Friday, March 19, 2010

Thoughts on Whine & Fruit Snacks

Nikko's whiny stage grates on my nerves. There are two times when he whines:

1) When he wants something and is told that he can't have it.
2) When he wants something.

I guess my part is to tell him to "Use your words!" or to model the correct way to say something, when he wants something. But when something is a no, I don't know what to replace his whining with. Reasoning and rationalizing don't mean anything to him except no. I try to redirect him, but it's got to be something much better than what he wants, not of equal or lesser value. I just wanted to jot this down before I forget, because if Nikko's not communicating with real words, he's whining. And it's driving me batty.

Ronin woke up at 4a and was calling me. I opened his door and he scurried back into bed. I told him to go back to sleep, tucked him in, and then lay down next to him. I think he was holding his white crane truck that he got from Meijer yesterday and was excited to have it, because at 5a I stirred, looked up and he looked down at me. I think he hadn't fallen back asleep for an hour or so! I told him to try sleeping and he did drift off at some point. Nikko woke up around 6:45 so it was business as usual. PLEASE, RONIN AND NIKKO, SLEEP UNTIL 7A!

Nikko's progress report for speech - Hi, we worked on requesting. Now I think he's just mad to leave playtime!

My goals today were ABA @1, nap Ronin and then play outside before dinner. Maria came and she and Nikko got to work. I could hear him protesting and whining about something but didn't hear much when I put my ear to the door. Later, they both came upstairs and Maria was prompting Nikko to ask for a drink. She said they were having snack, Nikko was upset because he wasn't getting all the fruit snacks at once, and then he seemed to be choking on one so Maria got concerned so they headed upstairs. I told her he never chokes on fruit snacks so I don't know what he's up to. Later on she said that Nikko is very smart and could tell that Maria showed concern/was scared that he was choking on the fruit snacks. Maria said his session was challenging, the most difficult one she's had since starting, but that didn't mean it wasn't a good session. Guess I should check the binder again, since she said that he's done really well with the family matching pictures. He's able to positively identify all of us, 80% was the figure. We still have to figure out what to do about his obsession with the fruit snacks. I told her that I stopped giving them to him a long time ago because he was clearly motivated by them and got really obsessed about them if he didn't get them. While they are a good motivator, she was suggesting that we look for motivators that were not food-based. Actually I said that to her and she agreed. Now that's something I'm going to have to think about, because food obviously works for Nikko, but concrete objects are so arbitrary for him. Sometimes a DVD cover will be the hit of the week, sometimes it's the little Nemo or Bruce figurine, sometimes it's a train or the Curious George fire truck. It changes constantly. I guess a trip to the $1 bins at Target might yield some original and unusual stuff.

I had put Ronin down for his nap during ABA. Ronin did NOT want to go to sleep. Ever since the session a few weeks back when Maria invited Ronin to play clay with them in the basement, Ronin's been determined to play with Maria. It wasn't going to happen today. Despite the protests, I lured him to his bed with some books. When we finished reading, he was laying there playing with the crane truck and didn't make any noise when I closed the door. When Nikko was finished with ABA, I wondered when Ronin would get up so that we could all go play outside. It was the most beautiful weather day of the week and I didn't want the kids to miss it. I saw that Nikko had the potential to drift off, and selfishly I denied him the opportunity by announcing that he, Audrey and I could go have a snack before playing outside. While it's good for Nikko to get a nap if he needs it, I didn't want to wait for him to nap for a half or whole hour, then Ronin wake up in the middle of it and we'd have to wait AGAIN for another kid's nap to finish before going outside. I guess I should have let Nikko sleep. He didn't languish the rest of the evening, but was really sleepy by bedtime. Finally, all three kids were awake at the same time so I changed their diapers, put on jeans and jackets or fleece, then shuffled everyone outside. They all had a good time in the driveway and on the swingset, but since we have only one Little Tykes car, they all fought over riding in it. I'm going to have to find another one somewhere. When it was time to go inside, I realized that I had overlooked Audrey's supposed-to-be-4pm nap. It was now 5:30 and she was incredibly crabby and whiny. I had no choice but to put her down for half an hour. Then there was Nikko who was asking for [Cheez-It] Crackers right NOW, but I had to say no because it wasn't dinner yet. He was angry and started yanking my hand, running back and forth to the kitchen whining like a fire engine. I decided to start dinner for the boys a little early, so I did end up giving him crackers but he also had to eat some chicken nuggets. He complied at first, but when there were just nuggets left on his plate, he didn't want to listen to me repeat: FIRST nuggets, THEN crackers. He whined about it, demanded crackers from me, but I stood my ground. I had called my brother Eric to wish him a happy (31st!) birthday and he heard all the whining coming from Nikko. Not easy to have a nice conversation that way! Nikko gave up and left the table, but later on came back when I was giving sliced pizza to Audrey. He had some too, and also had mandarin oranges. He was exhausted at bedtime.

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