It's spring break week here for Ayden...which means our normal schedule is changed and causes a bit of anxiety for both kids. Overall, it's not too bad though. Yesterday morning was A LOT of screaming. Issac was not okay sharing his 'mommy time' with Ayden, so every time Ayden came near mom, Issac would scream. Ayden basically whined the entire morning after birds was taken away.
What is birds? Angry Birds. (known as "BIRDS" around our home). Let me just take a tangent here for a minute and talk about this little game and it's impact on our house lately. Mr Awesome and I both have Android phones, and both have Angry Birds on our phones. We would play while the kids were watching a movie, or while sitting waiting for something. It caught Ayden's attention and we started to teach him how to play. While it was great that he was playing a game he loved (that helps SO SO much with coordination) - Ayden's hands are not clean...EVER. He chews on them or his clothes, or toys..and it is wet. You can imagine putting wet hands all over a touch-screen phone is just..well, gross...so playing on our nice, expensive phones was just not a good option. Enter the ipod touch. I have an ipod touch from when they first came out. First generation, no external speaker, unable to upgrade to iOS 4.0 - so essentially worthless in the apps department. As for music, well, my phone actually has more room for storage, so the ipod has been sitting around lonely and unused.
I decided to put Birds on it for Ayden to play. We confined him to sitting while he was playing it and it worked out nicely. Except it is the only thing he wants to do all.the.time. Ayden often has to 'saturate' on toys that he likes before he will put them down. The first time we actually paid attention to this was when he attached to a toy that our OT brought. After basically doing nothing but playing with a shape sorter for three sessions which all ended in a mess of tears, we decided to pick him up one for home. It took three months for him to get to the point where he would put that toy down. (yes, you read that correctly, MONTHS). We are working on the saturation phase with birds for Ayden currently...so most of the time saying no or taking birds away ends in whining or tears (or screaming, hitting, or tantrums if we are very unlucky).
Back to yesterday...I turned around to see Ayden with an entirely black face chewing on my ipod. While I'm okay with him playing with it...chewing on it (even though it's in a hard case) is just not okay. He's 'mouthed' it before...but never chewed on it like he was. Maybe gnawing is a better word... The black on his face was pieces of the leather from the case (it's a hard case, with fake leather covering it). While he chews on things, this was a bit over the top even for him. I took it away, and that seemed to be the end of it. Our afternoon was birds-free and went much better than the morning.
So..today turned out to be a repeat of yesterday's chewing incident. I am not sure why he is chewing on things like that. It's not new for him to chew on toys or objects, but the extent to which he is chewing on them is. This morning I replaced birds with his 'Chewy'. Ayden's Chewy is basically a hand-shaped teether. I was calling it his "hand" but didn't want to confuse him since I don't want him chewing on his actual hand...so Chewy it is. He sat on the couch for about an hour gnawing on Chewy. I mean, I could hear him chewing on it.
So, I'm not sure if the extreme chewing is a result of anxiety over his schedule changing (or something else), if he is teething, or if maybe it is something entirely different. I'll be making a trip to the store to restock gum for him and hopefully this won't last too long. I feel like we've been through a phase like this before, and feel like it was also last spring. Admittedly, neither Mr Awesome nor I can remember - I can only place it to between October 2009 and July 2010 because I know or OT helped out with it last time. (which is a large window). If it is the spring, maybe it's aggravated by allergies or something. I'll have to keep track of when it is worse/better so maybe we can avoid it next time around. (Also will need to make a note to ask about it at the clinic next month too!)