Friday, April 10, 2015

The Deal with the Sleeves

When I got home last night, Olivia met me at the door to let me know that her teacher had left a note in her folder about O and her sleeves.

Olivia has an issue with long sleeves. She messed with them constantly. She’ll pull her left hand into her shirt, tugging the sleeve over the hand and the neck down to her upper arm, making it difficult for her to use her left hand for anything. Sure, she’s right-handed but sometimes, she does need to use her left hand too.

This makes me crazy at home and I am constantly telling her, “Don’t mess with your sleeves at school.”

She stared at me solemnly and assured me, “I won’t.”

Right…except she did and does mess with her sleeves at school.

The note basically told me that she was pulling her sleeves over both hands and doing this specifically when it was time to write something. Yeah, basically, she was being a brat. The note concluded with asking me and Tom to talk to Olivia about this behavior.

Sigh. Yeah, so we talked about it. AGAIN. And she again said she’d stop. But we kind of know she won’t.

So I declared it to be short-sleeve season, with a sweater over the short sleeves when the weather dictates the need for a sweater.

I replied to her teacher that this is what we’d be doing and that if O messes with the sleeves of her sweater, her teacher should remove the sweater, even if Olivia claims to be cold, because, duh, messing with sleeves means perhaps she needs to be a little uncomfortable for a while before earning back the privilege of the sweater. It’s not like they keep the temperature in the school at sub-zero so while she might be chilly without the sweater, she won’t be at risk of frostbite.

I explained all this to Olivia last night and again this morning as she was getting dressed and wondering why she was wearing a short-sleeved shirt. As I put her sweater on her, I reminder her yet again that if she messed with the sleeves on it, it will be removed and put in her backpack.

She was so serious as she promised not to mess with her sleeves. I think she really means it when she says these things.

But then she gets to school (or is at home) and forgets that messing with the sleeves is forbidden, the sleeves are just there and they’re either bothering her as they hang at her wrists or she gets bored or heck, I don’t even know what’s going on in her head when she starts tugging at them and using them to erase the dry-erase board. She just does those things and it makes the adult in charge of her crazy as they try to get her to stop.

So yeah, short sleeves it is.


Julie said...

Poor kid. All of the adults in her life are such meanies.

Tommie said...

LOL Yes, we are such meanies, what with the making her eat her lunch and do her work and not just play with her sleeves all day long. :-)

Kate J said...

We have a problem with the short sleeves with our cdc girl, so we have to do long sleeves, year-round. The behaviors she has difficulty moderating or stopping all seem to be sensory-related and no amount of negotiating/award/punishment seems to touch these. In her head, I think she gets it, but she just can't stop the compulsion. The hair-pulling is the worst. These all seem to ebb & flow with the amount of stress in her world, so I have hope of eventually finding a solution.