Saturday, June 26, 2010

Relentless: ice cream, cake & flashlight

Nikko's speech report: Nikko practiced requesting (ex. "more water", "car, please") during snack and while playing with cars/bubbles. He seemed to benefit from visual cues such as pictures. Nikko also worked on using two word phrases while playing (ex. "car go")...

My nephew Tristan came over with Atz to mow our lawn and do some edging. He's going to be employed by us to take over this deed, which frees Denis up to do other things since he doesn't particularly like mowing the lawn and his seasonal allergies kick into high gear with the grass whirling about. It was around snack time and since it had been hot outside recently I relented and gave the boys ice cream in a bowl. Ronin was satisfied with his Rice Dream Neapolitan flavors, which taste closer to cardboard for me. I gave Nikko some Breyer's Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough and wondered if he'd be satisfied with one or two bowls. To my dismay, Nikko wanted more. Much more than I kept giving him. I decided to cut him off by 4pm because he would not eat decently at the in-laws tonight. When Nikko asked for more ice cream, I told him no, no more, all finished. He wouldn't accept that answer for the next HOUR. He cried, whined, swatted, pushed, pulled and tried to get me up to give him more ice cream. I thought he'd collapse in my lap and fall asleep from the exhaustion of being relentless, but he didn't fall asleep. I was growing weary from his persistence but did not give in to his demands. It dawned on me that Nikko was "as obsessed" with having ice cream as he had been (is still?) obsessed with having fruit snacks. It makes me sad to think that I may have to remove ice cream from Nikko's food options because it's something he wants in lieu of all other foods and that's not the healthiest choice for him. He gets persistent about jarred peaches, too, but at least that's a fruit. I didn't like that I had to be stern with Nikko in front of Atz, but she's very understanding and she's my sister. I looked around, trying to find something that I could redirect Nikko with, but there were no new toys or games around. I saw my Costco card lying nearby and decided to distract him with that, and sure enough it was an item that he likes to covet. It distracted him from wanting the ice cream and soon he was able to calm down and start playing with a nearby truck on the floor, Costco card tucked into his cache of Toy Story figurines.

When we got to my in-laws' house, Nikko didn't show any interest in eating the nuggets I brought, or the baked veggie casserole, or the meat loaf. He insisted on drinking juice from a cup. Later on, when a strawberry cake came out for my BIL's birthday, Nikko wanted some (of course!). He kept whining for some cake from me, but I was dishing out mango pieces to the two little ones so I deferred the cake distribution to Denis. Between the end of dinner and the family time in the living room, the kids (Nikko, Ronin, Audrey, Maya & Rex) were running wild at the top of the stairs near the bedrooms. Soren was on hand to supervise. This resulted in very sweaty children, hyped up and loud, getting excited over a flashlight. I think Nikko ended up with the flashlight and got mad when Denis had to take it away so that all the kids would convene downstairs. Nikko kept pulling me toward the stairs, wanting the flashlight but unable to label it. I didn't give in because it was time to focus on the family time in the living room. Nikko was able to calm down with some toys on the floor and soon he wasn't asking for the flashlight anymore. Thank goodness. Nikko fell asleep on the way home, exhausted from the evening exercise and from not taking a nap all day.

Nikko's relentless behavior is intense. From the water feature at the park yesterday to the ice cream incident today, it makes me wonder if redirection is the only way to handle him. During the ice cream meltdown, Nikko would end up putting his head in my lap and grabbing my arms so that they wrapped around him, but then he'd push me away a second later. I tried to give him some firm hugs that were met both in a welcome way AND with disdain. I wonder if Nikko wanted deep pressure but didn't know how to ask for it. I want Nikko to understand that if I say NO, it means NO and he can't have what he just asked for. Perhaps he understands this perfectly, but is just mad about it and keeps pushing forward. NO doesn't mean NO to him. NO means: if I keep whining and crying, screaming and hitting, throwing myself on the floor or pushing her in the direction I want to go, then I'll get what I want. This makes it even harder to stand firm in my convictions, but I tell myself that he won't always be able to get what he wants, and his want may not be the healthiest choice, so I have to make his choices for him. Why do food items have to be one of a few root causes for his relentlessness? I noticed that his therapists all seem to say, "Oh MY!" when Nikko has a meltdown. Is that to indicate inappropriateness without making Nikko feel bad or shouting at him?

No comments:

Post a Comment