Friday, November 13, 2009

Westbrook work stations event

Today was a hard day for Ronin. It started very early in the morning. Nikko was in his chair by 7:15a and I heard Ronin stirring around 7:25. When he got to his high chair, Nikko showed an interest in his Mater truck and Ronin's Cheerios. Ronin swatted at Nikko's head and protested loudly. It was downhill from there. Everything today was annoying Ronin and he showed it. Pete came for speech and I warned Pete that Ronin was not himself today. Ronin proceeded to whine a bunch of times during play and didn't say many meaningful sentences. If only Pete could listen to Ronin throughout the week, he'd bump his skills up! Ronin really doesn't represent what he can do during one speech session. When Nikko came home later, Ronin repeatedly got angry if Nikko was in his way, leaning on him, or coming near his blocks. I saw Nikko purposely try to take Mater from Ronin during lunch, and when I took Nikko's arm to tell him NO, I saw Nikko smirk so I knew he was totally aware of what he was doing. Sneaky devil.

I tried the crackers/cereal PECS pictures with Nikko during snack and once he saw what I wanted of him, and motioned for him to pick either picture, he proceeded to pick out Crackers and give it to me. He also did this for Peaches. Good job!

Denis was late coming home from work because of delays in the parking garage, and I almost decided to back out of going to that Westbrook event at the school simply because the day had been difficult for all the kids. Nikko hadn't taken a nap all day so he was bound to be cranky this evening, Ronin acted like a terrorist all day, and Audrey was in super fussy mode. But since it was only for an hour and wasn't a lecture format, I decided to speed out of the house and go. The kids cried, of course, and when I came home later Nikko was dozing on the couch so I had to wake him up (too close to bedtime to take a nap). Nikko was super cranky and obstinate during dinner, according to Denis, but that was probably due to his lack of a nap. I'm glad I went, however. When I got to the gym, there were four stations set up: Pre-Academics, Social Behaviors, Speech and OT. That's the order of the tables I visited. Each table had activities and games we could model and take home to try on our kid. Luckily, Margie was at Pre-Academics so she was able to talk directly about how Nikko would fare at a certain game. Same with Kathy at the Speech table, where I took home a sorting game where Nikko should try to categorize pictures into Food, Animals, Vehicles or Clothing. Kathy gave me a green tube that opens and collapses with a big ruffling sound. We've used this tube in OT back in the Early Intervention days, but Kathy told me that Nikko uses this tube to "speak" in one end while you hold the other end up to your ear. Then he reverses it and listens while the other person speaks. This is a great example of turn-taking! We've never used the tube in this fashion in the past, so I was happy to hear of this idea. The Social Behavior table was mostly about toilet training, and finally I was able to talk to Mrs. I at the OT table about Nikko's motor skills progress. Mrs. I described how Nikko had a hard day two days ago, but the next day he was able to bounce back and didn't seem to hold any grudges against her. She feared that Nikko would hate her because she pushes him to do more than one simple task at hand. I told her I sympathized because at home, Nikko can get pretty physical when he doesn't want to do something or get what he wants, and I wasn't happy that the people at school get to see that side of him. But Mrs. I was very nice and said she and the other teachers have seen it all. I also mentioned that I didn't think initially that Nikko was a routine kind of kid, that he seemed to go with the flow. But now that he has preschool and scheduled activities, he seems to transition well to school and likes going. He seems to like routines. I feared that I wasn't doing the right things because at home there's no real structure other than mealtimes. They all pointed out to me that at home he is more comfortable and there doesn't have to be structure at every point in the day, so he can relax and let down his guard. I gathered a lot of new reading material for me to pour over. Some of the games (pre-academic alphabet matching game) can also be used for Ronin, so I'll keep that in mind.

I came home to a happy bunch of kids, and we put them all to bed. I had to go run out to Wal-Mart to get 2% and whole milk because we ran out, and I listened to the Bears on the radio, losing to San Francisco. Pretty disgusted. Denis has to wake up really early tomorrow, and I finished cleaning up the kitchen but got a tad distracted because I decided to give myself a haircut. I sported a grown-out, shaggy bob that had long layers in the front and graduated upward in the back. It was an updated mommy haircut. But I have seen pictures of me lately that show how the layers have grown out and it looks incredibly scraggly. The thought about cutting my hair back into a manageable bob got into my mind and I couldn't shake it, so I did it after everyone went to bed. I'm sure no one here will notice. It didn't turn out too bad, but I'll decide in the a.m.

ONE MORE THING, AGAIN: (seems like I've been doing this a lot lately, finishing a post and then remembering to add something post-post) Today was the first day in - well, let's be honest, EVER - that I relatively kept my cool around the kids today, even in the face of adversity. I can't say I didn't raise my voice; I did, when Ronin pushed Audrey over and I demanded him to give her an apology, when Ronin went ballistic on Nikko's head in the early morning, and probably when Nikko was turning on and off the living room lights with Ronin screaming in the background. I needed to enforce the status quo. But when I felt like shrieking when Ronin got spaghetti on his sleeves during lunch, I squelched the negativity and silently cleaned him up. I think I took some deep breaths during a few other moments. When Nikko started yanking my hand to get McQueen from Ronin, I refused because Ronin had it first. Nikko protested, whining and getting angry even though I tried to direct him elsewhere. When that all failed, I put my hands over my ears and shut my eyes. He got angry and tried to pry my fingers apart, but I held fast and curled up into a ball so he couldn't dislodge my arms. I didn't get mad that he wrestled with me a little bit to get my attention, I just covered my ears and waited it out. He stopped after a few minutes, then gave up. This was a hard day for me, and just when I made a conscious decision to try hard to have patience and not yell at the top of my lungs at these kids, they all had a short-fuse day. But I didn't yell at the top of my lungs for once. I hope I can keep it up. *BIG, HEAVY SIGH*

1 comment:

  1. Way to go in trying to have more patience with the kids! I've seen you hard at work so I know it's pretty tough to keep cool, but there's also some... ah... genetics that may make things difficult. Keep at it though, supermom! (Chin) :)