Going to the library means mommy receives a breather. Gigantic computers sprawling a corner room for children to play Roblox. Hundreds of do-it-yourself toys are there for any child to pick up and play. Somehow, being in the library, all the children form a common bond. The bond of solace. In a hushed voice, they can: play, banter, tinker on toys, read, Lego crafts, and much more. It wasn't until I ventured towards my comfy- cornered chair, I realized relaxation was not upon me.
A round table with four chairs are placed in front of my solace chair. Usually, no one uses that table. I think it's because the chairs are uncomfortable and only books surround that area. Kids tend to shy away from the corner unless they are looking for Dr. Suess and series books. That is why it's perfect. I'm in the kid section of the library, but just far enough away when: Mr.-Oh-So-Cute poops his pants, I'm not able to smell a thing. Today was different. The round table was in use.
At first glance, I thought it was a sweet family of four. A little boy, young girl, male and female figure seemed to be playing a game. I'm in luck, I think to myself. Soon, the little boy will tire or the parents will from playing a child game. Nope! I was wrong. Guessing if I hadn't left my glasses at home, I would've noticed the game was really, Occupational Therapy. Plopping down, I turn to plug in my computer and phone. This time it was much harder. In order for me to do so, I must: turn around, scoot the chair out, plug it in, and turn around to sit down. Here, I stand, in a multi-colored sun dress and flip flops, trying to do this without sticking my butt in the back of a little girls head.
Yes, I managed just fine. Next thing you know, I have to dig in my sac: to break out the papers in which my dog, Gunner, so nicely divided up with his teeth. Let's just say, I wasn't the quietest thing in that corner. I felt like I was seven years old again. Sneaking potato chips into my room before dinner. Hoping that each time the bag opened or I crunched a chip, no one would here. Needless to say, everyone took a gander my way.
Politely, I smiled and paused for a brief second as if I had gotten scolded. As I did, an Occupational Therapist was trying to teach a little boy to tie shoes. Her method was different. For one, she used a small screen on her phone. The poor kid had to keep focusing on the video and forgetting where he was on the actual string. Pausing the video, she then tells him, "Criss-Cross, Applesauce, form a loop and take it high in the sky. Then drop it back down again, through the tunnel, and pull." Um, what? I'm lost, up in the sky and pull what, where?
Without my glasses, I couldn't see a thing, but heard the kid's frustration. The dad and daughter get up and walk away. So, the therapist acknowledged his aggravation level climbing and placed another fake shoe in front of him. The string was a different color. I'm assuming they went back a level. They finish up without the little boy able to tie a shoelace. Truth be told, I'm not surprised. The lady had no enthusiasm towards the lesson, the screen as small as his hand, and she's got this kid doing sky tricks with laces.
Don't get me wrong, I understand repetition works well with our special children, but this was nuts. It wasn't working. Another little secret, I overheard the whole conversation. This was a year in therapy. In my opinion, try another technique. If you can't tell, I'm a little irritated about the whole thing. I wanted to blurt out, "Hey sweetie, you're doing great. I hear you keep forgetting the loopy -loo and sky high trick. I would, too. Here, try this." But, we all know how well that would've gone over.
Within a few minutes, the lesson was over. Next, was potty time. She and the boy leave and up walks the father and daughter duo. If I wasn't P-Oed then, I was when they got back. As a previous social worker, I know my ethics! This lady must've missed a few. Here, she sits and begins digressing about "potty time". Me, I would've asked, "Would you prefer we go somewhere private?" Her, nope, she began blurting out all the things they did, what the little boy said, and how 15 minutes in the bathroom did nothing.
Well, after what I just engulfed through my ears, it's another, "DUH" from my thoughts. She had the boy stand in the mirror with paper towels around and stand in the sink? I'm no engineer, but how she got that boy (at least 38in) in the sink, without possibly peeing on himself, is NOT possible. Do explain how looking at yourself peeing is going to help? Yes, there's your winky! No, we don't aim it at ourselves, but down at our feet! I mean, think future-wise alone. This boy would now make an association to pee in a sink if a urinal is occupied. Can anyone imagine that headline? "1st Grader gets suspended after exposing himself and urinating in a sink".
I got up and had to walk away. I felt like calling her employee, which is branded on her shirt, and giving them a piece of my mind. Instead, I did like any rational person and go check on my children. Who, by the way, were perfectly in bliss conversing and typing away. I walked around as if I had a purpose. Figuring ten minutes is enough time to close the bathroom happenings, I went back to my computer.
I was wrong again. This time, the father was explaining things. Isn't that supposed to happen before therapy? Where you tell the therapist issues your child has but have no understanding why!! A year, folks. A year in therapy and he had this problem last year. It surfaced again two months ago! I almost went off again. Well, looks to me as there is an inconsistency in therapy. Meaning at home! If your son did well during the school year, comes home and has the issue again, well what are you as a parent NOT doing.
There is even a point where the father says, "...it's all public bathrooms but at home he's fine". Well, then, maybe figure out why public bathrooms? The sound? The fact others can come and go? The fact that he's peeing in a sink? The fact that somewhere in two months, someone didn't do something with this child. What concerned me was the father's statement, "I know it's nothing psychological". As a past social worker, I would've retorted with, "What makes you think that?" What did this therapist say?
"Well, I will see if there's any books for next week. "
That's it? Books? Aside from another fact, we are filled in a room with books, I'm wondering what books she means. Not once did she walk up to a librarian and ask, "Can you point me in the potty training books?" Were they for her to study? Or for that little boy to connect with?! I'm no therapist, although I have been to my son, but I feel there is something lacking here. It's common sense. That my friend, cannot be found in any book known to man.
Instead of shouting out to the people in front of me, I will do it here.
One: try cheerios and make it fun.
Two: try using soothing sounds through headphones while he sits on the toilet
Three: If that fails, try giving him those, kid's click- view finder as he sits, while running water
Four: Pretend you are going while singing a potty dance song. Then ask him to try. Reward when done.
Five: If none of those didn't work, you're not finding out the underlining meaning as to why PUBLIC BATHROOMS are an issue. Which means, dear Freud, there is something psychological.
So, what did I learn today in the library? There are still people out there with no common sense. There are still people with careers but hold to no ethics. The library is not always my sanctuary. I should've taken my glasses. I would've seen OT going on and went the opposite direction. As per me digressing about this situation being "unethical", or as some might say, "calling the kettle black", I laugh.
One: I am not his therapist
Two: Ignorance needs to be stopped and this is the only way I know how
Three: Everyone can learn something from someone. This story should teach everyone - something.