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Don't Pull That String

May 15, 2006 | Category: In My Life

I grew up in the era of Fair Isle and monogram sweaters. Fine wool and cotton and even, for special, maybe some cashmere.

Here was the rule: Don't pull the string.

Because, as my mother informed me, the entire sweater would unravel if you did. You'd be left standing there like a cartoon character buck naked from the waist up except for maybe the monogram letters hanging around your training bra and a pile of thread at your feet.

Also? You'd look like Betty Boop.

Meanwhile, back in reality.

The OT Specialist lady whose name means Happy (As Bear likes to say) informed us that he has a mild large-motor sensory integration disorder (still no clue what the means), a possible vision thing (referral to pedaitic opthamoligist here), and? Bear is truly non-dominant. You know, ambidextrous. Texas gold, my friend.

Except? Not.

It means double the work for my kid, whose fine motor on both hands is at about 3 years old instead of his true age of 5.5. Because he's been learning everything on both sides. For that, he will get OT therapy and a lot of it. But it is good news because he will get all the help he needs now instead of later.

But that's not all.

Included with the Ginsu knives and the dashing set of referral sheets (in Blue!) came one for allergies. So today we hiked over to the pediatrician's to check it out.

Man, do I ever suck as a mother.

Turns out that Bear's entire back of the nose-and-throat-and-ear areas are a hive of swollen and detracted and, well, I don't know the fancy term for it all. He's got allergies, right here in River City. He's got stuff to pump up his nose and other stuff to swallow.The pediatrician shook her head and said "You didn't notice?"

"Well, he's more tired than usual lately," I said (feeling like a moron).

But wait - one more thing. There is a fine sprinkling of bumps on his cheeks and hands and legs. Because he's also allergic toour laundry detergent. Tide, if you're wondering.

After she left the room to get more prescription sheets, I picked Bear up and he clung to me like a baby octopus. "Sorry, kiddo," I whispered.

"For what?"

"I didn't know you were sick," I told him, resting my cheek in the hollow of his neck as I rocked him back and forth.

"It's ok," he whispered back. "I didn't know too."

I stood there, my purse fat with referrals and information. And feeling like there must be a pile of string at my feet from a simple tug.

And then I bought him an ice cream cone to make it all better.

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Tagged: Corporate, Mommy, Life


Tide is an allergan for a lot of people. Don't feel bad.

Posted by: Krisco on May 22, 2006 02:25 AM

I've got kids with allergies and asthma, and one with SID who is in therapy.

It sucks. Email if you want to talk.

Posted by: Carmen on May 19, 2006 08:09 PM

Ice cream makes EVERYTHING better!
Hope that Bear is feeling better and that you are too. Please don't be so hard on yourself.

Posted by: ashleigh on May 19, 2006 08:58 AM

My youngest was diagnosed with visual perceptual and fine motor disorder when she was four.She has been in OT for 4 years and is now at grade level.
She's bright ( above average IQ ),creative and has a quick wit but struggles with copying,cutting,tying up shoes et al. Square pegs don't fit into round holes but nicely fit into square holes ! Her OT specialist recommended a notebook complete with software designed for kids with visual perceptual and fine motor disorder in order to help them achieve their goals.
My eight year old now reads at a gr 4 level, journals and writes like an old soul all because she can use technology to get to where she needs to go.
Email me for software specifics if wish and I expect to see Bear blogging by next year.
Best of luck !

Posted by: brw on May 18, 2006 09:59 PM

I know how badly you feel about not knowing your son had a medical issue... I JUST went through the same type of thing with my almost 6-month-old. Except with him, he was losing weight, all because I wasn't aware of a slowly dwindling milk supply. He had lost an ounce over the course of 3 weeks, whereas he should have gained a pound or more in that time. It dropped him into the 10% for weight, and he was already a VERY small little boy weight-wise.
It is truly one of the worst feelings in the world. BUT, it has now been tackled, and you (and I!) have taken care of the situation to the best of ability. No one can ever ask for more than that.

Posted by: MommyGoddess on May 18, 2006 08:50 PM

I hope the allergist figured out the allergy and didn't just give meds! That's so disturbing. If he is reacting to the detergent -- what is it in it?

See, I'm allergic to all detergents for washing -- except ALL FREE n CLEAR. But I am allergic to sulfites. Sulfites are everywhere.

The problem is even allergists know little about them as there is no money for them to make in the standard treatment of "avoidance" - so they just want to drug you. They know what it is, but don't know how to successful find it and eliminate it. They aren't educated on it -- again because of the money issue. It isn't good business for them.

Hope your little guy is better!

Posted by: Eyes on May 16, 2006 11:29 PM

My eldest was diagnosed w/ a sensory integration disorder @ 15 years ago. A book recommended at the time was Sensory Integration and the Child by Jean Ayres. There have probably been many more books written since then, but at the time it was the only thing around, and I found it very informative but easy to understand.

Posted by: Rose on May 16, 2006 09:40 PM

Didn't see anyone warn you about the Tide connection to almost every other detergent out there (I think you need to look at the manufacturer to figure the connection out). Both Princess and I have detergent allergies - leaving us 2 detergents that are neither overpriced (like Method) or itchy - Arm & Hammer or Purex. oh well.....

Posted by: cursingmama on May 16, 2006 02:15 PM

Don't feel too bad about not noticing Bear's allergies. Some kids just don't complain much. My eight year old has a very high pain tolerance and doesn't exhibit typical complaints like other kids. I took him for a well-baby check when he was two and the dr. told me that he had a raging double ear infection. Talk about feeling like a bad mom. When he doesn't feel well, he becomes cranky and we don't always catch that until after the fact. *sigh* Good to see you writing again. You have gone through some major changes lately.

Posted by: Tammy on May 16, 2006 01:15 PM

I have one better. As a kid my brother removed the pull mechanism from his lawnmover. I picked it up to look at it. He said, "Whatever you do don't pull that rope because it is spring loaded". I said "Okay, I just wanna see"...schwing! (parts flew all over the room nearly decapitating us). My brother: "What'd I just tell ya?" LMAO!!!

Posted by: MICHAEL MANNING on May 16, 2006 12:17 PM

OMG I laughed my ass off at the mental picture of pulling the string and the letters hanging around my neck. Nobody warned me about that. Thanks

Posted by: Susan on May 16, 2006 12:10 AM

Hope you had an icecream cone too. After all that you more than deserved it!

Posted by: Flikka on May 15, 2006 05:36 PM

At that age (heck, at my age too!) ice cream makes it all better. You're a wonderful mom - the fact that you feel bad about missing the allergies is a case in point.

Have fun (ha!) with all the impending doctor visits.

Posted by: beth on May 15, 2006 05:20 PM

Oh. Man. You must feel like you've been hit on the back of the head with a board.

Better to get the OT,etc. on board now, it will make a huge difference. I have a son who did not develop dominance until 4th grade. Now he's left handed. I really wish someone had pushed harder to get us started with testing. What makes it bad is that I'm a preschool teacher, I should have seen what was going on!

And don't feel too bad about the allergies, if they kind of creep on a kid, it's very hard to pin down. A couple of years ago, my youngest even had strep throat for 2 weeks before I realized it. He had very subtle symptoms. I still felt like a complete idiot.

My oldest also has bad eczema and allergies to soaps, perfumes, etc. Tide is one of the few detergents he can tolerate. However, we've had great success with All Free-and-Clear and the Method brand of natural detergents carried by Target. Seventh Generation detergent doesn't work well in our water but it never caused a skin reaction in my allergic kid.

You'll both be feeling better soon!

Posted by: paige on May 15, 2006 04:50 PM