Dollop is now coming up 2, but when she was small she suffered with colic. One of the things we used to help relieve this was baby massage – a popular activity, which is also said to help with bonding. It worked, she was more comfortable, and I really enjoyed my sessions learning about it.
I had one to one sessions at home with a practitioner trained in baby massage. She also happened to be the person who later taught me Webster Stratton strategies to use with Mini, and I had discussed some of Mini’s (then, just emerging) difficult behaviours with her.
I happened to mention that Mini had taken an interest in the baby massage he saw me doing with Dollop, and I used that to teach the NC ‘the moves’ too…I demonstrated on Dollop, the NC practised on Mini. Both really enjoyed it.
So she taught me what she called a ‘weather massage’ – more suited for children, rather than 'baby' massage. You can find more detailed information all over the web on how to do these. But basically, your child sits with their back towards you, and you paint a picture of a weather forecast with your hands. i.e for rainbows you use long sweeping arc motions across their back, for rain you ‘pitter patter’ your fingers all down their neck, shoulders and back and so on.
Mini has always liked having his back (and tummy) rubbed, and so he naturally enjoyed this.
Since then, Mini’s anger has increased, and his desire to have this closeness and physical attention has waned. It’s hard to find him in the right frame of mind too…many times I’ve offered a back rub and had it not just refused, but refused with venom, a growl and a large amount of spit in my face.
This afternoon however, Mini was wound up (as is usual for Friday afternoons) mostly due to tiredness. The trigger for the beginnings of a tantrum was refusing to let him eat a KitKat (other chocolate finger bars are available!) 45minutes before dinnertime, just 45minutes after eating a homemade muffin. I know, I’m so unreasonable! However, I managed to catch him just before the rapid descent into a rage, and gently stroked his arm, whilst talking to him about nothing in particular. Then big shock – Mini asked…yes asked….me to draw patterns on his back.
So, one weather massage administered, along with our own invention – a day out massage (where we ‘walk’ to the park, go round and round the merry-go-round, ‘whizz’ down the slide – you get the idea).
I now have one slightly chilled out Mini.
I’m proud of myself for spotting a moment, and proud of Mini for letting me get close.