Category Archives: clothing

What’s the deal with boys and pants?!

 

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What’s the deal with boys and pants?! Sometimes it’s nothing, but sometimes it’s something. Today, I’m putting my two cents in over at Sammiches and Psych Meds.

Thank you in advance for reading and commenting and sharing and tweeting and folding my fitted sheets. Do you like how I snuck in the laundry bit?

Here’s the link: http://www.sammichespsychmeds.com/what-you-should-know-about-boys-who-dont-like-to-wear-pants/

Happy reading!

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Filed under boys, clothing, sensory processing disorder

The Runaway Mama’s Guide to Getting Your Kid to Wear a Coat!

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What is it with kids and coats?! I love coats. I just bought another one last week. (It was on sale, I swear.) I’m already fantasizing about the coat I want to buy for next winter. Canada Goose, please! Coats keep me warm. Coats protect me from frigid wind and wet snow. Coats are my friend.

But not to kids. To kids, especially sensory kids and specifically my sensory kid, coats are sheaths of discomfort, veils of anxiety, and shrouds of misery. Coats confine, constrict, and constrain. Coats are the enemy.

As the mom of a kid who would rather eat worms than wear a coat, I have some practical advice for parents in the throes of coat season.

  1. Move someplace warm. I just moved my kids from South Florida to New Jersey, so evidently I didn’t get the memo.
  2. Do your homework. If moving isn’t in the cards (or you just moved to New Jersey), begin your coat research in mid July. You’ll need plenty of time to find one with no tags, zippers, buttons, pockets, Velcro, long sleeves, or too much “puff.” Good luck with that!
  3. Don’t make him wear a coat. Gasp! If he’s cold, he’ll put on a coat. Maybe, maybe not. Kids, and sensory kids in particular, have crap loads of willpower. If the absence of a coat, the fear of hypothermia, and/or the stares from judgmental parents are too much to handle, skip to #4.
  4. Adopt a litter of puppies. Wrap your kid in a cloak of said puppies. He’ll be warm and happy forevermore.
  5. Allergic to dogs? Find a basic coat (see #2) that’s lined on the inside with fleece as soft as a puppy (see #4). Then, break two toothpicks in half and place the pieces inside your favorite sock while humming “Row, Row, Row Your Boat,” flush three ice cubes down the toilet, hop on your left foot six times, eat a bowl of chocolate chip ice cream, and say a prayer.
  6. Blame someone or something else. Where the hell is Daddy every morning at coat o’clock?! Buy an indoor thermometer that reads the temperature outside. Hang a sign next to it that says: “When the temperature goes below [fill in the blank] degrees, you must wear a coat.” Kids are excellent at torturing Mommy but far less skilled at whining and crying at small appliances.
  7. In exchange for wearing a coat, let your kid wear shorts. All the boys are doing it! A coat on top and shorts on bottom will create balance and order in the universe, and it won’t look ridiculous at all. Just avoid snow boots. Snow boots and shorts will turn heads.
  8. Harness the power of guilt. There have been many mornings when, out of pure desperation, I’ve reminded my son of all the poor and neglected children in the world who don’t have coats to keep them warm, how fortunate he is to have parents who can afford to provide him with a coat to keep him warm, and how disappointed I am that he doesn’t appreciate just how lucky he is to have a (flipping!) coat to keep him warm! It almost never works, but someone has to win the lottery, right?
  9. Distract him. Throw a pie at your kid’s face, hire a clown, or pop a confetti cannon when it’s time to put on the coat. Do whatever it takes to get him out the door without realizing his coat is actually on.
  10. Buy another coat. I hate this piece of advice because as much as I love shopping, buying a kid another coat is a fool’s errand. The only coat he wants is a notacoat (not a coat), and by the time he goes down the outerwear rabbit hole, stores will only have coats in stock that are XXS, XXL, or NOS (Not On Sale).

However bad your coat struggle is this winter, keep in mind that warm weather battles over putting on sunscreen are right around the corner. In the meantime, pay close attention to your kid’s coat hysteria and take notes so you can shop smarter next year. With my kid, it was the top of the zipper that poked his skin just underneath his chin that drove him batty. Zippers are the root of all evil. Obviously.

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Welcome to the Sensory Blog Hop — a monthly gathering of posts from sensory bloggers hosted by The Sensory Spectrum and The Jenny Evolution. Click on the links below to read stories from other bloggers about what it’s like to have Sensory Processing Disorder and to raise a sensory kiddo!Want to join in on next month’s Sensory Blog Hop? Click here!

Want to read more amazing posts in the February Sensory Blog Hop? Just click on this adorable little frog…

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Filed under clothing, sensory processing disorder, winter

Buttons, Zippers, Pockets, Collars, And Belts, Oh My!

I have two kids. My older one has SPD. My younger one doesn’t, but like many typical kids, he has tactile sensory sensitivities that are occasionally (okay, often) a nuisance. For instance, he doesn’t like having his hair combed. It’s been an issue since he was an infant. I’ve tried everything from using a hair detangler to distracting him with shiny objects and steak knives (kidding) to having him sing songs. A lot of times, I’ve just left his hair a tangled mess. As he approaches his sixth birthday, I feel him growing out of it, but boy has it been a journey!

Here’s another one. It’s a doozy. He loathes buttons, zippers, pockets, collars, belts, and any other item of clothing that isn’t a tagless, short-sleeved cotton t-shirt and mesh athletic shorts. This kid of mine is lucky he’s not a Kardashian. In other words, we keep things pretty casual in our family. We also live in a year-round warm climate, which lends itself to his personal style (or lack thereof).

The funny thing about his exasperating but common tactile challenge is that there was a time when his older brother, the one with SPD, WOULD NOT COULD NOT wear pants or long-sleeved shirts. (We now lovingly refer to that time as the Winter of Our Discontent.) Since he had an SPD diagnosis, though, he did a crap load of OT. These days, he’s still not a fan of dressing up, but he does it when it’s appropriate and necessary, and he also plays ice hockey…in full hockey gear!

My little guy, on the other hand, is a picky dresser of the worst kind, but without a diagnosis (is there a prescription for pain-in-the-butt-itis?) there isn’t much I can do except encourage, praise, bribe, and avoid Bar Mitzvahs.

A little over a year ago, I took him to my cousin’s wedding. It was a special weekend that included a super exciting airplane ride and a visit with Grandma and Grandpa, but I only agreed to take him if he swore on his life (pinky shake required) that he would dress appropriately. He whined and moaned, I had to buy him an extra-large pack of Trashies at the toy store, and he wore a super hero “button protector” (a t-shirt) under his “fancy” shirt, but, by golly, he did it.

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The rehearsal dinner

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The wedding

During the long ago Winter of Our Discontent, my older son WOULD NOT HAVE COULD NOT HAVE worn these kinds of clothes even if I promised him a Disney Cruise or the Lego Death Star. The difference, by the way, between a picky dresser and a sensory dresser (or a picky eater and a sensory eater) is CURRENCY. There is no currency – no bargaining, no negotiating, and no bartering – with a child whose body cannot physically, neurologically, and emotionally tolerate fabric touching his skin (or food entering his mouth).

In May of this year, my little guy managed to wear this outfit to his Pre-K graduation.

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The cap and gown was especially uncomfortable, but he got through it.

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In case you’re wondering, I’ve just documented the two occasions that I can remember when my little one wore shoes that weren’t sneakers or Crocs. And technically, the rehearsal dinner and wedding shoes were sneakers.

All summer long, I worried (of course) about Kindergarten because the kids go to a school that requires a school uniform. I joked nervously to friends and family (except I wasn’t really joking) that my little guy would be kicked out of school for not adhering to the uniform code. I imagined him systematically undressing himself at school, pulling buttons off of his shirt, throwing his belt out a window, and leaving a trail of undesirable clothing down the hallway. I cringed thinking about how difficult the mornings would be and how often I’d have to bribe him to get dressed and out the door on time. I dreaded having a kid who, instead of enjoying the wonder and delight of Kindergarten, would be perpetually and negatively focused on what he had to wear.

On the first day of school at approximately 6:45 a.m. in the morning, I was totally and completely blindsided.  My little guy stepped up big time. He got dressed like a champ (with a button protector, of course), and he did it with happiness and excitement about the day ahead.

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First day of Kindergarten.

He’s been getting dressed without any (major) meltdowns for three weeks. I’m all about living in the moment (ha!), so I’ve taken several deep breaths filled with pride and relief. Now, I have my sights (and anxiety) set on his outfit for Kindergarten graduation and his first Ted talk on the long-term positive (I hope) social and academic outcomes of young boys who watch 3-4 4-5 5-6 hours per week of toy reviews on YouTube.

I hope you’ve all had a great start to school – buttons, zippers, pockets, collars, and belts and all!

The Sensory Spectrum

CLICK HERE TO READ OTHER FABULOUS POSTS IN THE SEPTEMBER SENSORY BLOG HOP:

 

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Filed under boys, clothing, sensory processing disorder, Uncategorized