Thursday, June 28, 2012

Shhhh. Don't tell the universe.

Tonight, I blog in bed. It's been a long day. Usually I'd still be twitching after days as long as this one. The kids have been getting up at 6:30 in the morning, rendering me exhausted by 2:00 in the afternoon with at least four more hours till the relief pitcher returns.

I'm reluctant to put in writing just why I'm not still twitching. I tend to think the universe punishes me for daring to acknowledge when things seem to be maybe sort of turning a corner. For years, whenever I mentioned that one of my babies was sleeping through the night, they'd stop, sometimes for weeks at a time. And don't get me started on potty training "success" stories. One optimistic story and suddenly we're back in diapers. I've been burned. A lot. 

Danny's behavioral turnaround has been nothing short of miraculous. We don't know if it's the diet, the therapy, the supplements, the different strategies or just a sudden surge of maturity that has transformed his behavior from utterly intractable to increasingly malleable.

I find myself seized by anxiety, though, when I see a familiar pattern of behavior starting: the clenched teeth, the raised voice, the menacing look, the chin. He's getting ready to go Incredible Hulk on us or his siblings or some inanimate object and I feel panic. It's like I'm shell shocked. 

Today we had an all too familiar scene. Danny fell and caught his chin on the edge of a kids' table in the play area. He howled, he flipped the table and a few of the chairs, he insisted that we get rid of the table, just throw it in the garbage. I think he even kicked it.

Now usually I ask him what he was doing before he got hurt and try to make him see how his actions caused his fall. Naturally, he doesn't respond well to that. I end up sending him away to calm down because I just don't know how to deal with that level of intensity. I avoid that kind of prolonged intensity at all costs. But today was different. He's given us enough of a break from that intensity that I can now respond more calmly.

So I brought him in for a hug and just let him vent about that naughty table that made him fall and hurt his chin.

When he was done, I asked him if, instead of getting rid of the table, we could just put it in time out.

He agreed and we left the table to sit alone and think about it's hideous, irresponsible behavior. We then left to do errands. 

When we returned, the table and chairs were as we left them. I asked Danny if the table could come out of time out. He agreed that it could. And then ...

He put the table and chairs back the way they were.

Who is this child? And can he please stay for a while?

1 comment:

Monica said...

hoping the changes you have made continue to lead to behavioral progress! :o)