Thursday, June 14, 2012

Oh, Torturous Heat!

My dear sensory boy.  I understand that your body does not respond well to temperature changes.  It's why the shower has to be lukewarm, or you feel like it's burning you.  Or why you stay in the pool until your lips are blue, rather than feel the breeze on your wet skin that torments you.  Or why you have to put dry gloves on the second yours get wet in the snow, because your fingers hurt so bad when they're cold that you cry. Or why you seek out the shade wherever we go in the summer and meltdown if you can't find any.

I understand, because I was a lot like you.  Still am in many ways.  When I was a kid, my family would take these hikes together.  I loved them on cool, breezy days.  My parents loved them on crisp, cold days.  I would follow along, grumbling and upsetting everyone around me, and hating every minute of what was supposed to be special family time.  My family also liked to tunnel into the huge snowdrifts and make forts where we could then have snowball wars.  Or make snowmen together.  And since these things were family-time activities, no one was allowed to opt out of them.  My dad was sure I hated being forced to participate in something with the family.  I really just hated the cold.  But I didn't know how to explain to them why I felt so bad.  I didn't understand why I had such a low tolerance to the cold, when I was bundled just as warmly as anyone else, and they didn't mind it at all!  So I suffered through these times, sometimes near tears because I was so miserable, and not understanding what was wrong with me.

No one understood that the temperature actually caused me pain.  And I didn't know how to tell them that the cold made my eyes burn so bad I wanted to keep them shut.  Or that it felt like my lungs were going to burst with every breath of cold air.  While their toes got cold gradually, mine actually started burning with pain within minutes of being outside.  And once I was cold, I never warmed up for the rest of the day.  I'd actually lay in bed after a day out in the snow and shiver under all my blankets, because my body wouldn't adjust back again.

So, baby, I get it.  I understand why you don't want to go outside and play.  For me it was the cold...for you, it's the heat.  You get overheated so quickly.  You hate feeling sweat on your body.  You hate the brightness of the sun, and don't like the way sunglasses feel.  The glare on the pavement and the sidewalk makes you feel disoriented.  You don't like your clothes to stick to you.  You want to enjoy riding your bike and playing at the park, but you just can't get past the discomfort that overwhelms your mind and blocks out all else.

I really do get it.  And I try to make it more bearable for you.  Lots of cold water to drink and play in.  Cold wraps for your neck.  We've tried hats and sunglasses.  Popsicles.  Sprinklers.  Nothing works...unless you're in a pool.  But baby, we can not spend the whole summer at the pool!

Sweet boy, it's summer.  You need to get out and play.
Your body craves the movement and exercise, and your mind is turning to mush with only electronics to amuse you.
You are restless and bored inside--there is so much to do outside!
You want to do something.
I am trying to clean and work from home, and sometimes I just need some time to myself.  I need you to entertain yourself once in awhile.
Your sister gets lonely.  She wants someone to run around and climb trees and ride bikes with her.
You really need to play outside a little bit!

Yeah, I get it.  But I don't like it.