Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Happy Happy Joy Joy

We received the letter from the twins' school yesterday:  the twins will be held back for Kindergarten.  I know I must be 1 in a million to be so happy and relieved about this news.  It was our first real fight for our children's future, but as Dave's cousin says, it won't be our last.  We have to pace ourselves.  Thank you all for your support on this big issue, which most of you probably wouldn't do.
It is true that we don't have to agree on anything to be kind to one another.  We appreciate your kindness and support.  Also, we kindly suggest you keep your summer babies out of kindergarten for an extra year.  Forgive me:  you know I'm a professor and I have to profess what I think I know.

Speaking of "kind," let's do the Christopher update, which is kind of working.  I say "Kind Of" because it is SO MUCH BETTER, but it is not perfect. Yesterday, in particular, sucked mightily.  You know why?  Guess which child refused to eat anything but fruit and carbohydrates all day long? No protein knowingly passed through his lips yesterday.  Can you say Blood Sugar Drop?  Dave suggests we live in a Snickers commercial.  Pretty much, this is a dramatic re-enactment of our house on carbohydrate days.

Um, yeah.

The good news is that Christopher willingly accepts going to his room for a minute or two to calm down.  Kazdin's big thing is that time outs should not be long.  Longer is not more effective.  For Christopher, honestly, just walking into his room and getting on his bed means he has accepted that he accepts our authority.  Dudes, that is a huge step forward.

Christopher no longer completely loses it multiple times a day. We have gotten better and quicker at "If you do this positive thing, you immediately earn that positive reward."  That's a good thing altogether. It really is just when he is tired and hungry.  And we don't run a short order kitchen, so what's to eat is what's to eat.

Also, Baby No (as he was referred to as soon as he could speak) will suddenly dislike his favorite food to "punish us," I assume for cooking it.  He once threatened to leave us to move in with a family that cooks food that he likes.  Had he been older, not at all sensitive, and I in any way didn't care about the repercussions,  I would have replied, "Be my guest."

So, all in all, we're doing better. I have to better at sneaking in protein, of which homemade yogurt shakes and peanut butter have tons and Baby No still likes them.

What I hate is that he is not getting pleasure out of these episodes.  He doesn't like himself when he is bad.  No kid does.  We all have to remember that.  He's not losing it because he likes it.  He's losing it because he's lost control and somehow we have learned to reward that behavior.

OH!  OH!  OHHHHHH!!!!  I forgot THE MOST important thing we've learned during this process.  It IS rewarding for him, even though it's negative attention.  The most powerful thing we can do is leave the room (or have him leave the room) for a few minutes.

The most impressive event was one night when he, Bridget and I were going to sleep and he had moved from his normal place, drawn a line in bed, and was kicking Bridget every time she got near it.  This was the end of  a 15 minute episode of bad behavior.  I remembered to leave.  So Bridget and I got up and went to her room so he could have the whole bed to himself. YOU WOULD THINK that he was thrilled we were gone.

But 5 to 10 minutes later, we heard a plaintive, "Mommy, would you please come back?!"

"Why, sure, honey!!" You *cannot* hold grudges with this method.

We came back, the bed was cleaned, he was in his right place, and he snuggled up hard to me as we all went to sleep.

It's the last time we've had that particular problem.

Happy happy joy joy, indeed.