… Reentering Steven’s room, I stopped at the sink to fill the bedpan with warm water, placing the filled bedpan on Steven’s rolling bedside table. The sheets and towels went on the floor against the wall opposite the foot of his bed. Steven’s eyes followed my every movement, showing curiosity and anticipation
So, here’s the deal.” I said. “Lots of kids have stuff happen in the hospital that they find upsetting or scary. Sometimes it helps to get these feelings out in a physical way. I am setting up a target game, where you will get to throw wet toilet paper at what is upsetting you until it is completely destroyed. The question for you now is, do you want to destroy the drawing of your hand, or is there some other thing you could draw that you’d like to obliterate?”
Steven picked up a marker, so I brought over the big piece of chart paper. He got right down to work, drawing a huge needle that took up the entire sheet of paper.
“Oh,” I said. “That looks like the needle that might have to go in your hand.”
He nodded. When he finished, I took it from him and taped it on the wall opposite his bed.
“Now for the demonstration,” I said, reaching for the roll of toilet paper. “See, you take as much as you can to make a nice, big wad.” Continue reading