In September, I posted about the Dotter's raving tantrums and bad sleeping. And how our sleep was suffering immensely as a result.
After talking with the pediatrician, we got a referral for occupational therapy. (Tangent: why on earth is it called "occupational" therapy? It makes it sound like something that people who are having trouble at work need..."Danby. You're having problems getting your job done. We've written you up two times--you know that the third time means we do Something Official. The human resources person has suggested that you do some occupational therapy, see if it helps you get your head into your job better, y'know?")
The Dotter has been doing OT now for about four weeks.
Contrary to some people's reports--it seems that some kiddos hate, hate, HATE OT--the Dotter loves it. She adores Miss Louise. She was devastated the other day, when we showed up for her appointment and Miss Louise didn't (Miss Louise was thinking the day was Tuesday, and that our appointment was the next day).
Miss Louise has given me some ideas on things to do, which I have incorporated into our daily routine. Rather than the brushing, I have taken to lotioning up the dotter every night before bed--this kills two birds with one stone. The dotter's skin is dreadfully dry during the autumn/winter/early spring months here, so lotion is a must. And doing the lotion in a manner similar to the brushing--long, firm strokes in one direction, from shoulder to fingertips or thighs to toes, with the "mushies" afterward--is "perfect", according to Miss Louise.
(What the heck are "mushies"? Um. Kinda hard to describe. "Joint compression" is the proper name. It's a firm pressure applied to the joints--elbows, wrists, ankles, knees--by scrunching the bones together. So, to do a "mushie" to the elbow, you grasp the upper arm and the lower arm, hold the arm straight, and press them both inwards towards the joint and hold the pressure for a few seconds.)
And--whether it is coincidence, placebo effect, the effect of mom just paying more attention to her, the result of the OT, or what--we have had endless nights of blissful, uninterrupted sleep.
No meltdown tantrums.
Very, very few nights of OmegaMom and OmegaDad suffering through the Foot Thing.
Oh, it's not perfection, trust me. She's not sleeping in her bedroom, but in her "nest" next to our bed. And every five or so nights, she relapses, and we have the kiddo in bed with us from midnight or one or two o'clock on. But those in-between nights--heaven.
We are talking years of interrupted sleep for all of us. The reality of having the dotter be able to sleep through the night is...amazing. In the least selfish viewpoint, it's wonderful for her to be able to sleep soundly and heavily, without waking up crying two or three hours after falling asleep. At the selfish end--
Did I say "blissful"?
Oh, sleep. Oh, joy!
(Of course, given that I have written about it, the Kozmik All, in its infinite ability to generate amusement, will decree that she stops this sleeping. Immediately.)