Thursday, April 30, 2009

Trouble with FIRST/THEN

There were no therapies on tap today. Things didn't get too interesting until lunchtime, when I got into a battle of wills with Nikko. He had eaten some of his chicken nuggets but didn't finish them. He wanted some Saltine crackers, same as Ronin, so I told him first to eat a chicken nugget and then I'll give him a cracker. That's where the power struggle began. I'm not sure how long we went back and forth, neither of us would give in. I tried to talk slowly, patiently, saying FIRST chicken, THEN cracker. I pleaded. I tickled. I said sternly. This must have gone on for at least 10-15 minutes, and after a while I felt that I couldn't just give in and give him crackers just to end things. I felt that once I started this, I had to keep demanding him to eat chicken or I would have lost the lesson. I really, REALLY wanted to give him crackers, but he had to eat a chicken nugget or part of it. And finally, I won. I was able to shove it gently into his mouth out of how many tens of times, and this time he took it. I immediately praised him and gave him a handful of crackers, gave him hugs and kisses, and I almost cried because it was so exhaustive. All this time, Ronin quietly (and wisely) sat in the high chair eating his nuggets and just being still. Audrey fussed sometimes in her chair drinking milk, but at lunch they were not an issue.

Later in the afternoon, while Ronin and Audrey napped, another HVAC guy came to evaluate the furnace situation. Nikko was curious and ran around. I tried to snack him with grapes. Later, I even roughhoused with Nikko because I didn't want him to be bored in the living room with me. Unfortunately, the opposite effect happened and he started running hard between kitchen and couch, crashing really hard. I don't know why. I put in the Signing Time DVD before dinner and wondered if the boys would watch it. Interestingly enough, they both watched it at variable times. Ronin started imitating some signs, like Car and Dog. I was happy when Airplane came around and they both started pointing to the sky.

Dinnertime rolled around and I think I didn't time Audrey's early evening nap very well because she napped for 1.5 hours this afternoon and I thought that was a lot. She tends to need to catnap before dinner for at least 20 minutes, and this is around 6:30. Pretty late. I wanted to feed her solids before the boys had dinner, but Ronin came into the kitchen looking to eat early as well. I didn't have everything ready for anyone when I wanted it, so Audrey sat in the high chair crying while Ronin tugged and pulled and whined at my feet, trying to get stuff on the countertop, opening cabinets when I reprimanded him. I got really frustrated with Ronin for demanding his food when it wasn't ready. No amount of explaining was going to stop him. Meanwhile, Audrey was howling away and that anxious bubble came rising to the top. I was so agitated that I was yelling my head off at Ronin. This also upset Audrey and she cried louder. Even Nikko, who was in the living room and wisely staying out of the way, became upset with my loud shouting and started whining himself. I got mad at myself for getting out of control again and I started sobbing. Denis called around this time and caught me when Audrey was screaming right before she got her bottle. Thankfully, he brought dinner home and I felt better.

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