Monday, February 23, 2015

Cause and Effect and Proclaiming Your Own Consequence

Very interesting morning here. Missy was not motivated to get moving until the last few minutes and when she saw that she was 15 minutes late she went into a tantrum and started screaming, "I want to go to school. I want to go to school!" 

 I tried to calm her, and get her to eat breakfast, etc but she was bound to have a big tantrum. So I left and went to do other things. After awhile she followed me and was slamming doors, kicking and stomping. 

Finally I just said, "You know, I never said anything about school or anything. I'm just listening to you and I'm hearing from you that you are late, and you know cause and effect and you have decided that you have messed up and you understand the consequences of not doing what you should  and you are proclaiming those consequences rather loudly. So what I'm hearing from you is that you need to work with me today...."

She went absolutely silent. It was like I had knocked her over the head. It was a new revelation to her. We talked about mercy and people who abuse mercy over and over. I asked her what usually happens the next morning if one day she we allow her to be a tiny bit late. She pretty much said she would be late again the next day. Really, I had wanted to get her to school but the lesson would be lost if I did that. So guess what we are doing today?

It's difficult when the kids ride the edge. I don't want to be rigid and uncaring. I want the kids to know there are times when things don't go right for everybody and it's very nice when others give you a little wiggle room and have mercy on you. I know she was NOT obeying, but she started to at the last few minutes and I was trying to figure out what the RIGHT thing to do was - honor that last ditch effort and give her a wee bit of a break, or be absolutely firm and unmoving over the set time frame. In the end I didn't make the decision. She did with all her hollering.

She's grumpy as all get-out, but we'll get past it.

By the way, we did have the kids birthday dinner last Thursday as planned, but the kids who were going to come didn't, so it was just us which was good. James was a little unstable most of the weekend, but Sunday he started to even out. Today he was up at 5:30 and ready for his day with a good attitude. When he's not quite stable, she is really careful, but when he gets it together she lets her guard down. I think they stress each other out a lot.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

11 years Old Today.

 The twins are 11 today.

Things have been going good. It has been amazing. I was basking in how wonderful it was that they were doing so well.

And then today showed up.

James was celebrating by raging for no apparent reason at all.

He did not eat breakfast. He did not get on the bus, and sadly,  he did not run away, either. (That's kind of a sad joke, but it would have been easier had he gone for a run in the trees and calmed himself down).  He just kept screaming and raging and spitting and smashing apples and beating on the door. I drove away for awhile, but he knew Vanessa and Christina were in the house, so it did no good. He was lock out to keep him from causing bodily harm.

So I had to call the school and they sent out Rhett to come and get him.

Strange how this stuff sucks the motivation out of me. I've done nothing since.

Missy loves her birthday. She wanted to take baby pictures to school today...  All the baby pictures I have are the ones Children's Hospital gave me on a CD. If I had known a day earlier I could have gotten them printed. Instead she had to be content with a little book I made from when she was 6 and first came to live with us. 

As for the birthday celebration... not sure where to go with it. My plans for baking a cake and all kind of fizzled. BUT they are twins. . . . she deserves her celebration even if he wants to sabotage his.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Activating Ski Patrol

Brianna turning over the garden with a pitchfork
Missy has done well! She worked hard every day last week to get ready for school and then church on the weekend. She even started this week out well, too. It is very hard work for her. I could see her wearing out by the end of the week. She had a good old tantrum on Thursday night, but Fri morning she was back to working hard. Friday she was DOG tired...

She does NOT like to miss school. She most certainly does not like to do yard work in place of school.

She was starting to lose momentum yesterday but did okay when I reminded her there are still leaves to rake. Today is going to be a close call as she used up 45 minutes of her time doing nothing. I just shared my plans of the day with her - move rocks, rake leaves, wash laundry room floor, re-organize the shoe closet, move the logs from the barn... and it's like she got stung by a motivational bee. NO way is she willing to stick around for that!!

Here's a laugh for your day. Steve was working the First Aid room up at the ski slopes Sunday. It's been a lousy ski season. Our winter has been too warm, but they make snow up there for the main run every day, however they are closing early so this was Steve's last shift. He had vowed he would not take Missy up there again if I was not there as she was a trial for him last time.  I had been up all night with a migraine and it wasn't getting better so he changed his mind and took the twins with him to give me a break. The first text I got from him made me laugh... I guess James wasn't waiting around for the slowpoke.

"She  didn't know whether to wait for him to come down so she could chew him out or just venture out on her own . . . at last, with tears in her eyes she boarded the chair lift on her own!" :-)

Second text.
"Well, James is up the lift again on his own and she's wondering why she's left behind again...?!

Then it really started to get interesting:

"Missy knows how to activate the ski patrol!! She has had EVERYONE looking for James! Meanwhile, James is having a great time... SLOWLY coming down Mimi!"
Steve said the ski resort administrator came  to the aid room with Missy tagging along behind him. He asked Steve if this was his daughter and then asked about James. Steve assured him that James was just fine. Steve had been seeing him come down the hill and getting back on the ski lift totally focused. James doesn't look around much, he was not the least concerned about Missy. He was there to ski.  The guy was like, "Okay thanks. Just wanted to make sure everyone is having a fun time!"

Steve then had a chat with Missy and told her James was fine and that she needed to go ski. So he sent her off and he watched the chair lift for signs of her pink helmet but she never appeared. He went around the other side of the building and scouted out the area for her. Sure enough... she was back at the administration building.  There was a  poor, cold, office lady outside trying to assure her that they would find James.

Somehow she activated the ski patrol and the whole team was looking for James. And James was totally minding his own business having a great time skiing. **Sigh** Steve was just shaking his head, but he told the woman, I'll take care of it from here. A few minutes later the head ski patrol guy came down the mountain and dropped by the aid room. Everybody had a good laugh when they realized what was really going on.

Missy would not believe, nor relax, or get it out of her head that something dreadful had happened to her beloved enemy... until she saw the whites of his eyes.  She does NOT hear what we say,  and she will take matters into her own hands. She's smart enough to be dangerous and to cause people a lot of work.

Both of the twins started OT at a new, exciting place. James has some pretty big vestibular issues. It was interesting to see how he does not recover from being spun around. He gets VERY dizzy and then does not recover like other people. His eyes jerk and twitch and you know he's got to feel sick. I'm looking forward to seeing what can be accomplished with our new therapists.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

New Motivation

One day I told Missy to put her lunch in her paper bag. Then she asked if she could add a juice. I said yes. She was very excited....

The next day she asked if she could pack her lunch again. Of course, I let her.

Vanessa said, "Boy, she's really excited about packing her lunch!"

Today, she started to resist getting ready for school.... and I quickly reminded her that if she had extra time she could pack her lunch. And since she got her act together in a fraction of the usual time I let her make a sandwich. That's kind of a scary deal when you are dealing with an impulsive creature... She could be eating out of the peanut butter jar with her bare hands in a flash if you didn't pay attention. And so there are just two rules. No bare hands in the food and no licking the fingers. BUT it got her out the door with a smile. She was quite pleased with her messy sandwich.

Tonight she had an all out tantrum over bringing the garbage can up from the drive and James had two melt downs over homework and teethbrushing. We're  nearing the finish line of this week. I'm banking on the fact that Valentines will be exchanged tomorrow and that, along with another messy sandwich, should pull us through to having both been in school ALL week.

NO candy will be exchanged at Missy's school. YAY  for smart teachers! James is not a real candy eater. He will bring it all home.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

It's One or the Other

Missy had an excellent day yesterday.  I felt bad to disappoint her over swimming but I did not feel great. Today she got up and got ready for the day without even resisting at all. I'm writing to see if there is a pattern here...

Her brother did not have a good morning.

Next time he tries to run away when its time to get on the bus I am just going to let him do that.  I'm not physically strong enough to pick him up and put him on anymore. Just as he saw the bus coming, yesterday he lept over the bank. I had a fraction of a second premonition that he might do that and grabbed the handle on the back of his backpack in his mid-air flight. Then wrestled him back up the bank in the mud on my knees then carried him biting and kicking and hitting to the bus. I was all out of air and I had nothing left. I prayed out loud, "Lord, give me strength!" and picked his writhing screaming body up and deposited him on the bus floor. The driver shut the door lickity split.

~But that is the last time.

If he wants to throw himself over the bank and run through orchard after orchard, he's welcome.

I've thought it through... What's the worse thing that could happen while he's running away?
*He might only run a hundred yards and then I'll still have to deal with him.
*He might come home before he's spent his anger.
*He'll miss school.
*He might get scared.
*He might come out of the orchard on a country road.  He knows road safety. He knows the lay of the land well. Our house is on a VERY distinct hill. He absolutely cannot get lost.
*He might meet up with a dog or two....
*He might decide running away doesn't solve his problems.

I texted the bus driver and let her know the plan and she agreed that would be the best.

Steve had him up at 5 am this morning so that I would not have to deal with any nonsense. When Steve left for work at 6 James was ready for school and all I had to do was give him breakfast and tell him to brush his teeth. I think we'll do it that way for awhile.

Friday, February 6, 2015

This Week

Monday went well.

Tuesday went well.

Wednesday went okay but she pushed the envelope just a wee bit.

Thursday she did not even try. And we endured a horrific rage. It wasn't hard for me to stick with my resolves to not let her get away with it. She moved some logs from the upper property to the barn at the bottom of the drive. She raked leaves, she washed the doors where she beat them with her muddy boots and cleaned the porch. She got to go to Pathfinders and that may have been our mistake. She figured she was scott free.

Friday, today,  was half-hearted. She made some effort, but just enough to make it look like she might have her act together. It was HARDER, much harder to stick with the plan. I wanted her to go to school and working with these kids sometimes seems so futile. . . I asked Steve what I should do and he said, "make a plan and stick with it." So, I did because I already had the plan I was just getting tired of it myself!! :-) Today she washed dishes, raked another section of leaves... the tree still seems to be dropping  dead leaves providing us with a good job for her. She folded laundry. She was hoping - really hoping we were going to have company tonight. Nope.

Steve and James have gone to the Men's Retreat at the church camp. The speaker is Pavel Goia so we know it's going to be good. James was a pickle to deal with until they finally left. He's been sick with a cough that won't quit and we were hemming and hawing over whether or not he should go and that put him in full anxiety mode. He could not cooperate for anything. When I started packing his clothes he resumed his good behavior.

The house is clean. The girls are all home. It's a quiet evening.

Monday, February 2, 2015

New DAY!

Missy is cheery this morning, and she's getting ready for school.

It's a  record.

She is no longer grounded and we have swimming planned for tonight.

IT's been a LONG week for her. I had arranged for the care-giver to come extra, but she fell on her bad hip and we didn't even get her for the usual times. The poor lady has a rough time... but I won't let them send any other care-giver from the agency. If we can't have her we do without. She knows Missy and can usually get her to do a craft or something with her on the hardest of days.

Missy has raked a lot of leaves for me. There are a lot more out there, but I would mark off a section and that would be her project of the day.

Today, our plan is that if I get a text from the teacher that Missy is not cooperating I will go and get her and take her home. She knows and she agrees. She worked hard to get to breakfast because she knew I would not take her to school if we had obedience issues. She is also on the line regarding the Pathfinder club. If she can't do her school work then we won't be adding club work to her list of duties...