Friday, March 31, 2006


We've begun that seasonal transition once again. The one where you start switching over from long sleeves to short sleeves, and vice versa. This transition probably goes mostly unnoticed in most households. But not in ours. No, for Gray, this is no minor matter.
We gained great understanding of many of Annie's and Gray's hard-to-handle behavioral oddities after the school sent us to this seminar on "gifted" children last spring. (I really, really hate that term "gifted"! I could rant about that one for quite some time, but the abbreviated version is that -a. it's insulting to all children, because ALL children have gifts which make them totally unique and special and -b. when people hear that term "gifted", they tend to think "lucky kid to be born so smart", when the smart factor is only one part of the equation.)
Anyway, one of the things we learned was that kids like this are almost always "hyper" in at least one of several areas. Activity is one of these areas...which I guess is what many people think of when we hear "hyper". For Annie and Gray though, this is not the case. They both fall into the hyper-emotional category, however. Anyone who's spent any time around Gray knows how emotional this boy'd almost think he was bipolar. And this explains Annie's phobias when she was younger. Anyway, Gray also falls into the hyper-sensitive category. Before we understood this, it used to drive us a bit crazy. He refused to wear shirts with buttons or zippers. It was a major battle to get him to wear anything but sweatpants. Turns out, it's just that his sense of touch is overly sensitive. So we've just accepted that he needs clothes without buttons or zippers or anything remotely scratchly. But each spring and each fall, we've got to get through this switching of sleeve length. I suspect most of us don't notice our sleeves touching our skin too much. But for Gray, this change takes a lot of getting used to. Today was his first day in a short sleeved shirt. Bless his little heart, I saw him pulling and tugging at those sleeves more times than I can count this morning. And he did ask for a long sleeve shirt at one point. But he accepted it when I reminded that he'll get used to after a while, and that he'll be a lot more comfortable in short sleeves in the warm weather. So maybe this transition will be easier and shorter lived. I hope so for his sake. (And ours, too.)

Quote of the day:
"Challenges are what make life interesting.
Overcoming them is what makes life meaningful." --Joshua H. Marine


me said...

Hmmmm, this is really interesting. My grandson has real issues with clothes too - buttons and zippers...I wonder... Thanks, Debi - I'm going to be a little more alert to him when he comes up next week.

Great quote!

debi said...

Marianne-Yah, isn't that kind of weird? How old is your grandson? If you'll all have noticed that he's a bright kiddo, he may fall under that label "gifted" that I hate so much. That seminar we attended was really enlightening. There's all kinds of oddities that show up. Another example that we live with here...the majority of these kids need much less sleep than other people (Gray to a tee, unfortunately for me!), but about 20% of these kids sleep so incredibly soundly that they wet the bed (our darling Annie still wets the bed and she'll be 9 next week). There's just a lot more to it than being a smart kid.

Dawn said...

Debi that's very interesting information. My son will ONLY wear sweat pants and nothing pulled up to his waist (I joke he'll be a plumber!)

I hope the transitions are as smooth as can be for your kiddos!

take care,

debi said...

Dawn--Glad to hear my son's not the only one wearing sweats to school each day! You cracked me up with the plumber comment...I swear, I've been giggling each time I think of it!

me said...

He's 10 but Lew made a good point - he has no problem with his pants, it's shirts he throws tantrums about. Also has no problems with teeny weeny Legos, so it's not a tactile thing with him. Still interesting info though.