I need to find a chew toy for my 7-year-old. A chew toy that fits on top of a pencil. Because without one, well...I fear that shards of wood are going to wind up lodged in his digestive tract. I wish I were kidding. That pencil over there? He got that pencil from his teacher at 8:15 in the morning, after he'd so totally shredded his previous pencil that it was in approximately six pieces. By 11:00, this is what it looked like.
When his teacher pulled me aside after dismissal to show me the pencil and ask what I thought we could do, I told her that asking him not to chew was simply not an option. We've asked him not to suck his thumb. We've asked him not to chew his shirts. And he's doing the best he can. But he has to chew SOMEthing. And it's going to be the thing in his hand or close to his mouth, more often than not. So, pencils it will be. (As someone who has always chewed on pencils and pens--hell, as someone who spent much of junior high school running to the bathroom after yet another Bic pen exploded blue ink all over my tongue and lips--I understand. What I don't understand is why I didn't get teased to within an inch of my life for crap like that. I think I lived in some kind of little charmed pocket of niceness.)
Instead of not asking him to chew, then, what I did was head to Office Depot, to look for a less-easily-destroyed pencil. I found what I thought might be the solution: rubber coated pencils. I handed a dozen of them to his teacher on Monday.
This is what she sent home with him yesterday. So I'm thinkin' that maybe the rubber-coated thing isn't going to be my answer.
Which is why I need a chew toy pencil topper. And quick.
Of course, such a thing doesn't exist. Or if it does, it's not easily available, and certainly not carried at Office Depot. In fact, it's this sort of need--a small, concrete, seemingly minor need--that is at the bottom of half my angst these days. Because this one small, concrete, seemingly minor need is nothing of the sort. It's a need that leads to other needs. There is need upon need upon need here. It's a never-ending circle of need.
Here's how it goes:
I need to find a pencil he can chew on, but not destroy. But I don't know where to find it. So what I really need is someone who can point me in the right direction, tell me what store or online venue will have this sort of equipment for me. Except I don't know who to ask around here. So what I really need is a list or bulletin board or something for kids like N; somewhere I can send queries like this and get btdt responses in minutes. Except N's problems aren't pigeon-hole-able, which means it's almost impossible to find the right kind of online group. So what I really need is a better diagnosis. Except I can't afford to take him to yet another slew of doctors in search of I-don't-know-what. So what I really need is a better job, one that pays more. Except if I had a better job, I'd undoubtedly have to be in an office, and that would cut into the time I can spend with N in the afternoons, trying to keep him regulated. So what I really need is to find a school situation that fits him better, where they would know better how to help me regulate him, and where he wouldn't be so nervous that he'd chew through two pencils a day. Except that would require my having all of the above: online or personal resources to help me find the right place, a better diagnosis, a better job to afford the diagnosis...
You know those books, those "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie" books? That's what it's like in my brain these days. Except without the cute illustrations.
All of which is to say...Does anyone out there know where I can find a less-destructible pencil?