Finn got the boot taken off today. Yay! Of course, as with anything with Finn, nothing is ever easy. I’ve been preparing him all week for the “last day of the boot.” I told him Friday was his last day and that he was going to have to start walking on it and, “Why don’t you try and put some pressure on it?”
If the boot wasn’t on, he wasn’t putting his foot on the ground.
At 6 am, if I didn’t get into his room fast enough to put the boot on, he would crawl to the bathroom (which is actually kinda awesome that #1 he didn’t just pee the bed and #2 he didn’t cry or scream, he just crawled to the bathroom!) Believe me, the victory is not lost on me, but my point is that he was seriously addicted to the boot.
It’s the idea of the boot. I get it. I’ve said it from the beginning. I mean here’s a kid who puts a Band-Aid on everything and leaves it there for weeks at a time. When he was 3, he literally kept an injured fist clenched for ONE week. Straight. You should’ve smelled that thing when he finally unclenched it! It was a miracle there wasn’t a mushroom inside it when he finally unearthed his palm!
Anyway, the cause for my concern was getting rid of the “crutch” of the boot. I (stupidly) assumed the Dr would step him down gradually, knowing what a sensitive kid he was. I told Finn the doctor would be taking the boot, but she would wrap it in a magic bandage so he could put it in a sneaker.
When we got there, I told the (awesome) nurse the game plan. She agreed wholeheartedly. It made perfect sense. She didn’t see a reason why we couldn’t wrap him.
Then. The reason walked in.
The doctor wasn’t having it. She said no Ace Bandage. No compression sleeve. Nothing. She said it was his shoe or he was going to have to stay in the exam room.
Um. I was going for something a little more tactful than that.
I tried, in my best upbeat-but-not-too-cheerful-as-not-to-poke-the-bear voice to say, “Ok, great! I’m going to put your sock on and Velcro your sneaker extra tight and, oh my goodness, look what I have here! Skittles! Can you walk over here and get this Skittle?”
And that’s how I got him down the hallway and into the elevator. Dropping Skittles like Hansel and Gretel. (No, he wasn’t eating the ones we dropped. We left them there for another kid to find…)
The nurse was shocked, as was I. I told her, “Tough love’s easy when it’s not your kid.”
We went for our after the doctor date at Panera Bread and he said, “I can’t wait until our friends (the family where he hurt his foot) see me!” Even later, he also said, “I can’t even remember which foot is my bad foot!”
Score one for the doctor. I guess she knew what was best. Hmmm, I thought I remembered getting my MD way back when…
Today’s lesson in tough love got me thinking. Ever since Finn’s diagnosis, I’ve been so careful to be more flexible about his neuroses. Just one more car in the lineup before we leave. Just one more switch of the lights. Close the door until it clicks. Flatten the corners on my blanket! Those needs and anxieties are very real for him. Those needs and anxieties were the things that were going to make me lose my ever-loving mind if I didn’t finally find out that he had autism! Now, given what I know, I tend to not fight those little battles. I feel like I still give him parameters, but they have, shall we say, a wider berth. Does that make me a pushover now? Am I a coddling him? I don’t know. I don’t feel like I am. I hope it makes me sympathetic to his anxieties, not an enabler. Maybe that’s what all pushover Moms tell themselves.
I have to admit, though, if the doctor was willing to play along with the ACE Bandage, I would’ve kept it on another week.
Ugh. I’ll be the one over here wiping the egg off my face, while my “injured” kid runs around my desk chair.
I never said I was perfect.