the antibiotics he spat all over the place and we gave up trying after 2 doses, the ear spray (though traumatic) worked a treat and although monkey hated Daddy - yes I totally made him do the horrible bit so I could have cuddles - it did heal it really quickly.
It has been really tough with him for the last few weeks and it has also brought along other challenges too. Monkey had a week off of Nursery before the half term in February and a week after also. So he was away from nursery for 3 weeks in total, which would have been difficult enough on it's own. BUT, while he was off poorly, the nursery finished their building work and opened their new room. A neurotypical child may have adjusted to the change quite quickly but that has not been the case for us. Monkey will cry on his nursery days from the minute he gets up, go stiff when we try to dress him and put him in his pushchair. He will cheer up on the walk to nursery but as soon as we turn into the drive of the nursery he will scream and cry again. It was absolutely heartbreaking taking him into nursery on Monday. All of last week he had been unsettled in the new room but it is definitely getting worse, on Monday he lasted about 2 minutes before we went back into the room and got him. The rational parent in me says that he will settle and he just needs time to adjust but the emotional, overprotective parent says that I will never leave my baby in distress.
The new room has a hard floor with no carpeted areas and not many soft furnishings so is incredibly echoey (is that even a word?) and is painted white so is quite a strong room for a child with severe sensory processing issues. It is such a shame because we were making such good progress before he got poorly and now we are further back than we were at square one. The issues with the new room at nursery have had a knock on effect with routines at home too, he is struggling with his anxiety much more and is displaying more self-stimulating behaviours (stimming). Ordinarily I wouldn't worry about his stimming but the new things tend to be associated with stressful situations, whereas previously he would flap his hands in excitement or when he is enjoying himself, he still does this and I do love it. I do worry about the new things he is doing though, and we are not entirely sure how to best help him at the moment.
I think the truth in parenting any child, not just a child with special needs, is that we are all just winging it, taking each day and challenge as it comes. I know I am.