Monday, April 26, 2010

Nikko the puppy

I was up and running from the get go. Ronin called out to me that he leaked in bed and sure enough I was looking at soaked sheets. A mess of the runs. I had to let Nikko out before he got upset, put Audrey down, strip the bed and then got to the business of cleaning Ronin up in the tub. After he was finished I changed Nikko and then Audrey. My dear Audrey had just created a big mess in her diaper so it was back to the tub. Finally, when all were clean, I joined them in the kitchen with Denis, who had poured their milks. This was all before 7:20a. The rest of the morning was a carbon copy of the earlier events. I felt like I was continually changing big-mess diapers and Nikko, who had minor #2s each time. Then Atz came over around 9:45a and was to take over while I ran to the optometrist. Nikko started bawling when he saw me put on my shoes. He was screaming when I walked out the door, and when I called later to check in I heard he pretty much stood between the screen door and the wood door, as if waiting for me to come home. It made me feel sad to picture Nikko like that, as if he were a puppy waiting for his master to come home. I don't even like comparing Nikko to an animal, but when I think about it his basic functions often mirror that of a puppy. Ronin and Audrey were not as attached to the door and were able to migrate between rooms. After my quick eye check-up, where she told me to come back in two days because the eyes were greatly improved but she still saw red and the eyeball was still swollen, I ran over to the Central Community Center to hand in registration for Nikko to attend the Three Wee Camp, a 2-hr. activity class that overlaps with the end of the ESY summer class. I requested an aide from the NWSRA and asked for Melisa Gonzalez, one of Nikko's ABA therapists. Later I also left a message for the NWSRA intake coordinator per Maria's suggestion in the hopes that she could help tie Nikko to Melisa. (Just noticed it's Melisa with one "s"). And after registration, I ran over to Home Depot to look for an inside door bolt and for some polyurethane for the unfinished kid table. I got back to the house and the kids were in the living room, behaving. I saw Nikko sitting in the picture window when I pulled into the driveway and I waved at him. The status update was positive, but included an Audrey diaper change in the sink.

Melisa called to reschedule our ABA today for Wednesday, so the afternoon was pretty quiet since it was almost Ronin's nap time. After Ronin woke up, I fed the kids snack and Denis came home. Then I put jeans and jackets on the kids and took them to the backyard to play. Atz had dropped off another Little Tykes car and some construction vehicles. Ronin immediately took a big-wheeled excavator and Nikko adopted a bulldozer. Audrey gravitated back and forth between Tyke cars, and I encouraged everyone to try the slide a few times. It was a little bit chilly in the shade but nonetheless a good moment to be outside in the sun. I worried slightly when it was time to haul them inside because Nikko wanted to bring in the bulldozer whereas I wanted it to stay as an outside toy. It got as far as the sink in the kitchen, and I thought about cleaning it up, but when Nikko wasn't looking I put it outside and later put it back in the garage. The rest of the evening was uneventful.

Last night Nikko was standing on top of a round ottoman and then hopped over to the next one before landing on the ottoman in front of the couch and spilling himself onto the couch. He looked like a little frog leaping from pad to pad. Ronin copied him, of course, and I worried that Ronin wouldn't be able to close the distance, but he managed. It showed me that Nikko is getting better with his balance and self-awareness in space.

While Atz was here, I got a phone call from Margie, one of Nikko's teachers at school. She said they just finished pow-wowing about my email regarding my concerns with Nikko and they had some conclusions:
- They know that Nikko whines a lot, but to them it's mostly related to work-avoidance. They think he was definitely uncomfortable when he had a bad diaper rash, but that, coupled with school demands overall, just makes him whine. They deal with it appropriately and don't give in easily.
- Regarding fruit snacks, they think the best way to handle it is to probably make them disappear from the equation entirely. It will be a hard few weeks to transition away from them, but if Nikko is so obsessed with them, it's probably best just not to have them around. This is possible to do, of course, since there was a time for 8-9 months that we didn't have them around at all, and only reintroduced Nikko to them because of ABA. Since neither Melisa nor Jenna use them in their sessions, it may be easier to phase FS out.
- They have not noticed Nikko hitting anyone in class, maybe the random pushing that comes with kids getting in the way, but nothing malicious. That being said, they discussed that I might want to consider separating Ronin and Nikko next year. Nikko might spend his time singling Ronin out and taking swipes at him instead of learning, and it could be distracting. Also, it might be beneficial for Ronin to have his own time as his own person. That's something I really didn't consider when signing him up in the first place. Ronin is locked into the afternoon class, and they said possibly move Nikko into the morning class. They also said to think about it, get back to them later. After considering the possibilities, I'm going to email the teachers and ask if they can both be in the afternoon, but put Ronin in the other classroom. I'd prefer Nikko to stay with Margie and Kathy, but it would be easier for me to keep the boys on the same bus, and if that's in the afternoon then that's what it has to be.

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