Friday, March 13, 2009

The Ultimate Meltdown

So many little things happened in this packed, busy Thursday. It started out with Nikko being ultra-clingy. He was like velcro at my side, wanting to sit in my lap even before we sat down to breakfast. I couldn't leave the room without him racing after me. It annoyed me because I was going to be taking him to playgroup within the hour so he'd be with me anyway. Of course he didn't know that. When we got there, Bethanne and Jim were waiting for the triplets, who ended up being a no-show. That meant that Nikko got solo time with them. It was cool in one way, but bad in another because it's good for him to be around other kids, even if he doesn't pay attention to them. He needs to pseudo-socialize and he can't do that if the triplets don't show up or Jason is sick. I thought it was important for him to go to playgroup because we've been in the house all week and it's good for him to get out of the house to be around other people. He might have been going stir-crazy at home, and that might have also increased his clinginess to me.

When he entered the room, he went straight to the play kitchen and showed interest in all the plastic green vegetables. Bethanne made everthing in the room green-ish to celebrate St. Patrick's Day, which I think we'll do again next week since Nikko was solo. Nikko also played with some green airplanes and sorted some green trains and yellow cars before going into the bean table. Bethanne remarked that Nikko was incredibly focused today, focused on each area that he visited and every object that he held. Even the green balloons captured his attention, albeit brief. Something I noticed him doing in playgroup that I also noticed him doing in the kitchen this morning was that he held up his right arm bent at the elbow and was flapping his wrist. Only the right arm. I wondered why he did this and hope it's not going to be something he'll do for a long time. It looks like it's on the verge of flapping. I really hope he forgets how to do that. Suddenly Shelly the OT appeared and said that she had a cancellation so if we wanted to segue into Nikko's OT session she's open now. I called Brianna to make sure that the babies were ok, and she said Audrey was napping. After the parachute game, which Nikko loves because he runs beneath the big tarp and it envelopes him at the end, we went across the hall to the OT clinic. Nikko ran around quite a bit at first before briefly trying out the swing and then settling down to use the paintbrush and shaving cream on the mirror. It was a calming activity and Shelly liked that Nikko remembered how to utilize the components with some foam blocks. We finished out the session with Nikko on a mini-tricycle and he did great! This time we put his feet on the pedals and he purposefully pushed them to make the bike go. He didn't immediately remove his feet from the pedals as he has in the past. He looked like a little boy enjoying a tricycle. Loved it! I changed Nikko's diaper in the bathroom before going home and I ran into JV Syfu's wife Shirley, who is also a DT and is going to run the playgroup on Mondays when Bethanne is finished on Thursdays. I wish I could move to the Monday playgroup but Brianna doesn't work on Mondays. She works for her other family. I am screwed on that one. :(

We passed by McD's on the way home because I knew I'd need to bait him with fries so I could get out the door to go to the chiropractor. When I got home, Audrey was going bezerk and Brianna said, "Thank God you're back!" That's not a good sign when your sitter says something like that. To gloss over lunchtime, I took Audrey with me to the chiro and then to Target for quick errands. When I got back, Brianna and Ronin were in the nursery cleaning up toys and Nikko was asleep on the couch. After he woke up for a snack, I sent Brianna to Costco for me because I felt that Nikko and Ronin needed some extra attention and it might be better to stay at home than to cram everyone into the Pilot to go to Costco this time. Other times are fine, but with Nikko's clinginess I felt we should stay home. After she left us for the day and Audrey was napping, I took the boys into the basement and played with them on the foof chairs, bounced from foof to foof, and colored a bit. When Audrey woke up we all went back upstairs.

Right before dinner, Nikko was playing with a Thomas train, the Chinese dragon, and a James train on some tracks. He became frustrated that the wheels didn't quite fit so he kept coming to me for help. I tried to help fit the wheels back on using HOH, but he wasn't paying attention most of the time, just looking at the TV. So, I turned off Hi-5. That sent him into an uproar. I was even more stern that he wasn't paying attention so I turned off the TV entirely and said it was time to go to dinner. Nikko flew into a rage and started throwing himself into the couch and on the floor, screaming bloody murder. I didn't say anything and just sat there with my back to him so that he couldn't accidentally fall onto Audrey. But when Nikko lashed out at me by running into my back on purpose, I turned around and picked him up firmly, then plopped him down also firmly onto the mat by the crook of the couch and I looked him angrily into his eyes, pointed my finger and told him to never hit me. NEVER. He looked at me surprised, but I think he knew I was absolutely serious because he continued to scream at the very top of his lungs and he avoided crashing into me again. This was by far the worst tantrum I have ever seen Nikko have. He screamed and screamed, pounded his fists into the floor, kicked wildly and kept crashing into the couch and then slamming into the floor. I tried not to watch him so that he wouldn't think he was gaining any power from me, but I did keep an eye on him to make sure he didn't slam into other furniture and hurt himself or hurt Ronin. Nikko's eyes were bloodshot and his face was so red, but he got to a point where he seemed to forget why he was screaming at all. And for once I didn't raise my voice at him to stop. I spoke pretty calmly and tried to reach out to him, telling him that we should go get dinner. I proceeded to heat up food and put Audrey safely away. After that I was able to give Nikko big hugs and back strokes, and I tried to have him help me make his dinner. It was a total lesson in calming him. For some reason I felt my approach tonight was different for me. I wasn't mad at him for tantruming, I wasn't annoyed like I was this morning. I just felt very bad for Nikko that he probably had all these pent-up frustrations and couldn't communicate himself, so all he could do was throw a huge tantrum. I felt very bad that he was so angry, so I felt like being a calming force for him. I think it helped. The rest of dinner was calm, even though he didn't finish his food, and at the end when Denis came through the door during Nikko's crashing, Nikko even started doing a little jumping like a frog. That means he was jumping with two feet off the ground. I praised him, got up and started jumping with him, which I think he liked. I am going to get this kid to jump with two feet off the ground somehow!

I am tired. I am emotionally drained from today. It started with Nikko clingy and ended with a little more of the same. But I am thinking about my approach to the tantrum and I'd like to see if I can recreate some kind of calm when I am feeling annoyed, which is quite often lately.

1 comment:

  1. Poor Nikko, and poor Mich. Hope today was a better day!