Experiment #1: On Sunday evening we took her sleeves off completely for an hour, and she totally lost it. She could not calm down, would not stand or play, would not smile or laugh, etc. Periodically she would look at us with a panicked expression and bust out wailing. It was bath time and even THAT didn't calm her down. So after the bath we put her sleeves back on, and within ten minutes she was fine: standing, cruising, smiling & laughing.
Clearly cold-turkey is not the way to go.
Experiment #2: On Monday morning I un-mittened her right hand. I chose to do that hand because she scratches more with the left. She has had that hand free for almost 48 hours now, and has done just fine. She has been scratching at her ear a lot and it does have some cuts in it now, but she has been herself and not panicky. I filed her nails this evening to see if that will help minimize the damage to her ears.
Experiment #3: At dinner this evening, Rob un-mittened her left hand so that she had both hands free. For a minute or two she was ok, but then she got that look of panic again and started wailing. She didn't even scratch herself this time! So we re-mittened her hand and she calmed down after a few minutes.
It seems like her anxiety is tied to her left hand being free, not the right. Tomorrow I'm going to try having her right hand mittened and her left hand free, just to see what happens. My hypothesis is that she'll panic. I'll let you know how that turns out :)
The next thing we're going to try is to buy some thin gloves and put one on her left hand. Hopefully she will be ok with that, and then she will at least be able to move her fingers independently and work on her fine motor skills. If that goes well, then I think we'll start cutting off fingers (in the gloves) one at a time, until all her fingers are exposed. If THAT goes well then we can try taking the gloves off completely. I feel so much better having a plan.
However, we still have the issue of bloody ears. Please pray that God would somehow speak to her heart and help her find another way to comfort herself. I am becoming more and more convinced that only God can heal this need for comfort. There may even be some spiritual warfare going on over her.
She is doing better and better with her glasses! Today she wore them for almost an hour, and didn't try to take them off nearly as much. As a result, I was able to get some better pictures of her with them on! Enjoy :)
She's standing very tall now:
Daddy makes me giggle :)
She was totally posing for me here:
My favorite :)
(please excuse the snot, this wasn't exactly a planned photoshoot!)