Mother courage

Christmas and the New Year came and went, and James enjoyed the
break and the general excess of the season. We’re all back to work
and school now and James isn’t at all happy with having to get up
in the morning and getting ready for school.

This morning he informed us with exasperation that “we were
addicted to washing”.  His aversion to getting washed in the
morning is puzzling because, in every other respect, he is zealous
in his pursuit of hygiene – especially other people’s. After my
partner’s uncle visited us recently James told us that Uncle Bill
had used the toilet but hadn’t gone into the bathroom to wash his
hands. “It’s disgusting,” he said. He then went on to say that he
had told Uncle Bill, as he was walking back downstairs, that “The
sink is in the bathroom!”

We tried to explain to James that it’s not really appropriate to
tell adults to wash their hands – even in a roundabout way. “But
you tell me to wash my hands all the time,” he said, “that’s why I
know it’s so important.”  Check mate. His logic is spot on, but
trying to get him to adapt it to the real world is tricky.

We are off to see the dietician today to talk about how I can
help James to eat more healthily and, hopefully, to lose some
weight (an appointment that we have waited eight months for). Our
experience of dieticians has not been great – some have been
helpful, some patronising and unrealistic about how children eat.
But I’m going with a positive attitude.

He’s very sensitive about the issue of his weight and it’s a
constant battle trying to make sure he doesn’t overeat while trying
not to make too big a deal of it – I don’t think I succeed. But at
least he doesn’t seem to be hiding food as much as he was and that
is a relief, but we’ve got a long way to go.


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