I was just thinking the other day that Little Bit hasn't had many tics lately. (For anyone new to my blog, our 5 year old daughter has Tourette Syndrome.) Well, today they reared their ugly head again.
I suppose if I stopped and thought hard about it, they are always around. But lately they have been so small and not a big deal that I haven't spent any time thinking about them. Mostly, she just feels the need to touch things. She'll even get up in the middle of a program to go touch the corners of the TV screen. Eh, it's just everyday life around here.
Today Sweetheart was posing a doll and taking pictures of it. As she walked away, Little Bit started touching the doll's head and Sweetheart said, "Don't mess it up!" Little Bit yelled back, "It's a tic!" I told her she could go ahead and touch it but to be careful. She touched all the parts that she felt needed to be touched and then we had this conversation:
LB: If I don't do the tics I feel bad.
Me: Like....how do you feel if you don't do the tic?
LB: I feel like......nervous if I don't.
(Pretty good explanation for a 5 year old, I'd say!)
LB: I don't like doing the tics. I wish they would go away.
Me: I'm sorry darling. I wish you didn't have to deal with them too.
LB: (sits down on couch and punches stomach) Go away tics! Get out of my tummy!!!!
I then suggested we find a computer game on dinosaurs to play. That distracted her enough and I got her interested in the game. It breaks my heart....and she wasn't really even all that upset during this conversation. But I have found I can sometimes distract her away from the tics. When she was younger she had a throat tic that hurt her to do. I would put a Wiggles CD on in the car for us to all sing along to and that usually worked.
Sweetheart is very patient with the tics. She will even be walking by carrying something and Little Bit will stop her so she can touch the object. She's still trying to wrap her head around the idea of tics. She asked me tonight during this conversation with Little Bit, "So....she can't stop them?" I told her she could, but it took a lot of effort and it was hard to do sometimes. Sweetheart gets kind of frustrated sometimes (when LB is standing in front of her TV program touching the corners of the screen), but overall she's really awesome at dealing with it. It probably helps that Little Bit hollers "TIC TIC TIC TIC TIC TIC" while she does it.
Which leaves very little doubt as to what is happening. :)