Sunday, October 25, 2009


We didn't accomplish anything I expected to today, but what did happen was that my sister Atz, her husband Dennis and their older girl Rory came over with their dog Grant to have a playdate with our dog Lego. Dennis was being outnumbered by all the estrogen in his family about taking in Lego, especially now that Ronin tested positive for dog allergies. Lego and Grant got along; Grant was furiously trying to get Lego to play with him, and Lego looked mildly irritated as if Grant was a fly. But except for the initial baring of teeth and barking, the two seemed to be able to coexist. We took Nikko outside with us while the dogs circled the backyard. Nikko was getting agitated with me for not playing with him, or for standing off to the side while he was trying to get my attention. I was blocking a gap in the fence so that Lego wouldn't run out of our backyard. When I finally did move around with Nikko, he started pushing me around as if he wanted me to walk in a specific direction but he didn't know where. I was mildly irritated at Nikko because he started pushing Atz around. I thought she was standing in his imaginary pathway, but when she got out of the way and he still pushed her I started reprimanding him and telling him to be nice. Nikko is starting to exert more physicality on the people around him, and of course I worry about that in respect to Ronin and Audrey.

During snack time I gave the kids Jell-O. I even signed "J-O" for Nikko so he could learn a sign for it. The bad part is that he liked forking it into his mouth so much that he wanted more. And more. This manifested itself into a big tantrum when it came time for dinner. He saw it in the glass cake pan in the fridge, so he knew where it was and how to sign for it. I didn't want him to eat it for dinner, rather after dinner would be better. But he started acting up and whining for it, pushing me around and getting me angry. I had a plate of nuggets and ravioli pasta for him, and decided to put some Jell-O on the plate too so that he could have a little, but still eat the other things. It was a big point of debate because it looked like I was giving to him every time he tantrumed for something. I saw it as giving him a little, but still putting out the other foods so that he would eat more than just the Jell-O. I think both ways were flawed, but I am at my wits end trying to figure out the best way to handle Nikko in this kind of situation, where he acts up and acts out over something he really wants but shouldn't have at that time. At Nikko's preschool, when I asked if they ever put kids in timeout they said no, they use distraction instead. Well, dinnertime ended up in a distraction to get Nikko to stop asking for Jell-O. I had to make him some organic mac & cheese, which is something he likes, in order to replace the Jell-O craving. It worked, but I'm sure he'll be looking for Jell-O tomorrow and a battle will ensue again. This is similar to his wanting of cookies. It's a hard battle to fight with him, and I'm trying to figure out how to make a learning experience from it. Is it simply better to tell him NO when he wants something he can't have and then ignore him? I've been acknowledging that he wants something and tell him he can't have it now, but he can have it later. I don't think he understands the concept of "later", so how is my explaining it going to help him or teach him something? By ignoring him and not telling him NO seems rude to me, because he is trying to communicate a want and should be acknowledged for it, even if it is a NO. So once I say NO, is the best way to enforce it just to keep moving about my business, or keep explaining why it's NO?

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