Ohhhh Man! He is driving me nuts! He is driving me crazy! He is driving me bonkers!
How can this
totally adorable child possibly be driving me over the edge you ask?
It is his obsession with my HANDS. Sounds a little strange doesn’t it?
Where did it come from? I don’t know. When did it start? I cannot remember distinctly, but I know it’s been going on for months, and months, and months. Many months. I know it was happening at the end of the school year in the spring because we wrote it into his Functional Behavior Assessment.
It may have started back in January when he began calling his awesome preschool teacher the “big hand teacher” and was resisting hand over hand help. It has progressed into something much bigger. It has become a persistent, preoccupation with my hands. It seems obsessive to me.
He is always conscious of where my hands are, what they are doing, if they are cold, if they are holding something, if they are in my pockets, if I am writing, if I am wearing something like gloves (to clean), or mittens, etc. He wants me to position them certain ways when I’m resting one hand on the counter while I use the other to stir sauce, brush my teeth, or comb my hair. Also, he calls them “white hands.” Which sounds like he understands color in terms of race, but he doesn’t, we’ve never discussed ethnicity with him. And he says it very drawn out “wwhhhyyyyiiiiiiitttteee haaaaaaands” so I know he is not referring to the fact that I happen to be a Caucasian woman. He also calls me a “wwhhyyyyiiiiiiitttteee Mooooooommiiieeee” so I think it has more to do with the way the words sound as he says them, and possibly to be annoying. He says other things in that drawn out way. Like when he calls me a “doooooogggggiiiieeee.” Nice.
So, not only is he overly conscious of where my hands are and what they are doing, he is always touching them, squeezing them, or putting my hand on his neck and then ramming his pointy little chin down on the back of my bony, skinny hand, which I have to say is slightly painful. Finally, the one thing that annoys me the most, he puts his mouth on the back of my hand, sometimes slobbering on it, sometimes rubbing his lips back and forth over the skin. It happens whenever my hands are in reach of his mouth, which is quite frequently given that he never leaves my side when we are in the house (unless he is watching a show or in the bath tub, sigh…).
Earlier in the year I thought this was really becoming an obsession, something he wasn’t totally in control over, and I was slightly worried about it. Now, I really think he is doing it for the attention. For the negative reaction I eventually give him (yanking my hand away, sighing loudly, making my mad Mommy face, etc.) which makes him smile that evil, adorable, devilish smile and laugh at me! I am frustrated. This hand obsession is really bothering me and he knows it. He even said to me yesterday “I’m driving Mommy bonkers!!” when I ripped my hand out of his grasp after he slobbered on it. Then he said “I’m obsessed with Mommy’s hands.” Sigh. He’s totally doing it for the attention. Which I cannot understand because this kid gets all of my attention! If he’s home, he’s with me! There are times when I have to answer the phone, read his communication book, or type a quick email and then it is 10 times worse, he’s grabbing at my hands and trying to get his mouth on them. Sigh.
We’ve tried time-out, taking desserts away, taking other preferred activities away, yelling, as well as talking calmly about it NOT putting his mouth on my hand. I tried really hard to ignore it and redirect, and only lasted a few hours. I guess I just wasn’t strong enough and IT’S ANNOYING! Yesterday I even threatened to start giving him a piece of broccoli every time he started in on my hands. He said “NO!” but I never did get out the dreaded broccoli. This morning I tried to ignore him while he contorted his body to get his mouth on the back of my hand while I helped him get dressed. He wasn’t too successful at getting what he wanted and so he reached over and jammed his finger up my nose…it took every ounce of my strength not to completely freak-out on him. I have to be honest and admit that I YELLED at him to “STOP IT RIGHT NOW!” then I stomped down that stairs and he started to cry. He knows he is bothering me with the hand stuff and he definitely knows that it is NOT okay to ram your finger up someones nose.
I am just at a loss as to what to do?
Any advice before I put my head through the wall in frustration?