Eggshell Child

Eggshell reacts intensely to everything. He shades his eyes from the sun and blinks under the florescent lights in the laundry room. He covers his ears when his baby brother cries and tells his parents they talk too loudly. His skin is reactive and he has eczema. Eggshell Child has developed food sensitivities, so his parents are eliminating all dairy and gluten from the family’s diet.

Eggshell always looks tired and cries for no apparent reason. He doesn’t sleep much and fights taking naps. He has difficulty falling asleep at bedtime, demanding his mommy or daddy lie down with him until he falls asleep. Eggshell is easily awakened, often with a startle response. He wakes up at night crying, and his parents report he has “night terrors.”

Eggshell was born jaundiced and was a fussy baby. He wanted to be held and rocked all the time. Eczema, scaly scalp, or cradle cap and other rashes were a constant problem. He was colicky and had to be put on a special formula for reflux. Eggshell was slow to achieve developmental milestones, especially talking.

Eggshell continues to have very sensitive skin. Tags and seams bother him, and he complains he is itchy. He refuses to wear certain clothes and likes to wear the same things over and over again. His parents are always doing laundry. His mother searches high and low for soft clothing and cuts the tags out. 

Eggshell’s mother had a hard time going back to work when he was a baby. He would cry the entire time she was gone and his mother would worry about him being at the daycare center all day. He cried even when left at grandmother’s house for short periods. Mother reported even though Eggshell wants to be with her all the time, he is not an affectionate child. 

Eggshell just started kindergarten and now he cries because he doesn’t want to go to school. When it’s time to leave, he refuses and hides under the bed or the kitchen table. He often cries in the car all the way to school and every day it’s a tearful goodbye, but there’s a new aide in the classroom Eggshell seems to like, and she seems to calm him down. His parents think she is a blessing. She’s able to reassure him his parents will come get him when school is over and distracts him so his parents can leave. 

At school, Eggshell prefers to play alone but in close proximity to other kids. He prefers to watch the other children play and appears uninterested in exploring. His teacher told his parent he was behind in motor skills and he doesn’t like circle time. She said he prefers to sit in the corner of the room during circle time and look at books.