The Emotional Scars Take the Longest to Heal

It’s been almost 2 years since Ruslan’s arm injury and if you look at him today, you wouldn’t know how badly his arm was burned. We are so grateful that he has full use of his arm and he continues to be a busy and very active boy.

On the other hand, he is still afraid of anything hot – and hot includes anything warm. For a long time he bathed in cold water; now he will finally get into the tub with lukewarm water. Food is even worse, he won’t eat unless his food is almost completely cold. I usually fix his plate first so it has time to sit and cool and then he sits down and insists that I blow on his food. Then he will finally try a bite before declaring it is still too hot. After several minutes he will try his food again.


Wyatt’s physical recovery from his surgery has gone very well. We dropped the high strength pain medication and switched to Advil after 1 day and slowly dropped that after a week. He is  back to running and jumping and climbing and getting into trouble with Ruslan. His surgery was on a Tuesday and he stayed home with me for the remainder of that week – it would have been impossible for them to restrict his activity at his summer program.

Everyday since his surgery he has asked to stay home with Mommy. He has become very clingy and is not interested in being away from me at all – as in he is always in the same room, preferably next to me or on my lap. A week after his surgery, my Dad took him about to dinner and he started coughing and felt pain and he needed to be home with Mommy right away. By the end of the week I hoped to entice him with a sleepover at Nonni’s house but it was a rough evening. He told my mom to call me and then he got on the phone and started screaming that he wanted to come home. We went back and forth and he had good and bad moments and eventually he agreed to stay (we would not have pressed it if he had not calmed down for the night). He slept fine but was very happy to come home in the morning.

Most nights he wakes up at least once and wants to sleep with me – basically he wants to always be touching mommy all of the time. Last night I returned him to his bed 3 times before I gave up and let him stay with me, because at some point I had to get some sleep. Apparently the boys are conspiring to make me very tired as Ruslan was up twice last night – thankfully a brief snuggle in the rocking chair calmed him back to sleep.


Yesterday was the first day of preschool and the boys changed rooms from the 3-yr to the 4-yr preschool. Wyatt was very clear with me all weekend that he had no interest in going to school and planned to stay home with me instead. Monday morning he woke up very early but seemed ok when I talked to him about getting ready for school. Both boys let me take pictures of them and Wyatt was so pleased with himself that he could wear his backpack and carry his sleeping bag (cocoon) and lunch box.

All was well until we walked into the cafeteria where the preschoolers were gathering and then Wyatt started sobbing. I sat with him for a few minutes but it became clear that he was not going to calm down until I was gone. So I left him in crying in the arms of his preschool teacher.

When I parked at school this morning I turned around to see Wyatt wiping his eyes and then he didn’t want to get out of the car. He asked if he could come home with me. Since Wyatt was already upset I didn’t take them to the cafeteria, instead we went directly to their empty, quiet classroom and waited for the rest of the class join them. I held Wyatt for a few minutes and then he wanted to play with some toys. It is much easier for Wyatt to calm down when he is in a quiet environment. When I left he was calm and I hope that he is having a good day with his friends. Wyatt is slow to adjust to changes and in the past 3 weeks he has had surgery, the summer program ended, and preschool started. Hopefully things start to settle and we can get back to normal…whatever that may be.











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