My Boy pinches.
That’s ONE of his “things.”
He’s improved the past few months to where now it’s more of a conscious choice, or at least seems to be, rather than a compulsion or an outlet.
But that wasn’t always how it went down.
His pinching started when he was still nursing and is actually one of the reasons we weaned when we did.
When my Boy was 16 months old and I was wondering if 3 was a good age to wean (you know, before preschool) he started pinching me when he nursed.
He’d get milk drunk and start pinching as he got sleepy.
I tried to stop the pinching.
I said “no” and moved his hands. It would be a fight.
I tried to give him a toy or a blanket to pinch instead. It would be a fight.
I tried saying “no” and stopping the nursing, not allowing him to nurse again if he pinched.
And that was how he weaned.
In a tug of war over pinching.
Because he couldn’t or wouldn’t stop pinching.
I’m not happy with how it went down, but really? It hurt like the dickens and I couldn’t let him do it.
So we weaned.
And that’s when he started pinching himself.
He’d pinch his neck when he was upset. And it wasn’t a friendly pinch either, it was more like he was trying to remove his skin.
It was rough.
For what seemed like a long time.
But the severe pinching has long since transitioned to a gentle rolling of the skin between his fingers when he’s relaxing.
Sometimes he says “don’t hurt my baby” while he does it. Which was the only thing I could ever think to say when he was hurting himself. I’d touch his hand and say “don’t hurt my baby.”
I don’t get many things right, but that not only got through to him, somehow. It really worked.
He totally knows who my baby is.
And he absolutely knows I don’t want my baby to be hurt.
So the pinching isn’t the scary thing it once was.
And it’s so mild now I’ve presumed when it happens that it’s habit and that he doesn’t even really think about it.
I’m wrong so often.
He absolutely thinks about it.
We were snuggling today and he was pinching and reached over and touched my neck and asked if he could pinch me. I said no and he got upset. He started to fight.
He said he needed to pinch my neck. I insisted he couldn’t.
We never did recover from that rejection today.
Some therapies teach that you should join in stims. That you should participate as much as possible as long as no one is getting hurt.
And maybe if it was running in circles or climbing or making noises or spinning Thomas’s wheels I totally would have.
But the pinching bothers me.
And I cannot wait for the million other things we are working on to improve enough that this no-longer-harming behavior can get some attention and I can get some guidance.
Because the last thing I want my Boy to ever feel is rejected.
But I gotta pass on the stimmy-pinching.
(Lets out a deep sigh…)
Pic of my Boy, stimmy-pinching and snuggling with Momma-Crazy-Hair.