January 28, 2013

The Fog is Lifting

We've had a rough stretch. The lack of sleep, combined with Moe's increase in aggression and what behaviorists call "non-compliance" (aka brattiness) has been exhausting. We've been on lock-down, my chest tightening whenever I had to take Moe anywhere. Our outings became limited to speech therapy, gymnastics class (recreation therapy), and the occasional quick, only-the-necessities, visit to the grocery store.

This is crisis mode. We hadn't gone out to eat as a family in a couple of months, something we used to enjoy doing most weekends. Moe tried to calm himself with sensory behaviors, like spitting and intense screaming. Even playing in the backyard seemed overwhelming for him.

Earlier this week, the fog started to lift. He slept through three of the last four nights. This weekend was pleasant, in part because I had book club on Friday night and went to the city to see Wicked on Saturday. But it wasn't just that I got to step away from the madness. Moe seemed almost back to himself. He was gentler and happier. He ate better and didn't fight me every time he needed to get dressed or put on a new pull-up.

Amazing clouds on the way to the city
The shift was subtle. Moe still screamed a little. He pulled my hair once - hard. But it wasn't constant. He spent time snuggled on the couch flipping through a magazine. He even let Jelly share the blanket as they laid toe to toe on the couch watching Team Umizoomi.

Right now, he's giggling with his therapist and asking for more back rubs and tickles. He's listening and behaving better.

I have no idea why. These cycles come and go, and I spend a month or so wondering what changed and just when I have my theories lined up, they change again. And every time, once I begin to see clearly again, I'm reminded that this is the cyclical nature of Moe's development.

Maybe this is how all development works. With Moe, it feels more extreme, though it probably isn't. It seems that way because his protests come in the form of screams and scratches instead of whining and shouts of "you're the meanest mommy ever!" Behavior is communication, and yet, in the thick of it, it is hard to hear what is being said.

His smile returns


  1. Why do the down cycles seem to last sooooo much longer than the up cycles??? *sigh* I'm glad he's on the upswing right now. :D

  2. The symptoms you describe sound like strep throat - if you haven't ruled out strep throat (ever hear of PANDAS?), you might consider that.


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