Wednesday, April 7, 2010

No popcorn / COUNTING

6:10a I can hear Nikko babbling in his room, but I don't go get him right away. I let him be until about 6:25, when I remember that he could start leaking in his diaper. Thankfully, he was fine when I got to him. I chilled out in Nikko's room until 6:50 when Ronin started calling out.

Some time in the morning I saw a PEC picture of Popcorn on the floor. I wondered aloud where this came from and Denis said that Ronin got it from our room. Meaning, Ronin was snooping around my junk and pulled it out. He wanted some, but I don't have any popcorn around. He might be allergic to popcorn anyway. The PEC was soon forgotten. Nikko came home from school and saw the picture on the table. He immediately brought it to me and I immediately regretted not putting it away this morning because Nikko was requesting Popcorn Please and very insistently. "I'm sorry, Nikko, I don't have any. No popcorn." I put my hands up in a shrug and kept repeating that phrase. Nikko was angry. PISSED. He kept encroaching upon me, asking, pawing for the PEC when I took it away and tried to put it out of sight. Nikko was relentless. Already today I wasn't feeling great, a sore throat plus continued run-downed feeling from yesterday, and wearing my glasses because my eyes were red and messed up for wearing my disposable contacts one day or week too long. My voice got louder and I felt my vocal chords straining. I knew that if my shouting escalated, I'd tear up the chords and sound raspy if I had any voice left. Then Nikko started screaming and wailing. High-pitched screams in protest rang in my ears and I couldn't take it anymore. I put my hands over my ears and turned away from him until his screaming toned down. Then I decided to put some Ore Ida french fries in the oven to replace his wanting the popcorn. I can't say I was all right with everything, but since this was borderline lunchtime I made Nikko chicken nuggets first so the fries were last. It seems that I am constantly looking 3-5 steps ahead on a daily basis to avoid these tantrums. They are exhausting for both of us. I'm sure there's a school of thought out there that I should just let things happen, just leave the popcorn PECs out so he can learn to deal with it. But things got ugly so quickly that I tend to avoid having temptations out in general. I do this whenever we go out to the store, or when we go to someone's house or a party. Nikko's just not going to be satisfied with a banana when he sees a bag of fruit snacks laying around, and the word NO just makes him more enraged. I'm sure neurotypical kids would prefer fruit snacks to a real banana, too, but do they understand that No is NO? Or are they hell bent on being unrelenting?

Nikko's OT report: Very alert today. Did obstacle course several times - sequencing it well. Then did big ball activities. At table - worked on controlling marker going down & sideways. Then did dot art rainbow paper. I wonder... does Mrs. I (the OT) write this much detail on the other kids' reports, the ones that need OT as well? If so, great! If not, then I wonder if it's because she can see that I am very attuned to what's going on with Nikko at school, as evidenced by being present at the School/ABA group meetings. Mrs. I was there at the last meeting, so hopefully she can see that I read everything pertaining to Nikko.

I put Ronin down for his 2pm nap and had Audrey and Nikko around me. At one point I took a picture book and tried to get Nikko to point to a yellow fish, asking him what color was the fish? But his attention was elsewhere and he refused to sit next to me. I could see that he was getting sleepy and I encouraged him to take a nap but he wouldn't do it. I decided to break and give the kids snack before Jenna arrived for therapy. Jenna was late, as usual, and that made it hard for me to judge whether or not it was ok for Nikko to take a quick nap. He didn't sleep, regardless, and I warned Jenna of that before therapy. 20 minutes after they went downstairs, I heard them come up through the door. Jenna was carrying Nikko and described to me that when she turned to get something from the box, she turned back and Nikko's head was bobbing up and down, and he was slumping toward the table, obviously sleepy. She didn't think he wanted to continue so she brought him upstairs, but by then he was awake again. She offered to come tomorrow if Nikko needed to sleep. I asked if Nikko wanted to stay here or go play/work, and he turned toward the knob to the basement. I told Jenna to try it again and if it failed, they could come upstairs. They went back down. Following their departure, I sat in the living room with Ronin and heard Nikko do some heavy protesting and crying. I wondered what was going on, and wondered if Jenna would call it a day again, but then things calmed down until 6pm. She told me that Nikko had that one instance where he got up and approached the barricade. When Jenna called him back, he got angry and tantrummed, but then sat down and continued to work very focused. She said he did well the rest of the session. Jenna also said that in the month of May, if I wanted her to stay later on some days, to make up for any of the times she had shortened sessions (um, yeah, she had many) because she had a dance class following us, she could make up those days in May. I said sure, go for it.

Dinner was ok for the kids but I was aware that I would have to try to keep Nikko awake until it was bath time. I figured I could give him some fruit snacks and that might give him a little sugar rush. I was at the microwave when I heard some babbling going on. I turned to see Nikko playing with the Elmo cell phone, pushing numbers and counting from one to ten. I couldn't believe it. I listened very closely and sure enough I could hear him count, sometimes skipping numbers but ended up at ten. I chimed in and said, "One, two, three..." Nikko looked up at me, surprised, but then he continued to count along with me in his choppy voice. I praised him when we hit ten together. Then I whipped out the mini bag of fruit snacks. His eyes got wide, then I put a hand on top of it and started counting with purpose. He looked at me and helped me finish counting, saying "three, [me, four], five, [me, six], seven..." We finished at ten and I opened the bag for him and gave Nikko his reward. It didn't dawn on me to start counting with Nikko beyond three, quite honestly. So colors and numbers are things I need to try to tap into with Nikko. I wonder if Team Umizoomi has anything to do with helping numbers for Nikko, since that's the center of what they do on that cartoon.

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