Sunday, June 22, 2008

The Stimming House

This picture might also be worth 1000 words:

So we have been in our new house for a little less than a week, and we are still mostly packed up in boxes. I think this is going to go much more slowly than I had been hoping. I just want to be in and settled.

But what is that behind those boxes that are sitting on our 3-season porch? Why...a pool! You just can't see it because I took this picture at night.

For our first couple days here, I didn't have much opportunity to get in the pool. G. and the kids were able to make it in once or twice, but I just couldn't seem to get the timing down. Finally, during the last three days, I've been able to fit in some time in the water each day.

K. has always really loved the water, and M. has been a bit more cautious. We have been on hiatus for a while now from our parent-child swim classes, in part because M. hated the coolness of the water. It is really nice now to have some control over the temperature.

What is interesting is that K. now seems a bit more insecure when we get into the water (it could just be the insecurity of moving coming into play), and also she is not tolerating the temp of the water quite as well. She wants to be in the pool with us, but seems very tentative once in. I am hoping once things settle, she too will settle into the house and life with a pool so she can enjoy herself in the water again.

M. on the other hand, in just these few days, has begun to relax tremendously and enjoy water again. He napped later than usual today, so G. took K. up to bed tonight at the usual time but M. stayed downstairs with me for a little extra time.

I asked M. if he wanted to go dip his feet in the pool, and he said that he did. We went out, and were dipping our feet, and not more than five minutes later, M. decided to go ahead and basically step down into the his clothes and all. He played very contentedly even as it began to rain. I let him stay in the pool because there were no signs of lightning, but I made him come inside the house once the rain started to come down more heavily.

This child who once seemed to have a mild sensory aversion to pools is now the last to get out of the pool. A transformation largely in this single week of daily swims. We are so lucky to have a pool in our backyard for no-pressure family swims. It beats parent-child weekly lessons hands-down. M. has been able to come into comfort with the water in his own way and in his own time this week. He even is comfortable enough now to let me just lightly support him with a couple of fingers while he tries some basic swimming moves (leg kicks, and basic arm paddling, which is still very rudimentary).

The pool is a great place for "stimming" activities: for rocking, for slow spinning, for kicking and splashing, for bouncing/jumping, for making patterns with the water. We all do these things naturally in bodies of water, especially children. But M. and I both love that it is a built in feature of this house.

We also set up the computer yesterday, and I was playing some music off my mom's blog. M and I were tilting our heads back, looking at the ceiling, and swaying from side to side as we listened to it (along with bouncing and dancing too). The ceiling in the sunroom is a drop ceiling...a nice one, though, as drop ceilings go. The squares are soothing to look at when swaying. Very stimmy, and very soothing, and very bonding.

M's been enjoying some floor space in the living room to work on his new 24-piece puzzle (the pieces are quite large, and the puzzle is something like 2.5 x 3 feet when completed). He can do that puzzle again and again and again with complete focus as long as K. is busy doing something else. Yesterday, he lined up all his matchbox cars across the sunroom and then pronounced proudly to me, "Did it, mama!" Yes, baby, you did!

Even though our lives are still very much in upheaval here, our new home feels so right and good. And very stimmy-friendly. Hooray!


seppie said...

I'm so glad you guys are in your new house! What a good feeling! I'm going to Barnes and Noble tommorow to try to get the house book you recommended as you were going through the process...I *might* be needing it sooner than I thought!

sf said...

Should I tell Julie this addy to mail the pink one?

Masasa said...


Exciting! Hoping it works out for you. If it does pan out, or even if it doesn't, keep me posted. And definitely let me know what you think of the book.


Either address would work, but the new one is just as well ;-). Thank you soooo much! Lovely. Really lovely.