Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Yogurt and melatonin

Nikko woke up at 5a and cried out. I got up, went into his room, turned out the night light so it was pitch black in there, then laid down next to him. I think we both fell back asleep eventually. Ronin woke us up at 6:30a with his cries.

Recently I found some yogurt from Meijer that said it had probiotics in it, and another generic kind that said Digestive Care Probiotic lowfat yogurt. Is that just a fancy way of saying it's yogurt, or is this kind of yogurt different from its counterparts? This was strawberry flavored and in perfect single-serving sizes for me to give to Nikko. He had one for breakfast and wanted more. He finished three of them the entire day. He was having some after lunch when Ronin saw Melissa out front, who arrived for ABA. I went to the door to open it, and Nikko immediately let out a howl and angry cries, thinking I was walking out the door unannounced. I looked at him and tried to reassure him I wasn't going anywhere when Melissa walked in and he calmed down. It made me wonder how, despite the ABA is without me in the room and he's getting better at me leaving, is Nikko supposed to become less attached to me? Is ABA supposed to help with this? Nikko must have left a microchip inside me before he left to be born because he is constantly attuned to where I'm at or am going. Denis was home today so he watched Audrey while I took Ronin downstairs with Nikko and Melissa. I showed her the visual prompts that Maria asked for, and when it was time to go Nikko came up to me, kissed me and said Bye. We headed upstairs but he did a little bit of whining and ran over to the staircase until Melissa herded him back toward the table. He turned and ran to sit down, ready to work, but still whining a little bit. Upstairs, I heard some protesting going on and figured he wasn't having the best session. When Melissa came upstairs she confirmed that he had a harder time than last time, lots of whining and fidgeting. I wonder if it's due to the weekend, 3 days between him and the last ABA session of the week. She also said that during one of the drills, he scattered crayons around and she told him he'd have to clean them up. He looked at her as if to say, "Are you kidding me?" but proceeded to do it, and then he hit her. He probably swatted her in frustration or protest, not because he wanted to hurt her, which is what Melissa assumed. I told her he's begun to swat at Denis and me as well, especially when he's frustrated about something. Melissa said she'd talk to Maria about the best way to handle it, and I asked if Maria would email me about it too because I'd like to be able to implement the correct behavior for him. I emailed Maria tonight just as a follow-up on this.

Nikko didn't nap the rest of the day. We went to the basement to run off steam before dinner. He really enjoys saying, "Ready, set, GO!" and then having a chase or being chased by Denis or myself. He is also open to doing this with Ronin if they are both in good moods. During dinnertime I toyed with the idea of the melatonin again, and this time put it in his juice at 7:45p instead of 8:11p yesterday. I wanted to see how long it would take to kick in. I think it kicked in at 8:45p because that's when I saw Nikko do some slow eye blinking. But he also could have just been tired from no nap all day. This is actually something I rationalized when I was typing a message to a good friend :), so to paste it verbatim: Nikko was never a consistent napper, which drove/drives me crazy. Even if we run him and ourselves ragged in the basement or outside, it's no guarantee that he'll be tired enough to nap. It's as if Nikko has to be tired on his own terms. I've discovered that (not including a 15 minute nap on the bus ride home from preschool) if Nikko falls asleep for a nap during the day, and for more than 30 minutes, then it's practically guaranteed that he will not be dead tired or sleepy at bedtime. I almost do what I can to keep Nikko awake all day, unless I see that he's desperate for a nap. And then I still don't let him sleep long, no longer than an hour, less is better. I guess on those nap days I could give Nikko the melatonin, and not give it on days he is awake all day. That's a long day for a 3.5 yr old, from 6:30a to 9p! 15 hours! So I think that will be my temporary solution to the melatonin issue.

One last thing. Early in the morning, Nikko was playing with the Little People castle and was singing the melody to Micky Mouse Clubhouse. As he sang, he picked up the castle about a foot off the floor and dropped it unceremoniously. I think he was simulating how the Clubhouse had floated away, just like on the DVD we watched for three days straight. Hmmmmm.

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