Friday, May 25, 2012

Crabby

Yesterday, the boys (all 3) were excessively crabby and irritable. Pretty much all day, particularly after I got home, they were handsy, punching and kicking each other and us. Neither of the older boys went more than about three minutes without trying to start a fight with someone else. That made the night really quite difficult. Ultimately, it stemmed from them being over-tired; they both got to bed a little later than usual for most of the week, and they were both up multiple times per night for most of the week. That's unusually, particularly for Little Bear, who sleeps mostly like a log.



We've done a pretty good job of kicking The Boy back to his own room before 2 or 3AM, assuming that either one of us is awake enough to notice his ninja-like stealth. Last night, we kicked him back twice, once at 11:30 and once at 12:30, and he stayed until I woke up him running on the elliptical. We need to get him a digital clock that he can read in the dark, so that we can train him "not before 3:00." It's on the to-do list.



I'm actually kind of proud of the way I handled him yesterday afternoon. He was starting to throw a tantrum with no visible provocation: he kicked Little Bear in the stomach (they were both in the "fort" on top of the swingset) and threw a bucket off of the side that hit The Baby. Not acceptable. I tagged The Wife into play (she was changing some sheets), grabbed him, and walked him upstairs into his room. He was throwing an absolute fit about being taken inside and up to his room, where he (obviously) didn't want to go. I deposited him onto his bed, and, screaming, he threw a book at me. I left him alone and waited in my room. After a couple of minutes, I went back in. He was still mostly hysterical, so I picked him up and hugged him. He calmed down, and I asked him, "Are you ready to talk to me?" He said "No," and cried for another minute or two. I asked him again, and he said yes. I sat him next to me. I lead him through the events that brought him upstairs and asked him what we could do to make things better.

"Say I'm sorry, give some hugs, and try not to do it again?" Yup.



I wanted to give him a few more minutes to calm down, so I instructed him to build a helicopter out of his Trio blocks. He wanted to build a robot instead, to which I agreed. When he came downstairs ten minutes later, he gave me the robot, gave hugs to his brothers (who had forgotten about the whole thing), and continued on his merry way.

That marvelous feel-good parenting moment was shattered about fifteen minutes later when he hit Little Bear in the face with a book, but it was a start. I'm really, really trying to deal with things positively, with positive emotions and feedback, instead of reacting off-the-cuff and negatively. I would love for my sons to think about things rationally and to learn to let the initial emotional response pass before acting or saying anything. That took me until my 30's - and somewhat post-diagnosis - to get a handle on, and I want them to pick it up faster


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