Tuesday, March 23, 2010


Nikko woke up at 7 today, right alongside his siblings. I'm surprised, because of last night's late sleep time and babblefest. We just came off the weekend of late bedtimes, so I was adamant about getting the kids to bed on time yesterday. I hope to stay on track throughout the week.

It was an interesting day for Nikko, behaviorally. He didn't have school so he got to watch the morning lineup of Curious George, Sid the Science Kid, Super WHY, Dinosaur Train (which I think the kids don't like as much anymore) and Sesame Street. They had breakfast during this time, too, by 8a. But for some reason Nikko and Audrey were lurking around when I tried to eat around 9:30 and they were demanding some of my breakfast sausage sandwich. I had to surrender it to them, of course, to satisfy their "second breakfast" appetites. Before Denis left for work, he was eating cereal in the living room so Audrey came over and wanted to eat from his bowl, constituting a "third breakfast" for that little munchkin. He seemed to play well on his own in the morning, pushing the Geotrax green train and other random cars along the edge of the couch. At lunchtime he barely nibbled on the pizza but finished the yogurt left over from breakfast. I guess he was still full from second breakfast. While I noticed that this particular behavior started last night, I have to jot down that Nikko is starting to make high-pitched screams for literally no reason. I think he's testing out his voice and enjoys these ear-piercing screams, but they are truly annoying.

Melissa came over at 2p for Nikko's therapy. He was glad to see her and was very energetic going downstairs. I warned Melissa that Nikko has been doing these bursts of screams lately, and that he is also in a whiny stage. She said, "Oh, poor Nikko! It must be very frustrating for him to communicate." When it was time to start working, Nikko kissed me good bye and I told him to have fun! After we left him, I told Ronin it was time to read stories (aka naptime) and he didn't want to sleep. Of course I ignored his crying and went to his room with a book in hand. He did go to sleep after I left him, so why even bother fighting it? I could hear Nikko downstairs and he was doing some big time whining. It went on for quite a while until it silenced. Melissa told me later on that he whined a lot in the beginning but she made him take a sensory break by playing with Play Doh and it calmed him down A LOT so that after the clay he was making high-pitched happy sounds instead. This was before snack time, when he got angry that all the fruit snacks were gone. She said he even knocked down a chair because he was angry. (!!!) But she and I both agreed that hey, when they're gone, they're gone. She even said she made him throw out the empty bag, which probably made it more final. Works for me. Even now, later at night, I thought back to what Melissa said about Nikko's whining, that it must be frustrating for him to communicate so he whines. It's true, even though it grates on my nerves, so I've got to find some compassion and apply it.

We didn't go anywhere in the afternoon because although it was sunny outside, it was deceptively chilly. Instead, Ronin was really into watching an episode of Team Umizoomi that I recorded on the DVR. It's a "new" cartoon on the NickJr. Channel, really colorful and bright and fast. It's Dora and Kai Lan on crack, in my opinion, but I haven't watched a full episode yet so I won't knock it completely. Audrey got a nap, and I played with the boys in the living room by giving piggy back rides. It didn't last long because I got dizzy. Nikko was saying, "Up!" as I modeled for him in order to get a ride. He got really upset when I took a time out from rides, and even more upset when I stopped completely. I redirected him to a gummy vitamin to stop him from pulling me everywhere and it worked, but I realized that using the vitamin will probably set a bad precedence so I better think of something else next time.

Something happened in this early evening before dinner. Ronin was playing in front of the TV with a bulldozer on top of some blocks, watching Umizoomi of course. I was in the kitchen and suddenly heard a commotion and a hard THUD. I ran to see what happened, saw Ronin on the ground crying and Nikko had already taken off running in the opposite direction toward the kitchen. I asked Ronin what happened and he said Nikko pushed Ronin to the ground. I spun around and caught Nikko's arm. Nikko was laughing at being caught, but I was stern and told him "We don't push!" I dragged Nikko to the Time Out spot and made him sit down. He did what I said, tried to get up twice but I made him sit down again. I set a timer for one minute and sat across from him. Nikko just flipped onto his tummy and was tracing a finger on the ground, then sat in the spot and looked around at nothing in particular. It occurred to me that a formal time out wasn't garnering any reaction of remorse or thoughtfulness at all from him. He didn't know why he was there, and probably didn't care except to attempt to escape if I'd let him. After a short minute, I dragged him back to Ronin and told him to say sorry, then hug Ronin. I guess if anything, it was for Ronin to see that I would punish Nikko sometimes, not just Ronin. I went back to the kitchen and Nikko followed me, whining. I knelt down and asked, "What does Nikko want?" He said, "Truck!" and he pulled me to the living room right to Ronin. There was a ride-along truck sitting next to Ronin, who was playing with the bulldozer, but Nikko didn't make a move for it. "What does Nikko want?" I asked again. He said, "Truck," then bent down looking at Ronin's bulldozer. I said that Ronin was playing with it and that we should ask Ronin if he could let Nikko play with it, while Ronin could maybe play with his green train instead? Ronin took the cue and ran to his green train, saying he'd let Nikko play with the bulldozer and Ronin would play with his train. I thanked Ronin so much for being such a good brother, then I pulled Nikko's head up, prompting him to say Thank You to Ronin. Nikko said, "Thank you," and Ronin said Thank You right back. So what did I learn from this episode? I learned that time outs have no effect on Nikko, YET, but he still needs to be disciplined if he does something wrong or hurtful. I've been reprimanding and getting him to apologize, I've swatted when the offense is very hurtful, and I redirect. Might have to try something else. I also thought about what Melissa said again, during Nikko's attempt to get the truck from Ronin. Nikko was communicating with me by physically pulling me to the bulldozer, but he was also able to answer my question directly with "Truck." That's something not to be taken for granted. Sure, he's answered to food questions like, "What does Nikko want?" when we're sitting at the dining room table. He'll say, "Peaches" (that's his food of choice lately, and will overdose on it very quickly) or he'll say Pizza or Chicken Nuggets if I model it for him. This was one of the first times he's told me that he wanted something that wasn't food-related (Truck) and with such clarity. He's asked for movies and such, but I've had to prompt him with DVD covers or give him choices. I guess I have to continue to build his vocabulary so he can ask for anything. Big task.

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