You go into this thinking you'll be a natural.
"They" warn you it may not be that simple.
I swear- Sometimes I think I really suck at this. Sometimes I miss the basic/easy stuff. After six months we've covered a lot of bases. Staying home with him for all this time, has given me every opportunity to be in tuned to his needs- especially when he doesn't quite have the verbal skills to express them. And yet- when I'm trying so hard to fulfill his needs on "this" and "that"- well- "The other thing" I totally miss. And feel like a novice.
He's a sensory seeker. Especially at night. I try to be there for him- while not contributing to inputting more sensory stuff. Fight him and it feeds on it. Get frustrated and it revs him up. Raise my voice- add an hour till eyes closed.
At the same time- it borders on ignoring him. And well... that is just too close to neglect... it is a very very delicate balance. One in which I try very hard to hold and at the same time- give him room to learn to self soothe (hoping for the day he can go to sleep on his own).
Tonight was a big fight night. He was over tired. Fighting fighting fighting. Oh, the things he'll do to keep his eyes open!! At a certain point- I turned my back on him, laying on my side. His foot firmly in my back as he keeps constant contact.
He moved closer. Closer. Closer. He sat up. He giggled. I didn't give him anything to feed on. I stayed put. "He needs this." I told myself. "He's overtired. He needs sleep. We've done eye contact. We've talked Ethiopia. Just lay here. He'll settle"
Next thing I know- He's pulling at my PJ bottoms and attempting to lift my PJ top. (again, I'm back to, to him) I lay there. Still. Not going to give him anything. This is new.
"Just stay put. Let him tire. He needs to sleep. Don't give him any sensory stuff back. He's trying to get you going. Don't do it." I remind myself.
Soon- he's in my pants. Literally. Putting a leg inside my pant leg and he's attempting to tuck his head and upper body inside my pj's.
All I can think is- "He's literally trying to climb inside my freaking skin! Are you kidding me! He's doing his best to piss me off"
And then... it hits me...
"They" told me. "They" said it time and time again. Skin to skin contact.
Of course- I'd been conscious of it early on. Months ago. But- here I am thinking I'm an old pro at this. Thinking all bases were covered. Thinking those basic needs have been met and moved on. Thinking I could tell what he needed and would automatically respond to them.
And here I was, ignoring him. Ignoring his needs. Fighting against them- oblivious of what he was asking for.
A natural -my ass.
I've still got a lot of work ahead of me.