Safe Spot

Throughout our holiday, whenever Cameron was upset, he would snuggle close and whine, “I want to go home!” He tried crying, sobbing, wailing, demanding. The biggest tear-jerker ones were when he tried what works for other things he wants – after several tries with no success. “Please Mommy, I want to go home?” When he did this because he earned himself a time out by hitting, I would laugh and say, “You’d be in a time out at home for that, too, kiddo.” But it was often said when he was frustrated, or had bumped his head for the eighteenth time on the counter, or was feeling scared or insecure. He would ask at bedtime to sleep in his own bed. No, not this one! He wanted his own, at-home, big-boy bed. Failing that, he wanted to sleep with me.

For Christmas Cameron got a whole lot of special toys, snuggly squishy stuffies, PJs, new clothes, and a twilight sea turtle. For those who don’t know what this is, it’s a great stuffie turtle with a hard shell that projects a scattering of stars across the ceiling in a dark bedroom. Away from home, he loved especially the polar bear with a sweater (great pick, Bill!) and snuggled with it almost every night. The blue Dynaco helicopter and engine-friends for Thomas were big hits and got played with all over the house. The stars of the turtle were must-haves at bedtime, and he seemed to love the control that picking the colour (green, blue, or both) of the stars gave him.

Now we’re home. He was eager to unpack his toys and stuffies. They’re getting played with, for sure! But NOT in his bedroom. Not even one new sock has made it into the sanctuary of sameness, his domain, what he envisioned as security the whole time we were gone. “Do you want blue stars or green stars tonight,” was met with a wail tonight. He wouldn’t even wear his new PJs, that he’s worn most nights since getting them.

I’ve backed off entirely. He can have his security blanket of constancy, his place where he feels at home. I’m glad he’s got that! Slowly, after a little while, I’ll be able to move his new clothes in there when they no longer feel quite so “away”. Maybe the polar bear will ‘ask’ to move into his room. I’ll leave his turtle out in a few days for him to play with, so he can remember just how cool the stars looked in a small dark room, and perhaps bring it into his room on his own.

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