Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Escape Artist

Look!  I have more teeth!

My darling daughter has excellent gross motor skills.  It is actually her developmental area of strength.  She is a climber.  She take risks.  She seems to feel less pain upon falling than many of her peers (see SPD posts).  This all scares the you-know-what out of me, but I let her learn through her "exploits".

Recently, my husband and I watched dumbfounded as she escaped from the high chair constraints at Kerbey Lane Cafe and ended up on the table in 2 seconds flat (she could win an award for fastest table climber).  Upon which she shoved an entire half of a PB & J sandwich into her mouth.  Of course, in spite of my shock and fear for her safety, I laughed.  I mean come on!  A little 20 pound Bearity Bear-Bear just hopped up onto a table and shoveled food into her mouth like we never ever feed her. We received some interesting stares.  Seriously, like I allow my kid to just eat on top of a table.  Nevermind, ignore that last sentence.

Why is that woman in the background giving me "the stink eye"?
She must be insanely jealous of Ellie's acrobatic skills.

Then the grocery carts.  Oh the grocery carts! There have been many battles and one too many near misses to count.  Ellie does great if the straps are up high under the arms/across the chest--like those at Central Market.  She defies gravity if strapped into those at Michael's, HEB groceries, or Target for those straps sit across her thighs.  It is disastrous at Half-Priced Books.  Their restraining belts sit lower on the body and she just stands right on up and nearly topples to the ground.  The chunky chicken is adamant that she turn around in the cart or that she must stand or sit sideways.  Toys, distractions, and bribery do NOT work.  If I leave her unrestrained, she does better.

I believe a concussion, a broken clavicle, or a broken arm is in our future.

What is with the "Surfer Bear" on the slide?

After brainstorming with Jan, our developmental therapist, we determined that it is a sensory input issue.  She needs some grounding, some pressure.  This is where the "sock snake " comes in.

Oh yes, I am doing another tutorial.  The concept is similar to a weighted blanket only it is much smaller and is it cheaper.  The plus is that you do not have to sew.  At all.  Jan says to use a men's tube sock.  Fill sandwich bags with beans or rice and then stuff bags into the sock.  Tie off the end with a knot or use a rubber band. Viola!  It is that simple.  I apologize if this sounds dirty.  Get your mind out of the gutter!   The "sock snake" (I said out of the gutter!) is to be draped across Ellie's lap when in the high chair or grocery cart.

Keep scrolling because I show Ellie with the finished product.  It is hilarious.  I promise.

1. Bag of beans or rice
2. Zip-lock bags  (I used the smaller snack bags)--After this little experiment, I now recommend sandwich bags that you can close with rubber bands as the corners of the zippies poke through the socks.
3. A tube sock 
 * B/c the tube sock is boring and well, frankly, ugly, I am going with fun, snazzy knee high socks from Target.  Cheap and happy.  Ellie picked out the socks.*

As with the weighted blanket, you are going for ~ 10% body weight.  
A 2-lb. bag of pinto beans worked for us. 
1/2 cup of beans ~ 3 oz -3.2 oz.

It took me about 10 bags to fill the entire sock. 

When completely filled, knot the end or use a rubber band.
The corners of the zip-lock baggies poked through the cheap socks.
To remedy this, I slipped the partner sock over the sock-snake.

Now, does the "sock snake" work?  See below.  We got some pretty funny stares.

Hummmmm.  What is this thing?

Okay, it seems to be working.  Look at how nicely she is sitting in the cart.

Oh oh and some oral sensory thing going on.  Must taste the "sock snake"

And over it goes.  At Costco, a young guy started to pick it up and then changed his mind.
The "sock snake" must have scared him.

This morning I quickly threw together a "heavy-work" cart for Ellie as we headed into Speech Therapy.  I believe this shall be the new and improved use for the "sock snake" and "weighted backpack".  It worked like a charm for the Bear as she didn't even need to be strapped into a chair for most of speech therapy.  Plus, all of the occupational therapists proclaimed their excitement over our "heavy work" contraption and they now they want to "steal" the idea for some of their clients.

Weighted stroller--backpacket bear weighted with rice.  Sock Snake weighted with beans.
See, the bear needs a weighted sock snake.  Do not ask about the green straw--that is another post entirely.

Do not forget about my "daughter of the heart" Tabitha,  Francine, and little Elden on Reece's Rainbow as they desperately need families.

*I apologize for the poor quality of photos.  Most of them were taken with a cell phone.  

**Because it isn't safe to be snapping photos of my daughter while tumbling out of a grocery cart and jumping out of a high chair, you will have to settle with indoor mall playscape photos.

***Seriously, I will get to Ellie's developmental update and our ABA eval results soon :-)



  1. Oh she is so cute! Love the sock idea. Kind of cracks me up too.

  2. I love the sock snake. I used to work with an old pediatric nurse at the hospital that had a sock snake...she simply filled it up with beans or rice (no bags) and would heat it up in the microwave and use it to help her neck pain... who knew sock snake was so helpful? Glad you found something that works...when are those biopsy results coming back? Ok, 20 questions is over.. Give Ellie Bear a SMOOCH from me!

  3. Adorableness as always. I'm pretty sure that lady in the background is giving you the stink eye because you took a photo of her breastfeeding her baby... and then put it on the internet. :/

  4. You are a host of information! Thank goodness Ellie Bear has you for a Momma Bear! Love your blog :)


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