Hand over hand

If you’re caring for a special needs person, you know the hand over hand schtick.

Your loved one might have a physical impairment, or neurological discomfort with fine motor work. So to get a birthday card signed, or cereal consumed with a spoon instead of like bobbing for apples, you go hand over hand. Your hand enfolds the hand of the one in your care, and you guide the desired action.

It can be a very tender interaction. You don’t grab their hand and force the action. Like I said, you “enfold” their hands with yours and sort of float through the action together. It feels like the stupid old Ouija board thingy*. You’re not pushing the desired outcome but yeah, you are, with a ghostly, floaty technique.

Except today hand over hand became pain in the butt. I have a tweaked back just now, and it hurts a bunch. Joey finished dinner and I limped along with him over to the sink to wash hands.

Which in Joey’s case means hand over hand action. He’ll point one hand (never both) in the direction of the running water, but at best only wet a fingertip or two. So I have to enfold (ah, that sweet word again) his hands in mine and guide them into the water, help him rub his hands together and help him dry them off.

But he was ready to move on to post-dinner fun like videos and computer time, and he stood far from the sink. Even with my gentlest extension of his arms, his hands weren’t reaching the water. So I had to move him. With my tweaked back.

Dude, I wish someone would come and gently enfold me right about now. This hurts. But Joey does have clean hands.

*Gotta give Melissa credit for “thingy,” her go-to word when she can’t remember what something is called. And the Ouija board pointer is a thingy to me. Seriously, though, don’t play with Ouija boards.

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