Today I’d like to introduce you to the newest member of our family. See this cute little teddy bear? Well, his name is “Jelly Beans”.
A pretty clever name considering that there are 3 little jelly beans on his nose.
And Jelly Beans is Harley’s newest little buddy. He joins the original Teddy, Cookie and Sprinkles in his bed each night.
This foursome of bears each has a story behind them and each of them have helped Harley to cope in all kinds of situations that he has found to be daunting. These bears hold a very special place in his heart and he treats them with the utmost love and respect.
Teddy is the original bear that we bought for Harley before he turned 2 and he hasn’t left his side ever since. Up until Teddy’s arrival, (and we were still clueless as to Harley’s diagnosis or even that he needed one) he was forever chewing and sucking on his sleeves, blankets, pillows, cushions, and anything he could find for comfort! But Teddy filled a very large gap in Harley’s life. He has been through the most with Harley and is still his favourite bear to date.
Cookie’s name continues to amuse me because in Australia we don’t use the word ‘cookie’….we call them ‘biscuits’ but because Harley made Cookie at Build-a-Bear in America – he has named him according to his birth place. And sprinkles…well sprinkles was bought for Harley by a dear friend who treated him to his favourite place back in July and has donuts on his feet with “sprinkles” on them. Hence the creative name.
But the story behind Jelly Bean involves sleep issues, a psychologist and a reward system.
Well, I guess you could also refer to Jelly Bean as ‘leverage’.
Most of you will know that my boys have been sharing a bedroom for quite a while now and it has had its pros and cons, but we realised that it was time to separate them after too many nights where Harley’s sleeping meds would kick in rendering him drowsy and Lucas (who is un-medicated) would lay there and happily talk, and talk, and talk for HOURS. Harley would then get annoyed, Lucas would retaliate until the whole evening would descend into a screaming match between the boys and NO ONE would end up getting any sleep!
And we’ve always known that getting Harley back into his own original bedroom was never going to be an easy task. He hated that room. For some reason it has always frightened him.
So we decided to bribe him. (Yes I know….parents of the year eh!)
Well, Paul told Harley that if he stayed in his own room for a whole week that he could have $10.
Harley bargained for $35.
Paul came up a bit and offered $15 but Harley wouldn’t budge off $35.
Paul came up again offering $20 as his final offer but Harley shook his head digging his heels in even more firmly.
So curious: Paul asked him why he wanted that exact amount?
“Because that’s s how much the build-a-bear that I really want costs”.
(Smart kid eh!)
Ah…..NOW we had something to work with…
So..Fast forward to last Wednesday when we took Harley along to his first appointment with his new psychologist and as I wrote before: She had trouble pulling conversation out of him because he didn’t want to be there. But he did talk to her once. And have a guess what the first thing he told her was?
Yup. ….. “Mum and Dad are buying me a new build-a-bear if I sleep in my own room for a week”.
Paul and I exchanged nervous glances before anxiously looking back at the Psych to see her reaction. I was sure that I was about to get a lecture on bribery and the inappropriateness of “buying” your children’s affections, but I was genuinely surprised! Because she did neither!
She looked at Harley and said: “Did you know that your new teddy is only allowed to sleep in your new room though?”
Harley looked at me and asked: “Is that true Mum?”
So I nodded at him and said:
“Yes. Yes it is true”. (Whilst cursing myself and thinking DAMN I wish I’d thought of that!!)
The Psych continued: “That’s right Harley, if you leave your bed to go to Mum and Dad’s bed or back into Lucas’ room you won’t be able to take your bear with you…He has to stay in your new room”.
Ugh…I felt a bit sick and started to panic a little but guess what? ….Tomorrow makes 14 days in his own bed.
Did you read that correctly? : FOURTEEN DAYS IN HIS OWN BED! At the OTHER end of the house in his OWN room!!!
This really is a HUGE deal in this house! I have posted many, many times over the past 2 years about the massive sleep issues that we have endured and the troubles that his constant night wanderings have cause for all of us.
I LOVE our new psychologist in more ways than I can express right now and although I’m not quite ready to publicly share other stuff that she is working on with Harley, I will in good time.
And to think that the purchase of a simple teddy bear brings my child such comfort and delivers rest to my family: It is money well spent.
So for the time being; I’m going to continue to celebrate these little stepping stone moments because they all join together to make up the path that is going to lead my boy into a wonderful and amazing future.
And you can’t ask for more than that now can you?