Friday, April 24, 2009

Not enough ME to go around

The days don't feel like the right days to me. Yesterday didn't feel like Wednesday, and today felt like it was already Friday but it wasn't. I hate that. When Nikko came into the kitchen this morning he saw a toy garden tool on the countertop so he dragged the stool over there to retrieve it. We had another power struggle during breakfast today but I stayed firm in that he had to eat some bananas first and then he could have a vitamin. This concept of FIRST/THEN seems really hard. I think maybe doing it as a visual schedule (Anna has given me a template) might be the way to go, since my words are falling on deaf ears. At OT Shelly had laminated a file folder cut vertically that had some velcro circles on it and a makeshift pocket at the bottom. Something like that might help us. But Nikko picked it up and ripped off all the pictures and put it back on a shelf. Hmmmm...

Bo came for DT and it didn't start well. Chinny was just a few minutes late but that made a little bit of a difference because we decided (since she wasn't there yet) that we should have DT at the dining room table. I attempted to buckle Nikko in his chair and he protested wildly. That's actually the first time he's done that, as if he remembered he was buckled in the chair before in front of Bo and I wasn't by his side all the time. To placate him I gave him a vitamin. Then Chinny walked through the door and we moved to the living room corner (Ronin was eating lunch, Audrey still napping). Nikko came into the corner but was focused solely on his vitamin. I had to end up taking it away and he went into a big tantrum. That set the tone for the rest of the session. He wasn't cooperative and needed to sit up instead of be a Noodleman in my lap. I can't say that he accomplished much. After she left we finished his lunch and we packed the kids into the Pilot for OT. Nikko took a 30 minute nap and unfortunately Ronin didn't nap at all. OT started out well for Nikko because Shelly varied his obstacle course again. This wasn't Ronin's day because he fell from a blue mat staircase onto the floor. I think he hit the side of his head on the floor and it caused him some pain. He was also crabby because he didn't sleep at his naptime so he was quite unruly. Meanwhile, Nikko tried the obstacle course and had great success stepping on new levels, which was good for his hips. Later Shelly took out the bean bin and we sat and practiced pouring into cups. She also took out some teacups and containers but his interest is limited. This reminds me that lately all the therapists seem to be giving Nikko play food and plates, probably trying to boost his pretend play. Jen DT had gone over clothing with dolls, and Gloria brought over a dollhouse. Cyndi brought over plates of food and the popular pizza (I gotta find that pizza somewhere). I also talked to Shelly at length about Nikko's clinginess to me. It's really turned up in the last few weeks and she thinks that it might have to do with the therapies, that they are really pushing him and asking him to do more things, so he's regressing a little more. She suggested giving him more hugs and assurance when I can. I thought I was doing that, giving him extra hugs and time, but perhaps I have to step that up even more. But HOW? Every kid in this house needs special time with me. They truly do orbit around me. Audrey needs time w/me coz she's the baby. Ronin needs time with me coz he's the "forgotten middle child". Nikko needs time with me coz he's autistic. There's not enough me to go around. Shelly also gave me a therapists' catalog because I'm looking for a kid mirror to put up somewhere in the living room. I need something wide, not skinny.

After OT we went home and Chinny helped me watch the kids run around the driveway for a little bit. It was slightly chilly, but definitely a nice day and I thought the kids needed to get out even for just a little bit. Ronin's still unsteady on his feet, as evidenced when he tripped and scraped up his fingers. Nikko found the black ChemLawn stick and was running around with it, but I noticed that he was also using it as a tool to poke at things in the driveway and in the ground. That's actually come a far way from his first OT session outside where he sat in the driveway and was just flapping his hands at the tree nubs on the ground, stimming off of branches and not using them to poke around in a productive way. His exploratory skills are emerging, for sure.

I've got lots of thoughts running in my head on things that need to be done. We've got to move Audrey out of our bedroom, but that means orchestrating moving Nikko into Ronin's room, moving the crib out and into the 2nd bedroom, and getting Ronin a toddler bed. I don't think he needs a twin bed yet because he's too small anyway. A toddler bed might be the right size. I also have to phase out their winter wardrobes and get summer rolling. The kitchen needs cleaning, the pantry needs reorganizing, the bedroom needs decluttering (I think I'm going to take all the maternity clothes out and put them in either rubbermaids or trash bags and put them in the utility room. No other place to put them!), the living room needs a toy rehaul...there's SO much to do. Pretty overwhelmed, as usual.

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