Have Yourself a Merry Little “Meltdown”!!

Hello everyone!

It’s been tough here, I won’t lie. We have more meltdowns and “bad” days than “good” anymore. I’m certain the Holiday Stress takes it’s toll on ALL of us, not just the adults that are hustling & bustling about making certain all is taken care of for Christmas. I truly believe our children actually FEED off of our own stressors and whatever environment we “provide” for them.

We ALL want a picture perfect Christmas Season, right? You know, something that looks like this:

christmas-tree1

We ALL wish for that! We ALL work so hard to make our own homes, lives and families have the BEST for Christmas….and I’m not talking the BEST presents either…..I’m talking about the BEST Christmas experience so that when our children grow up, they have fond memories of enjoying this amazing season!!

My own “Past Christmas” memories are so wonderful!! We NEVER had a lot of money growing up, heck, we hardly had ANY money growing up!! But my mom (single mom with 4 kiddos after my dad left her penniless..literally….when I was only 13 yrs old & there were 3 others younger than myself) was amazing!! She was so wonderful at letting us kiddos see the TRUE meaning of Christmas. Our Christmas’ were riddled with tradition!! I, still to this day, keep some of those traditions alive in my own family!! We never went hungry, but had little money to just be frivilous with it, as a matter of fact, the FIRST time I ate out in a restaurant was on my First Date when I was 16!! Mom knew what was important and stuck to her guns! I so look up to my mom and when it comes to raising children, I look at how she raised us to the BEST of her abilities!! I even remember one particularly financially hard Christmas for my mom and all of us kiddos only got ONE Christmas present!! ONE!!! And we all got the exact same present…a bottle of hairspray each. And you know what, it didn’t matter to ANY of us that it was ALL we got. Not one of us was resentful or upset, we were telling mom that she didn’t have to…and with tears in HER eyes, said she wanted to do “something” for us! We were all teenagers at the time as well. What teenager in this day and age isn’t begging for a cell phone, iPad, Wii, etc? Times have changed, haven’t they? Or maybe it is US that has changed?! Now that WE are the parents…we need to get BACK to what is important, don’t we?!

Well, little MM is having a rough go of things. With his SPD (Sensory Processing Disorder), there is an incredible amount of EXTRAS going on around him at this, what WE call the “Most magical time of year!” We go to the grocery, & there are SO MANY extra ppl rushing about, SO MANY more lights, SO MANY more toys around every corner to get US to spend more money, SO MANY more poor attitudes as ppl FEEL rushed about, & I could go on and on and on. ALL of this seems somewhat “Normal” to us, right? We have grown accustomed to seeing this year after year. But I forget sometimes that my son, who is sensitive to those types of things, gets more “frantic” and “meltdowns” MUCH more quickly in those situations!! I MUST MUST MUST think of him first and foremost! Not the tree, not the decorations, not the last minute grocery shopping, and certainly NOT making this Christmas “perfect”!! It’s almost as if my son is asking ME……”Do you see what is really going on inside my head?” without saying a word….I NEED to be aware and sensitive to HIS needs!!

Do you REALLY see what is going on INSIDE my head

Let me be honest here. His behaviors have been SO OFF that dh even considered having Santa NOT come this year!! Yes, he’d get some things from us, but not Santa. I slept on it and prayed about it, because as tempting as it sounds to try to “help” him understand that his behaviors really ARE so off, taking away Christmas & Santa will NEVER EVER help him in any way, shape or form, I believe. This is NOT the way to reach our son…not at all. We are learning as we go. Needing to try “new and different” things as the old techniques aren’t working right now. They haven’t since he started school back in August. That really affected him in ways I’ve yet to understand!!

I am looking at this Christmas as our “Charlie Brown Christmas!” Why you ask? It really hit me a couple of days ago when my dh said something to our son and I’ll explain my reply to his comment. This year has been particularly hard on us. My health is declining rapidly, which doesn’t help MM with his stress levels in any way. I’m feeling awful all the time, and he sees that, but I’ve ALWAYS tried my hardest to enjoy and DO what I can, while I can!!! I haven’t even sent out our Christmas cards yet this year! Can you say, Way Behind!? LOL! What dh said was after he’d worked a double, mind you, so he was pretty darned tired to begin with. MM was starting to downspiral quickly as he’d been doing so the past several days whenever we try to honestly DO ANYTHING!!!! When we picked out our tree, MELTDOWN! Went to get groceries, MELTDOWN! Went to go Christmas shopping for him and he needed to stay with Grandma, MELTDOWN! Hence the name of my post…”Have yourself a Merry Little Meltdown!” Now, onto the other night…..we were JUST starting to bring in decorations to decorate our tree…MELTDOWN!! It gets all too easy to get extremely frustrated in the moment, doesn’t it?! We ALL do it…including me!!!! Dh, then turned to MM and said, “Gosh, we can’t do anything anymore without you having a MELTDOWN!! I’ve worked all night and then all day (double), without a nap before leaving and now I have to deal with THIS tonight, too!? Why can’t we just put up our tree without any Meltdowns?! Tell me, please!” I answered for MM, “Because this IS our normal!”

That is a hard one to accept…that THIS IS OUR NORMAL!!!!! Let me further explain why I said I feel like this is our “Charlie Brown Christmas”…..ok.

CHARLIE BROWN TRIES TO PERK UP THE FORLORN LITTLE CHRISTMAS TREE

Just as Charlie Brown tried his very BEST to bring the BEST Christmas tree he could find to the pagent for his friends, and we all know how that turned out, right?! His friends were SO disappointed in his choice. What if I were looking at our son as the tree? MM’s bring HIS BEST to us….and guess what? There is opportunity for growth, too! Not just for the tree, but for US in how we SEE the tree!!!!

Check this out:

charliebrownxmas4

We see everyone else’s “trees and decorations” and get upset with ourselves and second-guessing ourselves…wondering what is it that WE’RE doing wrong?! Failing to see the beauty in what we ALREADY have!!

Now this:

charlie-brown-christmas3

We talk it out, read a book or something online that stands out above all the rest to REALLY open our eyes to what is RIGHT in front of us!!! The ONE person who speaks to me the MOST is Bryan Post!!! He was an adoptive child who suffered from RAD (Reactive Attachment Disorder) as does my son. Bryan Post is now an advocate for ALL adoptive children and owns/runs and is a Counselor for The Post Institute. I listened to an interview he did just the other night, (it was done back in November though) and WOW, I was so glad that I did….it was JUST what I needed to hear!! I couldn’t wait to tell my dh to listen to it as well!! I HIGHLY reccomend ALL of you to give Bryan a try….he really knows what he’s talking about as he LIVED it!!! I’ve been following him for a Long time now and look forward to reading him, getting posts from him, etc. He is quite insightful!!! Here is the link to his blog: http://bryanpost.com/

Then we come to this:

Charlie-Brown-Christmas6Actually seeing the beauty for what it really is!!!!!! How amazing a place that is!!! How freeing that is for both the parent AND the child!!!!!!

And finally:

charlie-brown-christmas5Everyone else is able to see through YOUR eyes the beauty of it as well AND rejoice in it!!!!!

In closing, I’m glad my husband said what he did because it DID open my eyes that night. I’ve said it before, that “this is our NORMAL” but sometimes I tend to forget when we get busy with the holidays, and I shouldn’t ever do that. Our son comes before ANY holiday, stress, or LIFE event..by any stretch of the imagination!!!

It is my prayer that your family is able to enjoy YOUR NORMAL this holiday season!!!!!!

Many blessings to you and your children,

~Mama249

 

 

 

Handwriting Without What? Oh You’ve Gotta Be Kidding Me?!

I’m pretty sure y’all know that Munchkin Man started school at a regular Public School for about 7 weeks and it JUST DID NOT WORK, right?! There was A LOT of knashing of teeth, wailing, and boy oh boy, was there a bunch of kicking, spitting, hitting and nasty words hailed at Mama!

Holding onto anger is like grasping onto a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.”
Buddha
Well, MM was “holding it in” as they say, at school and literally EXPLODING when he got home…completely at ME. The reason? Because he said, and I’m telling you the honest to God truth, these are his words….not mine and I’ve NEVER EVER given him a hint of any of this…this ALL came from him. He felt like a “Volcano was erupting inside of him” while at school and he “could actually FEEL it” in his body. It would start at his feet and then end up at his head by the end of the day. He could really FEEL this!!!! How horrid for a 5 year old to have this feeling ALL day long!!!!!! He’d come home, and couldn’t hold it in any longer, EXPLODE on Mama, and all holy heck broke loose! That was all she wrote! Then, when MM and I would talk about it after he’d be completely calm…..he’d say….”Mommy, you’re not fixing it! I’m hurting and you’re not fixing it!” Can you ever, ever hear your child tell you something like that and NOT cry, want to scoop them up and want to fix their every hurt and pain?!  Well, I sure did!
My son was screaming out at me:
I was between a rock and a hard place, too. I had to convince dh that homeschool was the place for MM. After MANY MANY MANY tears, trials and tribulations, it happened..dh saw what was going on. I posted about it in my last post. So…thankfully, homeschool it would be…PHEW!
Here we are now…a few weeks later….and where are we? Gosh, where the heck do I begin? Well, I think I’ll begin tonight with my title….Handwriting Without What? You’ve Got to be Kidding Me!!
I chose an Online Homeschool Program….one that I NOW regret immensly…..for US…..because of it’s extremely RIGIDand outlandish requirements that our particular State doesn’t EVEN require!!!!!! But that is another story that I refuse to go into. This particular program may work beautifully for someone else’s child/ren….but HOLY COW, GEEZ LOUISE…..NOT MY CHILD!!!!!!!!!
First and foremost….we were having an amazing first day of Homeschool! I welcomed him with a great Bulletin Board…which I cannot show you, because of pictures, I know y’all understand, right, complete w/ plenty of First day stuff…..his first day picture, our weather today, etc. It REALLY  is a wicked cool bulletin board, too!!!!! So, we’re pluggin’ along w/ our schoolwork and he’s doing WONDERFUL, and even calls daddy at snacktime, telling him “I LOVE Homeschool, daddy! We’re having fun doing xyz!” Then, right after the phone call…WHAM……it all came crashing to a total HALT…..
Handwriting time came and Munchkin Man (MM) had ALREADY totally learned one complete way of writing while at home with Mama AND at regular school and now, this new online program used the progam called “Handwriting Without Tears”…..he was going to have to TOTALLY re-learn a NEW way of writing……HUH?!
Ok….so they call this “program”…..”Handwriting WITHOUT Tears?” LOLOLOL….believe me….I’m NOT really laughing…..I’m dying and crying inside for my child…my FIVE year old son who is having a GREAT first day of Homeschooling and TOLD me in his OWN words…..”Finally, mommy, you fixed it!”
Now….he has to re-learn this crap?! Are you stinkin’ kidding me?! Well, when he SAW this…he had a complete meltdown…..a total meltdown. The day was DONE….and I mean done! I’ve NOT been able to teach him since!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Gosh….that was, what, Sept. 17 and today is the 24th!!!!!!!! He has become increasingly angry….and BOY do I ever mean angry!!!! I’ll post about that in a later post….this is enough for this one post!!
My loving boy is lost….blown away in the wind…..the Fall is here…..and I can only guess that his loving spirit blew away with the warmth of summer’s memory. The crisp, cold dew settles on the grass in the early morn….just as the crispness of his heart barely wraps his gentle arms around my neck any longer. Where has my loving boy gone? Why did School take his heart? Why did you not believe me when I knew this would happen so long ago?
I want my little boy back!!!! I’m crying inside and out!!!!
Blessings to you and your children…..
Mama249

It’s a Food Fight, Baby!!!

It wasn’t until recently that my “feeble” (lol) mind has realized something. Hard to believe, I know. My son has complete control when it comes to food issues. Phew, there, I said it…..it’s off my chest. I’m a bit ashamed about it too……but wallowing in that isn’t going to fix it.

This is a game to MM. He was holding the control……remote control as you will. He’d push the buttons that he wanted to go his way……I’m speaking of meal times. It’s funny, too, because I’ve always been “careful” of not letting him have the control.

Here’s what happened to us…..so it doesn’t happen to you too. MM was diagnosed with SPD (Sensory Processing Disorder). He has a difficult time with loud noises. He’s a sensory “SEEKER” that will constantly be jumping on the furniture, running into walls, you name it, he does it. One thing I’ve noticed and don’t really do “anything” about because I feel he must NEED the extra sensory input is that he’ll walk on his toes…..but not just the run of the mill, walk on his toes…which he does do….but he will bend his toes downward and walk on the folded up toes…..I truly have no idea how better to explain it…..I’ll have to post a pic sometime. I’ve NEVER seen anything like it and neither has MM’s counselor. Anyways…..I have always thought his troubles with food were all related to his SPD. WRONG! I see that now. 

I was talking to a wonderful and very dear friend of mine who has walked this road before and whose daughter is on the path to complete healing!!! (YEAH!!! WAY TO GO!) She stated that MM sounds like he’s “very good at controlling food issues in our home.” That  is one of the many things I love about this friend of mine, she tells it like it is. No pulling the wool over your eyes, she’s amazing and I’m blessed to have her friendship. Back to MM…..when she stated this to me….last night as a matter of fact…..I knew in my heart of hearts that she was right on the money! How could we have let him do this? Well, easily….very easily! I got caught up in the not wanting a tantrum every single time we eat……OH……and I MUST mention this…..the LAST time we tried to “Make” him eat what we were eating, he stopped eating all together for NINE days!!!!! Nothing….I mean, NOTHING…..he ate nothing! He did drink so I wasn’t worried about dehydration. On the 9th night….I made Hamburger Helper…..he finally ate again. I was so worried about him the entire time, naturally. I’m telling you, this kiddo is stubborn!

Well, not wanting a repeat of the NINE DAY ordeal……I caved, we caved. I made seperate meals for MM and always (almost anyways) gave him 2 choices of what he was to eat. He couldn’t waver from the 2 choices……and I seriously THOUGHT I was doing good by him. BUT BUT BUT…..he still had the control at the end of the day when you really look at it. Last night, for example, I made Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup…..YUMMY….and set aside some noodles for MM. He arrived at the table and the look on his face was remarkable, as if I’d taken his breath away! Lost his best friend. You get the picture. He started freaking out, saying that he was NOT GOING TO EAT this!! He was trying to engage us in a battle. And you know what……that will be the LAST battle I’ll have with him…..I must if he’s going to heal!!

                                                                                                                                                                           

Today is a new day!!!! A day for real healing!!!!!! Lunch time came and I didn’t even tell him that I was fixing lunch. I just made it and put it on the table, called him to the table and waited to see what ensued. At first, MM was whining and pushing himself into me (which is what he does when he is whining and wants something I’m saying no to). I clearly and calmly stated that lunch was on the table (only 1 TBS of each item and when he finishes that…..he may have whatever he wants more of from his plate but doesn’t have to eat everything again) and when he finished ALL of it, he could have more mac-n-cheese. The other item on his plate was a chicken nugget in a kid-friendly shape…..which he always FLAT OUT REFUSES TO EAT! I never said another word. I ignored his “pleas”…..I went about my work in the kitchen. Then the MOST AMAZING thing of all happened…..something I NEVER expected!!!! He actually stopped whining, went to the table on his own and ate every single bite!!!! You go MM!!! I was so proud!!!!!! He stated he didn’t want seconds of anything though.

I thought, gee, it can’t possibly be THIS easy can it? NOPE…..along came dinner which I KNEW was going to be a TOUGH battle. I had left-over Home Made Chicken Noodle Soup (with carrots and celery mind you)! I also made him a grilled cheese in the shape of stars (I gave him only ONE of the 3 shapes). I knew he’d eat the grilled cheese, but the soup, no way. I was correct, too. He threw a heck of a fit……complete with pushing the table away! He kept yelling at me to “Take that nasty soup away from me! Why did you MAKE something that you KNOW I won’t eat!?” Stuff like that, but constantly!!! I went about eating my dinner. I calmly told MM that I was almost finished and he needed to figure out what he was going to do…..dinner would be over when I am finished tonight. I looked lovingly at him……and calmly said……”ssssshhhhh, it’s ok. I’m here for you. I won’t leave you. You can trust me.” He immediately calmed down and ate the single star grilled cheese….ONLY. He flat out refused the soup. That is fine……he’s learning…and will CONTINUE to learn as I won’t back down this time. I want my (our) son to heal and he can’t possibly heal if he’s feeling so out of control and yet that he has to control his environment. That is a tough pill to swallow…for anyone……especially a 4 year old who’s suffered trauma. He should be being a kiddo. He shouldn’t have to worry about these things. It’s high time I take the bull by the ring and do what I’m supposed to do….be the one in Control…..so that he doesn’t feel like he has to.

Blessings to you and your children…..

Mama249                                                                                       We don’t need any more of this, now do we??

How do you handle this very thing in your homes? Thanks for your input!!!!

I Won’t Give Up on You!

The last two days have been hard…..hard on MM and hard on me trying to figure out his triggers. MM was soooo crabby that it was horrible. It was almost constant.

MM is “usually” more happy go lucky than having a hard time with his rages and SPD, but not the last couple days…..phew. Is it something in the air? Is there a Full Moon? Whatever the case may be, he was not a happy lil guy.

Really strange, but on Saturday night, we took MM to see a Monster Truck show (without prior purchase of tickets) so we stood in line for QUITE some time. There was a lady 3 ppl up for us who asked if anyone wanted to purchase the tickets she had JUST purchased….strange, right? Well, her reason was none of the seats were together! Uh, no thanks…..this is family time and that means family sits together! We were just discussing that we may have to break the bad news to MM shortly as it appeared no seats together were available any longer……when we heard a loud voice come across telling us that the place had JUST SOLD OUT!! Sorry, thanks for coming he said! Uh…..we paid for parking (a ridiculous amount I might add), and now we just stood in line to have to tell our RAD child that we had to turn around and go home?! Oh boy! I was, to say the least, a bit nervous. We decided to go to the next building and check out what was going on with the crowd over there. THANK the good Lord above……there was more “stuff” going on that we could check out!! It was hilarious…..but MM told us he was having “fun!” Oh YES!!!!!! He understood that the Monster Trucks SOLD OUT……and he was “OK” with it. He is making strides for sure because this would’ve sent him into a tailspin a year ago or so. On the way home, MM stated, “This was the BEST day ever!”

Are you serious, I thought?! I was estatic that he was able to take a “hard” situation and turn it into the “BEST day ever!”

We got home…..that is when it all hit the fan. Bedtime is ALWAYS hard and it is ALWAYS a battle. MM started to melt down….quickly I might add. He was stiffening his body so that we couldn’t have him go to the bathroom before bed. He was in full rage mode. I sat with him in his room (just as I do every night) until he finally fell asleep.

Then came Sunday……Boy oh Boy was he crabby! And mean! Now….I know with every fiber of my being that RAD kiddos go through this…..but it doesn’t make it easier on either of us. I just trudged through the day…..doing lots of holding! Poor kiddo.

On Monday, he awoke with a furry……he was not over whatever was going on with him. We had a day much like that of Sunday.

The above picture is almost exactly what MM looked like for those 2 days…….phew…..poor kiddo.

NOw we’re here on Wednesday…..whatever it was that was either bothering him, or just was causing the tailspin, is over. I must say that during that couple days, MM decided he was NOT going to drink Milk any more and was going to strictly drink Gatorade. Uh, no you’re not. No matter how much I talked to him or anything…..he FLAT OUT refused to drink!! I mean ANYTHING until I gave him what he wanted. I was NOT going there and letting him control the house. I AM the boss…..I MAKE the rules (along with daddy naturally), not my RADish. I’m happy to report that his “fast” for milk and all drinks only lasted 2 days……he drank, of all things…..4 big glasses of Milk yesterday! I was thrilled…..he is still using a sippy cup for most drinking…..he doesn’t want to give it up. He said that the sippy cup doesn’t “allow air to touch his milk and THAT was the trouble! HHhhhhmmmmm….ok. So long as he got through it. He was glad to drink all that milk in his opened top Thomas the Train cup. Go figure.

Today is the first day of February! I’m thrilled because that means that Spring is not that far away! I adore Spring and all its splendor, the gorgeous flowers…..the budding trees……the occasional rain shower (I don’t like ALL the rain……just some of it)…..and the general awakening of “life” as it is. It is our opportunity to take a look at ourselves and say……”wow, I’d love more beauty in my life!” Plus the fact that I’m an beginner photographer (insert the fact that I’m still learning a lot) and Spring shows much opportunity for myself and my trusty Olympus E-Pl1. I had received it a tad over a year ago…..for my birthday……it is the best gift I can imagine…to be creative…..to chronicle MM’s growing up…..and to look back at the many memories that exist in photographs. I must admit……I’m addicted to taking photos…..seriously addicted!!

Blessings to you and your children…….

Mama249

 

 

I Simply Cannot Sleep, Although MM is Sleeping Soundly in His Own Bed!

Somebody pinch me! No seriously, pinch me! My lil guy is STILL in his own bed and it’s almost 6:30 AM!! This is unheard of in our house! My poor lil fella is so scared of his room……especially the closet and the dark…….that he simply cannot stay in his room a full night without calling out to Mama (he always calls for me) to come and get him & carry him safely to our bed.

It is a rule here that he at least has to start out in his own bed….which he balks at every night….then upon waking in the night, he certainly may come stay in our room and finish sleeping in our bed. I spoke with MM’s counselor about this and she said that this arrangement we have will create boundaries….necessary ones….and that she says it’s ok to have him co-sleep the remainder of the night.

It never fails…..somewhere between 12-2:30 am……he awakens screaming for me…..and I rush down to him and scoop him gently into my loving arms and comfort him, drawing him close, saying to him so that he knows he’s “safe now, mama’s here, it’s ok now.” He nestles his head into my shoulder, tucking his arms into his own chest (presumably to keep warm? Or he doesn’t want to hug me? I really don’t know what the answer is on that one), and breathing a sigh of relief…..as if he’s saying…..yes, Mama, I know you’re here now, I’m safe. Thank you, mama.

BUT…..this night…..last night into this morning……he didn’t do any of this. Boy am I a proud mama! He’s either so stinkin’ tired he isn’t going to wake up even if I were on “The Gong Show” and just banged on the gong! Am I really showing my age here with that last remark!? OR…..he’s getting better about wanting to stay in his own bed. Well, I know better……it’s NOT the latter!! LOL!!  Here’s why I truly believe he’s not ready for that yet…….and it’s just a fluke…..

We have an elaborate bed-time ritual that starts with all of us (myself, dh and MM) on the couch in the front Living Room and we sing about 5 lullabys. Then he gets to choose either mama or daddy to rock him in the rocking chair for 3 more lullabys, which are the exact same every single night….he loves it. We then move into his room……where he proceeds to start to turn his ankles inward, as well as his wrists, saying (actually whining and crying) he doesn’t want to go to bed, that he’s scared. When I see him doing the inward turning of the wrists and feet…..I KNOW, without a doubt, that a meltdown is going to occur very soon!!! I’ve learned to see his cues and work with him there…..meet him where he’s at, ya know, and try to curb the meltdown to a small whimper if even that. Well, after that, he goes into his bed, gets covered up….and MUST MUST MUST have his feet wrapped in a “cocoon” which is what he calls it, but it is just wrapping his feet up tightly in the blanket. With his SPD issues, he’s a sensory seeker…..I’ll write a post soon dedicated to just that subject…..he longs to be wrapped tightly to receive the extra sensory stimulation. He can be so hot….in the summer even….but he wants that blanket on him with his feet wrapped! We all kiss and hug g’night……then it comes…..he is terrified of his room! Of being alone! That darn closet! The shadows in the room! We have 4 nightlights in his room along with the overhead light dimmed. He will ask (always asks for me) me to stay in his rom until he’s asleep. No problem, right? HA……he takes about 1 hour to fall asleep because he’s so afraid and knows that I’m leaving once he does……so he does all in his power to keep me there for as long as he can.

Phew…..that is EVERY night. I’m glad to be able to be there for my lil guy. If it is what helps him to feel safe….then I’m all for it.

Here we are….and it’s now almost 7am…STILL in his own bed!!!!! Yippee!!!! Let’s cross fingers for this happening more often than not. Huh? Nah, I don’t think it’ll be anytime soon either.

Blessings to you and your children….

Mama249

Mashed Up Monday’s

In my Thesaurus, “Mash” has other words to take it’s place such as: Crushed, mixed, battered and pounded, pulverized, bruised, and squashed. What is the FIRST thing or person that comes to your mind when you read those words? Be honest.

Before I tell you who I think of first, let me tell you a story that happened here just last night. I was putting MM to bed and he was having a particularly hard time with bedtime…..it terrifys him to pieces. I try everything I can to make it as comfortable and transition to it as easily as possible for him. You see, my lil MM is terrified of the closet in his room. He puts approximately 5-6 LARGE books in front of his face to ensure that when lying down, there is no possibility that he can see the said closet. His fear is real to him. To us, mommy and daddy, it may seem silly or unfounded…..but we MUST remember that our children come from a place of Trauma and nighttime is the time that brings about all their fears. They are seemingly “alone” to fight those fears…..head-on…..and it truly terrifies them all.

Our bedtime routine is LONG and Tiring to myself but I know in my heart of hearts that it will in the long run help MM be able to put aside those fears of say, his closet, and other such fears he faces at night. I mustn’t and should NEVER EVER think of myself and what I want or what I “Feel”..it is about MM and his healing!!!!! I have to be on my toes and always thinking of new ways to conquer the fears and the RAD & SPD. Always.

Back to the story…..I was sitting in MM’s room and scratching his back to help him relax and get to sleep. Somehow (and I don’t remember how it all got started) but MM got talking about who he loves, which isn’t very many ppl. I found out. He then said, I love you and daddy and grandma….and X and X. He said, “But, mommy, I love you right here (as he placed his hands in the lowest position) and daddy up here (highest position) and grandma is right by you, and X & X  are up here between you and daddy!” Did ya’ll get that? I’m the lowest!! I, honestly, was stung a bit…..but truthfully understand that it is the Attachment and RAD talking….not MM. But the mommy heart….hurts. MM doesn’t trust me at all…..he keeps me at a distance and wants to love me…..but has been hurt so much that he doesn’t trust it yet….but I am determined that we’ll heal his hurting heart.

Now…for who I think of when I hear those words…..NO…..not myself in the least. I truly think of MM….he’s been through so much trauma that he feels pulverized, smashed, battered, crushed, pounded, etc. I cannot even fathom all that he’s been through in his short little life. But all he’s been through has caused him to be incredibly guarded of who he lets in. And mama ain’t one of ’em yet. Attachment challenged children cannot form a healthy attachment to anyone until they form the attachment to the mom. Think about it…..the reason for not being about to attach to the mom and it being so important to attach to the mom…..the mother was the one who relinquished them at birth. Very profound. I will never ever give up on MM…..no matter how low I rank.

Blessings to you and your children…..

Mama249

Sharing…..a Concept He’s Still Learning

Sharing isn’t a foreign concept to MM…..it’s just a concept he’s still learning and I had a proud mama moment yesterday.

It’s tough when you’re the “only child”…..or at the very least, the only one in the house. MM’s sisters are grown and live away from here. How does one learn to share when there is no other children in the house to share with? Well, it’s a bit harder and takes more time, but it is possible. You must model sharing for your child/ren to learn the act. There are games you can play together to learn sharing techniques. MM went through early intervention with First Steps when we realized something was amiss and we could not do it on our own. Things were going downhill and we needed the help to learn how to help MM, and to have someone helping Munchkin Man. (MM came home from Guatemala at 18 months of age)

First Steps came to our home for their initial visit to evaluate MM to see if he qualified for First Steps. MM totally surpassed all their “tests” except one…..behavior. They kept telling us they couldn’t believe how smart he was for his age. I tend to agree but I work with him a lot, which helps, and some of it is pure genetics. During their visit, First Steps watched our interaction with each other and made a suggestion to me. Something I never even thought of and just did without hesitation…..what you ask? MM would want something that I was playing with and he’d take it out of my hand and I’d let him. I never thought of it as actually TEACHING MM to not share, but also was teaching him that it’s ok to take things from other ppl. WOW…..was that ever eye-opening to me and dh. I have consciously never done that any more…not once. MM saw First Steps on a once a week basis until he turned 3. We were then on our own again……

Behaviors were getting worse and while at preschool, there were a lot of tears on the part of MM and other children because of lack of sharing…..I know this is a trait all kiddos need to be taught…it doesn’t come naturally. BUT….something happened yesterday that made me sooo very proud of MM….and he was proud of himself, too.

We were at a birthday party for a 1 year old…..and MM does NOT do well with children younger than he or even if they are his age and not on his level…..not a good mix for him. He tends to get extremely frustrated and makes this grunting, aggravated noise if anyone comes near him. MM was getting very very antsy just sitting watching the baby and others mingle…..he needed to be active and NOW, not later. I took MM to the back of the room where there was an empty space and let him play with a balloon…kicking it, hitting it, throwing it up in the air…..he was having a great time. As the party wore on, more and more kiddos were showing up and MM didn’t like that at all and expressed his dislike of this…..too much chaos in his world is not good…..and something that you and I think is nothing at all, like more ppl showing up and it filling up, was simply too much for him.

There was a little girl who had just gotten to the party and she was the ONLY lil kiddo without a balloon. She was crying, naturally. I told MM that it would be very nice to let her play with the balloon he was playing with since he’d been playing with it for a LONG time and she didn’t have anything to play with. He expressed that he still wanted to play with it. I said, “How would you feel if you just got here and everyone else had one but you?” Sad, he said. Then he walked over to the little, crying girl and offered her his balloon. I was sooo proud of him!!!!

He had been learning bit by bit……but what I was honestly trying to teach him beyond the sharing was empathy. Children with RAD lack empathy. It’s a start but boy oh boy…….we’re making progress. I celebrate each and every step….however small it is!

God’s blessings to each of you….

Mama249