Something remarkable happened yesterday. Monkey and I went grocery shopping and Monkey started having a really tough time managing all the stimuli. He knew it and he even tried to fix it! Anyone who’s been reading this blog for a while is thinking “Uh oh!” because Monkey does not have a history of solving his hyperarousal issues “appropriately,” now does he? He is getting it though and I’m so excited.
Grocery shopping is no simple matter in our house. I remember, as a kid, we went grocery shopping once a week and we went to one supermarket. Rarely did we make other stops for specialty items. Duhdee is all about making multiple stops for specialty items. Since it’s my routine now, I am simplifying it a bit but we still needed to make 2 stops. We can do that, right?
The first stop was one we do maybe once a month. Since we go so rarely the list is often long and the items are located all over the store. I’m still learning my way around this store and my list was not in any particular order. By the time we had finished, Monkey was ready to go home but we couldn’t. The other store is the weekly store, it’s where we get milk, bread, juice, etc. We couldn’t skip it. Deep breath, encouraging words and off we went.
When we arrived at the second store Monkey began letting me know we were in for a bit of a time. He was flapping his hands like crazy, he was hopping in place a bit to get that extra input through his feet. I initially thought, “If we just hurry and get home as fast as possible, we’ll be fine.” Wait, did you just cyber-slap me? Why not? You shoulda :-)!
I took one more look at my little boy as he pressed his fists into his solar plexus. He was starting to fall apart and he knew it. I’ve never seen him give himself input like this when we’re out and about! I quickly pulled my carriage to the side of the aisle and asked him if he needed a hug. He said he did.
I knelt there on the floor hugging him tightly. He kept his arms between us at first using them for extra pressure as I squeezed him. He had his chin pressed firmly into my left shoulder gathering even more input. Gradually his body stilled and then his arms went around my neck and he squeezed back. We stayed there on the floor with dozens of people walking around us.
Some people looked at me and smiled when we made eye contact. A few took a second look when they got around to where they could see Monkey’s face. I’m sure they assumed he was crying but he wasn’t. He was just hugging his Money. No one said a word about the fact that I was blocking part of the aisle, they stepped around and grabbed what the needed and then moved on. I was amazed. It let me keep my calm focus and pass it on to Monkey. I wish I could have told people how very awesome they were being but my attention was needed elsewhere.
Since I couldn’t take the time yesterday, let me do it today. THANK YOU to everyone who gave me and my baby the space yesterday to hug it out. You have no idea how amazing it was for me to be able to kneel on that floor and give him what he needed without anyone judging either of us for it. A simple smile when you see a parent or child struggling and the compassion to just step around them even if they’re partially blocking your access to those yummy, yummy Joe’s O’s is an amazing gift and so simple to do.
Now, to finally get to the most amazing part, when he was done, Monkey told me, “Ready.” And we finished our shopping trip. We even tossed in a 3rd non-essential stop. Who would have ever thought it?