May 2, 2012 by Marj Hatzell
The past few months Bugaboo has had a bit of a personality change. His usual happy-happy-happiness was replaced with a sulky, withdrawn child who screamed for hours, stopped sleeping and bit the heck out of himself. We’ve been clawing our way back (slowly, very slowly) but every day there’s a new change and another thing to celebrate.
We almost have him back but we’re still perplexed about the water/pool thing and the outside thing. Like, how does a kid go from climbing out of windows to get outside to refusing to go outside? Or showering several times a day to refusing to bathe or go to the pool? With the outdoor swim club opening in a few weeks we need to get on this, yo. We spend a large part of our summer at that pool. He was doing great by the end of the summer, swimming across the pool and jumping off the dive!
The past week I had a new plan. We’re working with his school on an at-home program where the parents come up with goals and the school helps us implement them. I’m taking a “class” to do this. A lot of it is a shout out to my special ed days, writing down steps for task analysis and taking data. So I’m more than familiar with it. Besides, I’m the kind of person who constantly educates myself about best practices and we do our own version of therapy here at Casa DG. Bugaboo THINKS he is coming home to relax but he doesn’t realize he’s WORKING. MWAHAHAHA!!! EVIL MOMMY!
Anywho, the not going outside thing has been WEIRD. He did go out once for about ten seconds (and I video taped him! I WAS SO EXCITED) to the trampoline. Then the next day he refused. And I thought back and said to myself, “He stopped everything two months ago after a night on the trampoline. Hmmmm…” And decided to start there. So the past week I’ve been upping the ante. “Want iPad? First go outside and touch the trampoline. Then you get iPad.” And the first night he was LIVID but we did it (with Mommy’s powers of persuasion, aka physical assistance). And the next few nights? More of the same.
Then there was last night.
It started out as “keep away from Mommy and Daddy and squeal loudly” but as soon as I got him outside and off the patio? He walked on his own (no hand under his arm pit) to the trampoline. Where he willingly touched it. Then turned on his heel,noticed the new sand in the sandbox and played for a minute.
Then he went back inside to the iPad.
And I was all kinds of excited for that. Because he’s getting it. BUT WAIT! THERE’S MORE! He slipped back outside a few minutes later and played in the sandbox for another hour. HOUR. OUTSIDE. And ok,so he happened to eat some. But HE PLAYED. OUTSIDE. FOR AN HOUR.
That’s the most we’ve had from him in two months.
We’ve done something similar with the bathing/going to bed routine. It takes both of us (one on each side) to get him up the stairs but once he’s up there and gets over the initial squeal? I cannot get him out of the shower. Then this weekend something even better happened! Instead of running back downstairs like a bat our out of Hades, he climbed into bed with Daddy. Then the next night he started for the stairs, stopped, cocked his head to the side and climbed into his bed. And he cried for a second when I left so I went back in and got him some water and he dozed off with a CD in one hand and his torn/destroyed Elmo book in the other, watching his laser light show. And last night? We didn’t get a successful shower but he DID play in the sprinkler for a few minutes and put himself in bed.
PUT HIMSELF IN BED, PEOPLE.
So it appears we may be getting back to “normal” around here.
You know, whatever that is.