KK and I had our last play therapy session yesterday afternoon for nearly an hour. Lynn (the therapist) gave us five tasks to complete while she sat on the other side of the room and observed and made frantic notes.
1. Hide the Baby Marshmallows
I first hid the marshmallows in my clothes for Kaylin to find and eat. I took the opportunity to ask her to share her sweeties with me. She did no problem – previously this would’ve been a stern and nippy “No!”. I hid them between my legs, up my sleeves, down my top (in my bra) which we giggled about. Then I told her I would close my eyes and she must hide some on herself too (which she did with a little assistance from Lynne). I started to look for the marshmallows and in the process gave her a little tickle here and there which made it fun and made KK laugh and beam. What a beautiful smile and giggle my little girl has.
2. Peel and feed each other apple
I showed her how to peel and apple with a peeler and put the skin in a container and then after I showed her how to hold it herself and I let her try it. Firstly, with me holding the apple for her to peel but soon she turned on “independent” on me and wanted to try it herself. I asked her to see how long she could peel a strip off.
She did so well, and with lots of praise and encouragement we finished peeling the apple. We then cut it up to get and took turns feeding each other bite sized pieces of apple. Yummy! She NEVER eats fruit at home. This was the first time I've seen her eat an apple. Silly hey?
3. Make up a game with the bean bag
I chose to start off throwing the bean bag to each other. It seemed like the easiest. I showed her how to hold her hands out properly to catch it and hold it to her chest so she doesn’t drop it once she's caught it. Then I told her that I was going to throw the bean bag high up into the sky, which I pretended to do and while she was looking up for it to come down, I hid it behind my back. I asked her “where it is?”, “I dunno” she replied and I told her it was magic – it had disappeared.
I then hid the bean bag in my hand and outstretched my arm towards Kaylin’s ear. I touch her ear with the bean bag as if it had magically appeared from her ear! She giggled so hard at my silly magic trick.
4. Put hand cream on each other
I took time with this one. I asked her firstly to put cream on my hands because they were very dry (which they are) and I asked her to help me rub it in. She wasn’t too comfortable with this at first – she preferred to rub it in on her own hands. So I followed her lead.
I took each finger and lovingly caressed it and told her how beautiful her hands were and we spoke a little about her “Eina’s” (cuts and sores) on her hands. We talked about a little blister she had on the end of her finger she got recently and she recalled the incident.
I asked her again if she would put some on my hands again and she agreed and mirrored what I did. She took each finger in hers and touched my hands so softly and gently. I fell in love with my little girl. Such a trivial act that we take for granted can turn into a special moment.
I then asked if I could put on her legs and she pulled up her long pants for me to rub cream on her legs. I asked if I should do her feet and Kaylin took her shoes off but when I took one of her socks off she said “No, it’s too cold”. We put her sock back on and she asked to eat her apple, so that game was over. She’d controlled that but in a good way. We need to respect their wishes too. It makes them feel they have some choices and power.
5. Tell Kaylin a story about when she was a baby
I took Kaylin in my arms on my lap and told her I was going to tell her a story about when she was a baby. (Kaylin never sit still when we read stories with her sister and she doesn’t sit still to listen to me - ever! She sat on my lap and listened for a little while I told her a brief story (I knew she wouldn't sit still for long but I was thinking "baby steps"). The story was about when Daddy met her for the first time ever and that he had said to mummy how beautiful she was. I told her that Daddy was so amazed at how we made such a special little girl. I cuddled her and told her she was still our special little girl and would always be. I gave her a hug and she got up looked at me and kissed me. I told her that I loved her and she got distracted by some Tigger and Pooh toys which she gently took down and began to play with on her own. She was so calm
I am so glad that I worked so hard over the last 3 months on our relationship because we were not happy with each other. I won’t say she’s a different child altogether but I have the sweet, loving, beautiful Kaylin back that I knew was always there.
I couldn’t thank Lynne enough for helping me get this gift back. And when Lynne told me how proud she is of me and what we’ve accomplished, I nearly lost it. Bubblin' Betty here.
Feedback session will be soon and she said she’d never witnessed such a natural play session with mother and her “previously troubled” little girl. She said “It’s as if I wasn’t even there” and that normally parents are a little nervous and “staged” when they are being observed. She praised me again for doing such a great job with our relationship in such a short time.
I can’t wait to hear what he has to say about us. Hopefully she has some good criticism for us that we can work on getting an even better relationship!