Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Stop Being Annoyed. Be Awesome Instead.

I don't want to whine.  I've been doing enough of that lately.  I'm tired of myself already.  Sweet Girl and Little Man are tired of me and I'm a bit tired of them as well.  Oreo has taken to hiding in his dog bed, which is in fact the LAST place I would look for him as more often than not Little Man is the one occupying the fleecy oval while Oreo is ruining my couch or taking over my bed.  (Why would I sit in a dog bed?  Wait.  You think I'm a dog?  A dog?!)  It's just that......well it's a lot of smallish things that add up to one biggish annoyance.  Normally something happens and I find a way to reset so that I don't carry over yesterday's annoyances to today.  That hasn't happened yet - since about last Thursday.  I know some people carry this kind of stuff over for years, and genetically I'm predisposed to excellence in grudge holding, but I've got a Sweet Girl and a Little Man to look after (not to mention a dumb dog).  And it's hard to do that when the only thing you see when looking at those cute faces is everything you've been annoyed with the last few days.  I'm stuck in a whine rut.  It's not nearly as fun as being stuck in a wine cellar so I'd like to get out of it.  So I'm just going to air my grievances here and be done with them.  OK?

1.  CONSTANT NOISE
I get it.  I understand why they pipe babies crying or ridiculous 80s music into the holding cells of interrogates.  It would break me too.  Little Man has discovered some new noises and is very proud.  He must be afraid these new noises will go away because he's not taking any chances and uses them constantly.  Every waking hour there is noise, or words, or crying from Little Man.  Sweet Girl has been an outward dialogue girl from the beginning.  She has a tendency to sing randomly throughout the day regardless of social situation.  When she's sick the singing and verbal stims increase.  She's been sick.  While it might seem cute that your four year-old has the score to the musical Annie memorized, I am perfectly happy to watch the Weather Channel to find out the sun will come out tomorrow.  I can control the volume on the Weather Channel.  So if I ever had national secrets, I would give them up in a heartbeat if they told me I would have to listen to a recording of my children over and over and over again.  Then again, maybe it wouldn't bother me at all since I've already done it for 17 months.  I would make an excellent spy.  I need to write that in my Idea Journal.

2.  I didn't want to watch a movie anyway
Things continue to break around here.  I informed all appliances or things of use that they were not allowed to malfunction and would be in grave danger of being replaced if they did.  The Blu-Ray did not take me seriously.  This DVD player and I have been at odds from the time Sean decided we needed it.  Mostly our disagreements are over simple matters; me wanting the DVD player to work and the DVD player deciding it has better things to do.  By the time it powers on and loads a disc the movie's sequel has already been made, released, and brought to DVD.  Also it did not have wifi capabilities so updates required the use of a data disc.  By they time it powered on and loaded the data disc, there were five more new updates to load.  Then the other day it would power on for about 3 seconds and then shut itself down.  Sean and I decided upon a replacement and Little Man and I went out to get said replacement after dropping Sweet Girl at school.  We came home and got the new one up and running.  It seems to be more eager to work than Old DVD Player.  I like that quality.  Just to see what would happen, I plug Old DVD Player in upstairs where it apparently understands it's about to be a part of a free crap giveaway curbside, and it springs to life.  Apparently the air is better for movie viewing at a higher altitude.

3.  Little Man is not to be trusted
Oh sure.  He looks cute.  But underneath those feathery lashes and marshmallow physique, he is one big ball of trouble.  Today I put the phone in its base after talking to Sean.  Later in the afternoon, Papa calls and the ringing phone sounds oddly far away.  It's not in its base but sounds not too far off.  Upon further investigation the phone was found in the block cart underneath every piece of molded plastic we have in the house.  Little Man has a tendency to hide things.  I pick up the phone and talk to Papa for about 5 minutes before the phone's battery died.  Stupid phone.  It's a close relative to Old DVD Player and isn't inclined to working that much.  Then there was last night.  I left the bathtub filling with water for Sweet Girl's bath while I took two minutes to switch the laundry.  Sweet Girl was playing in the living room and Little Man was chasing the dog.  Sixty seconds later I hear Little Man screaming from the bathroom.  In his attempt to fill up the hair-rinsing cup with bath water, Little Man took a dive.  I found him standing, fully-clothed and dripping wet in the bathtub.  The bathroom is apparently a mischief-prone location as today I found he had dumped an entire bag of cotton balls (Ooh soft! he says) into the toilet.  The goods is they're absorbent.  The bad news is they shouldn't be flushed.  This happened because I had shooed him away from the dishwasher as I was loading it. He wanted to take out the utensils for one last lick.  I thought that wasn't a good idea.  And at some point today he managed to sneak three toys into the crisper drawer. 

4. I can not make my expectations any clearer
A large part of my frustration centers around Sweet Girl's behavior.  She adapts a different social skill set and unique language when she's not feeling well.  General volume increases, singing becomes near compulsive, vocal tics show up out of nowhere, and verbal stims come back that I thought were long gone.  And she doesn't wind down her activity level - it actually increases.  She is full-tilt sensory seeking.  Instead of bouncing on the trampoline, she jumps up and down on the floor with all the force she can muster and then drops down on her bottom.  The floor shakes; it has to hurt and yet she continues (even though she's been directed not to do so).  She does head stands against the furniture.  She climbs over the arm of the couch repeatedly.  She runs instead of walks, yells instead of talks, and disregards any directions given.  Something is off and it's hard from me to get her back on, if you will.  Tuesday morning I drove a crying Sweet Girl to school.  She wasn't crying because she didn't want to go, as a matter of fact she probably couldn't wait to get there, but she was upset because I yelled at her before we got in the car.  Getting out the door and in the car is a fiasco in the best of circumstances, and lately with Sweet Girl's spaciness I have to ask her to do simple things REPEATEDLY before they get done.  That morning I had asked her to bring me her milk cup because she was thirsty and I was wiping peaches off of Little Man's face and the kitchen walls.  She asked me for milk three more times and I told her to bring me her cup three more times.  Five minutes later she brings me her cup.  Then we're all dressed, backpack ready to go, all she needs are her shoes.  I tell her to put her shoes on.  I start getting everything else together, and direct her to her shoes again.  All told, I had to ask her 12 times to put on her shoes.  Something she does everyday; she knows she needs shoes to leave the house and that going to school means leaving the house.  We nearly missed drop-off time because she was so spacey and intent on everything but her shoes.  And that's an example of how our interactions have been going since about last Thursday, so on Tuesday I was frustrated and I yelled at her.  I apologized because I shouldn't lose my temper like that, but crapsticks and awesomesauce, I couldn't take it any more.

To make matters worse, we're potty-training.  Yes, she's four years old and not potty-trained.  I thought long and hard if I wanted to include this because I know some people will judge her abilities based solely on this fact.  But this is me, talking about my kids whether it's good, bad or ugly and this is a big part of that.  Sweet Girl understands that we sit on the potty.  She's got that down.  What she doesn't understand is how to make the next step happen and unfortunately she has a steel bladder.  I had her sans pantalons for 2.5 hours on Friday (after our Sonic orange lemonade stop) and she held it in until it was time for bed and I put a pull-up on her.  We do this dance a lot and we don't do it alone.  When I take her to the potty, Little Man and Oreo come along.  The bathroom's not that big; it can get a little claustrophobic.  The more we try the more Sweet Girl and I both get frustrated.  She gets frustrated because she thinks she's doing everything I'm asking her to do and yet I still ask more of her. (And she's NOT a fan of changes like this.  She potties in a diaper, always has and she hopes always will.  Why change a system that doesn't seem broken to her?)  I'm frustrated because I can't find the right words to help her understand what to do.  I can say "Go pee pee." til I'm pee peed out, but that doesn't make her understand how to make her muscles contract and then release on demand.  It's not a matter of motivation.  I've offered her the Sweet Girl version of the moon and the stars (a party with cupcakes), it's a matter of comprehension.  If anyone has any advice, time for prayer, special tricks, toilet rosaries, or voodoo, I'm all ears.  I hate that Sweet Girl sees my frustration and doesn't know why it's there when she's trying everything to make me happy.  I hate that parts of her day she feels like she failed me and she doesn't even know how.  On the upside, Little Man has two new words: pee pee and potty.  Which comes in handy when you need to tell him not to throw things in the potty.

I don't want to be annoyed, so I'm trying to be awesome.  I'm trying to channel my inner Super Woman.  She's in here somewhere - probably underneath a bag of soggy cotton balls.

Anyone else need to vent to get past something?  Tell me about it and we can be awesome together.

3 comments:

  1. That boy is creative, as in he knows how to create a problem. ;)

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  2. Well, it seems pretty apparent to me that you're awesome, but I'm happy to send you a note every day to remind you.

    YOU'RE AWESOME!

    I have all boys, and not a one of them truly understood how to use the toilet before the age of four. Oddly, Boy Four, who has Asperger's, stayed dry through the night by age three, but still hadn't worked out the daytime potty usage before age four. And he was my only kid that stayed dry through the night at that young.

    I had one guy still wetting the bed at ten. At the time, the pediatrician made me feel better, because she said that 75% of the kids have a bladder that keeps pace as they grow, but the rest don't catch up until they're much older. That was the case for most of my guys. Keep that in mind for Little Man.

    I don't have a lot of training advice, other than frequent visits to the bathroom. And M&M's. We did instant rewards with those. But that's hard if she's in school. Do you have a good resource through any autism groups?

    I totally get the noise thing (shocking, here at House of Penii), because Four acts out all his television shows. And everyone else is just noisy. By the time ten o'clock rolls around, and I have stupid teenagers still up and making food, and generally irritating me simply by breathing in my space, I want to scream. In fact, I often do. Yell, anyway. It's not nice, but I haven't been sainted yet, so I forgive myself my general grumpiness.

    Hmmm, what did I forget? Oh, Sweet Girl and being off. This also happens to Four, after he gets over the initial being laid low. Full moons also make him extra hyper, and then I have to really amp up the positive rewards for not jumping all over the place. It doesn't always work.

    Oh, the directions? Every school day, I tell my children-special, and otherwise- the same directions at least six times. "Teeth!" "Shoes!" "Backpack!" "Van!" Ad Nauseum.

    As for Little Man-I'm sorry to have to tell you this, but I think he's just a boy. They're a little weird.

    But it's all good, BECAUSE WE'RE AWESOME!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Because it's a new day, I thought I'd remind you that YOU'RE AWESOME!

    ReplyDelete