Dylan left school a little early yesterday to go to the “feelings doctor” and – surprise, surprise – he had the best time ever. The doctor had a huge doll house in her office with tons of play people, clothes and furniture, a road kit with traffic lights and street signs that you could put together any way you wanted, a big box of cars, a pop-up fire station and even a box of Barbies. All the toys were from the late 70’s, but to Dylan they were N-E-W. And he didn’t have to share any of them. He was in toy heaven.
After the appointment, when we drove back to school to pick up Riley, Dylan told his friend, Sophia, about all the cool stuff the feelings doctor had in her office. He said, “Sophia, there was no doctor stuff, just toys,” and Sophia said, “Can I go to this doctor, too?”
Back to the appointment. Dylan and the feelings doctor talked and played with toys on the floor, and I sat on the couch to make sure Dylan felt comfortable and to troubleshoot if necessary. Like when she asked him the name of his favorite talking car and he said “White-wing” McQueen and I had to translate and say, “He meant Lightning McQueen.” It was hard to stay quiet when she asked him things and he took a long pause before answering or just said, “I don’t know.” It made me realize how much of a Helicopter or Curling Mama (or both) I really am. As hard as it was – and it was – I sat quietly unless I was asked a question directly or was needed to translate.
As focused as Dylan was on playing with all of the toys, he really did open up and answer a lot of her questions. He was adorable, and at times, hilarious. When she asked what scared him, he said “Bad guys, shooters and fire, but not smoke. I like smoke.” When she asked who lived at home with him, he said, “My Daddy lives in Florida.” She asked “Doesn’t Daddy live in your house with you?” He said, “No, he lives in Florida.” When asked about his pets, he said, “Ha-wee (Harry) protects me from ghosts.” Then she asked him if ghosts lived at his house and he said, “No.”
The last ten minutes of the session were between the feelings doctor and me. She wants to process the behavioral surveys Mike and I filled out and see what comes from them, but she thinks he’s bright, articulate, friendly and talkative, and she suspects his anxiety is on the normal end of the spectrum and some simple coping strategies will help us at home.
She had me at “bright” and “articulate.” The positive words she used to describe Dylan were exactly what this Nervous Mama needed to hear. Maybe there was a good reason I was the one sitting on the couch. In the end, Dylan and I both left feelings doctor’s office feeling pretty good. Dylan got to play with some really cool toys (and now he wants to buy them, of course), and I got the reassurance I needed to be the best (Runaway) Mama I can be for my exceptional little boy.