Having this support is a great source of strength for J and I. I, especially, really rely on my friends in the DOC! The love I get from fellow D Mamas and Papas is tremendous! Knowing that someone out there knows what we're going through, has been through it before, can offer advice and can lend a sympathetic ear is truly what keeps me sane.
Sweetpea, however, does not have this. She has no community of people to tell her they understand. To tell her they've been there, too.
I wonder how alone and isolated she feels? If at all?
What Sweetpea DOES have to help her through these difficult times is PLAY.
One of the absolute BEST things that happened when we were in-patient during dx was the play room. It was filled with many things - but what Sweetpea liked best was the doll area and doctor kit.
Day 2 or 3, she was already acting out shots and what was happening to her using the dolls.
That has continued.
Sweetpea loves her doctor kit. She plays with it all the time. ESPECIALLY when things are not going so well on the D front.
I had to go back to work today so Mimi and Gaga had Sweetpea for the day.
They reported that during the day...
* Her babies threw up many times.
* Her babies needed IV's put in their arms and they had to hold very still and breathe.
* Her babies had to go to the hospital and see the doctor.
* Her babies needed shots and bandaids.
* Her babies needed site changes because their sites were not working very well.
From what I hear, this went on ALL. DAY. LONG.
This picture was taken shortly after dx... notice the paci in her mouth! She has on her "Doctor in Training Scrubs".
This picture was taken at dx in the hospital. We brought a stroller from home and she swiped a stethoscope to keep in our room!
I think this good. This is how she's working through a difficult, traumatic experience. I talk about. I blog about it. She plays. Same thing.
I'm glad she has this outlet... this way to work through her day.
I read this on the Family Enhancement and Play Therapy's website:
At first, you might wonder why anyone would suggest play as a way to overcome children's problems. Here's why play therapy is often recommended for children: Play is the primary way that children...• learn about the world
• understand how different things work
• express their thoughts and feelings
• develop their physical skills
• develop their mental skills
• develop effective social skills and bonds.As children grow, their use of language becomes more sophisticated, but throughout childhood, they usually express much more of themselves in their play. We can understand our children better if we understand their play. By watching children play we often learn more about their thoughts, feelings, motivations, and struggles than by talking with them! Play has been called the "language of childhood," so if we re-learn that language, it can help us build even stronger relationships with our children. Play is not something trivial; on the contrary, it is one of the most critical elements of healthy child development!
Play therapy creates a safe atmosphere where children can express themselves, try new things, learn more about how the world works, learn about social rules and restrictions, and work through their problems. Play therapy gives children an opportunity to explore and open up more than usual.
When we, as adults, encounter a tough problem, we often think about it for a while, look at it from different angles, determine our options, and sometimes talk about it with someone we trust. When things go wrong for us, we might mentally review what happened and think about how we might handle the situation in the future. During play therapy, children do these same things using their imaginations. Play therapy provides the tools (toys and activities) and the atmosphere to help children express themselves, work on their problems, "try on" different solutions, and learn more effective coping methods.
And you never know...
Maybe she's not only playing.... Maybe she's practicing for her future!