bubbles, bowling, and bed pillows

This summer has been incredibly busy for us (as you’ve certainly noticed by my sudden and prolonged absence here and on the Facebook page). The transition, something my ADHDer doesn’t handle well, has been tough too.

The day school let out, Luke started an afternoon art camp at the local art museum. The very next day, he started Tomatis at occupational therapy. We have to be at our OT’s office (45 minutes across town) each morning by 10 am for two hours. The first week we were running from there to art camp and grabbing a quick lunch in between. Last week and this week we have not had an afternoon camp, but we also have swimming lessons two nights a week and Emma has dance class one evening a week, again, 45 minutes across town. Plus, my real estate business has been picking up for the last several weeks, which I wouldn’t dare complain about! 

So we’ve been busy… real busy. But I have found time to work with Luke on some issues and squeeze in a little fun. 
Luke’s obsession of the moment? Bubbles. So simple really. But not so simple for us since we have bears (they were just at the end of the driveway this morning). I can’t just say, “Hey Luke, why don’t you go outside and blow bubbles?” It’s just not that simple in our world right now, unfortunately. We reached a compromise though — Luke can stand on the front entry porch and blow bubbles and the dog has to be out there with him. The dog barks at the bears and the bears flee when she does (funny since she’s a 15 pound dachshund mix). If that fails, Luke could dart in the front door. He has stood on the front porch blowing bubbles at least two hours a day each of the last two days and he took them to the park this afternoon and wooed the girls with bubbles too (he started blowing bubbles and the next thing I knew he was surrounded by little girls).

We also took advantage of the Kids Bowl Free program and we had some family time bowling Saturday afternoon. The kids had never been and it turned out to be tons of fun. With the bumpers up to prevent gutter balls, the kids felt successful and had an active, fun time. And Daddy and I enjoyed watching them laughing and cheering for each other and giving lots of high-fives. The level of confidence while bowling was a pleasant surprise. Bowling is such a great heavy-work activity that I think it made his senses, especially proprioceptive, so very satisfied. Who knew bowling could be an ADHD-friendly activity? Not I. I thought it would be a disaster but it was Luke’s idea and I don’t want to deny him to try anything.

Then there’s bed time. We’d been having some new issues with going to sleep once Luke started the Dexedrine several weeks ago. He was having a hard time falling asleep and subsequently got out of bed looking for a drink, food, and mom many times each night and ending up awake way too late. We don’t need grouchy ADHD. So I got to thinking about how much he craves proprioceptive input in the way of hugs and always wrapping in a blanket. Then I looked at him sleeping in bed one night and realized this tiny little, very skinny boy was feeling exposed and lost in his queen-sized bed. So I asked him if he’d like to find all the extra pillows in the house and put them in his bed and we’d make like a giant hot dog bun for him to snuggle down in to sleep. He was excited about the idea. 
It has worked like a dream too! No more getting out of bed, and he’s falling asleep on average an hour earlier each night. Now, you might be freaking about him getting smothered in all those pillows, but we have rules. The only pillow allowed above your shoulders is the one you’re resting your head on. No pillow should ever be over your face (that’s our rule for the covers too as he pulls them tightly over his head each night). And I go in and check on him after he’s asleep to make sure he has a fully-open path for air.
So we are getting by so far this summer. The schedule, living out of the car, and not having any time to myself has been a challenge for me. But Luke is having a great time at Tomatis and he enjoyed his afternoon art camp that first week. And Emma is doing awesome at swimming class now learning to dive off the block and she’s finally back in dance classes after many years of wanting to be. I am working to carve out family moments for the happiness and sanity of all of us too. Those moments together are really what life is all about!

We are trucking along and summer will be over before we know it…

COVER3D_400sq_bestsellAward-Winning Blogger. Freelance Writer. Author. Warrior Mom.
A self-described “veteran” parent of a son with ADHD, Penny Williams is the author of the Amazon best-seller about her parenthood in the trenches, Boy Without Instructions: Surviving the Learning Curve of Parenting a Child with ADHD. She is also the creator of the award-winning website, {a mom’s view of ADHD}, a frequent contributor on parenting a child with ADHD for ADDitude Magazine and other parenting and special needs publications, and co-founder of the annual Happy Mama Conference & Retreat, a weekend away for moms of kids with neurobehavioral disorders. Look for her second book, What to Expect When You’re Not Expecting ADHD, in late 2014. Follow Penny at http://BoyWithoutInstructions.com.

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Related posts:

behavior modification, celebrating gifts, General ADHD, occupational therapy ·

About the author

COVER3D_400sq_bestsellAward-Winning Blogger. Freelance Writer. Author. Warrior Mom. A self-described “veteran” parent of a son with ADHD, Penny Williams is the author of the Amazon best-seller about her parenthood in the trenches, Boy Without Instructions: Surviving the Learning Curve of Parenting a Child with ADHD. She is also the creator of the award-winning website, {a mom's view of ADHD}, a frequent contributor on parenting a child with ADHD for ADDitude Magazine and other parenting and special needs publications, and co-founder of the annual Happy Mama Conference & Retreat, a weekend away for moms of kids with neurobehavioral disorders. Look for her second book, What to Expect When You’re Not Expecting ADHD, in late 2014. Follow Penny at http://BoyWithoutInstructions.com.

3 Comments

  1. Penny,

    It is always amazing when big problems have seemingly simple solutions. I am so glad that your summer is going well so far. Griff is going to be in summer camp at his school for five weeks so he is not really going to be out of his routine very much which is great.

    On a side note — Bears!!!!!!

    Have fun!!

    Karen

    http://www.lipstickwisdom.com

    Reply
  2. Kristina Steiner says:

    We've tried using a bunch of pillows now at bedtime for 4 nights and it has worked EVERY time. We call it a “burrito”. It brought me back to when my daughter was a baby and could only sleep when I held her or when she was older and I has to lay with her in bed. She's 9 now and sleep has been a nightmare for us. Thanks for a great tip!

    Reply
  3. Sounds like lots of sanity within the controlled chaos of life. I can see how the bubbles and bowling would be soothing. Repetition, brain-body connections, easy follow-through, etc. My kids love bowling, but they struggle with taking turns. Bubbles we can do, though!

    Reply

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