I’ve been doing a lot of thinking over the past few days about the blog, what I hope to achieve and how. Realistically, I don’t have much of the mythical creature known as “free time”, so text posts aren’t going to be something I can do every day. I do, however, take a metric tonne of photos and I’ll probably upload them along with a little insight into our day. R is not a placid, easy-going little guy! He insists upon your complete attention more often than not, even if it isn’t always possible. He struggles a lot with perseveration. Anxiety rules his little mind, and there are days when reasoning with him to sit down and have a meal is a huge victory.
Today we had a rare good day with R’s digestive issues, so we decided to take full advantage and go out as a family. I asked him was there anything he’d really like to do, to which he replied “I would like to go to Duck Land, like on Peppa Pig!” So, off we went to Duck Land – aka our local duck pond, armed with a loaf of bread and some snacks. R never wants to hold or throw the bread, no matter if it’s toasted (therefore drier) or fresh. We always ask, he always says “How ’bout Mammy will do it?” Also, ducks are loud. R says they’re “obnoxious”, hahah!
Duck Land went really well, and afterwards we went for a long walk along the sea shore. Then the skies opened, and we all threw on some rain gear, ran with the buggy to the shopping centre, and rode the elevator for a little while. R loves it, me not so much. Always gets my stomach churning! When we got home, as is usually the case, R gets a snack and retreats into his playroom to chill out and watch some car videos on YouTube. I started prepping the dinner, and he came in looking pretty upset, telling me how he didn’t want his snack, it fell on the floor and he would have another one tomorrow. I realised he was about to melt down, picked it up for him, but to him the damage was done, so to speak. He carried on repeating “no, I don’t want a snack, it’s too late, it’s gone!” Eventually, I got him to look at me, at his level as he is on his knees on the floor, and said “R, would you like another snack or would you like to wait ’til tomorrow?” Choices always work better for us than demands, as to me this is quite useless – he’s overwhelmed as it is!
To my delight, he snapped out of it, smiled and said “I will have another snack now, YES PLEASE!” So he got a new snack, I high-fived him and told him how proud I was of him, and he had made a good choice for himself. In truth, I was genuinely shocked it had worked! The choices method does work well for him but sometimes, especially where an accident has occurred, it’s next to impossible to dodge a twenty minute screamathon (complete with door kicking, at the moment, oh joy).
So, I’m sat here nursing my mug of tea, exhausted, and marveling at R’s progress. It’s those little moments that I seek out in my mind when we are all running on empty, wondering how to deal with a new behaviour. How’s your day been?