Tuesday, August 08, 2006

We are tired...

B & I are both rather tired these days. Tired of our routine, too... at least, our precisely scheduled days seem to be getting looser & looser. The flexibility has been partly necessary & partly due to my being tired, I think. B has been having a LOT of trouble with thoughts the past few days. The pattern has changed & the thoughts are bothering him more during the day than at bedtime. Bedtimes have been relatively peaceful, although B decided he's tired of the Arthur Ransome books, so I decided to start reading Anne McCaffrey's "Dragonsinger" to him last night. I have loved this book for nearly 30 years & I think it'll be great for him now. The past couple of days, though, we've had to deal with thought-related meltdowns during the day when C is not around to help, which has been very stressful. The thoughts continue to be about Rufus getting hurt or eaten & nothing I say seems to do any good, so I try to make sure B is safe (someplace cushioned) & we just ride them out together. Yesterday I felt the need to explain to B that there is the potential of me or dad getting hurt when he melts down (he flails around a lot in his distress, & bangs his head to rid himself of the thoughts). I knew it would upset him, but I know he'd be even more upset if it happened unexpectedly. I also know that B can pull shreds of control together when he has to, & I'm hoping that maybe he call on these reserves to help control himself if he was really hurting himself or us. I feel that letting him know about these possibilites is a way of respecting him, & I told him so. He was initially upset when I mentioned it, but he also acknowledged that he felt it was respectful of me to clue him in. I tried to soften the news by telling him about when he was little & how we'd just pick him up & hold him until he was calm. We talked about how big his body is getting (he can fit in my shoes, for heaven's sake!) & how we can't do things the way we did when he was 2, & this seemed to help (he liked hearing about when he was little). So, now he knows...

One thing that I was hoping to happen over the summer has- B is using books to distract himself from the OCD thoughts. Mostly, it just took finding the right books. I suggested he might like a series I bought & read when he was a baby, about the Star Wars post-empire "Young Jedi Knights", by Kevin Anderson & Rebecca Moesta, & they've really kept his attention. So, as the thoughts have become more intrusive over the past few days, B has been reading more & more without being prompted. Occasionally a thought will break through his concentration & he'll need to tell me about it or do things (he's been popping little plastic, air-filled bags that came as packing material) to make the thoughts settle down. Playing too long on the computer tends to make melt-downs worse (or precipitate them) so I have been liniting the computer time & the books have helped give him an alternative activity.

Coping with B's meltdowns have been what's making me tired, I think. I just feel wrung-out afterward. On top of it, I've been trying to cope with replacing a broken computer printer & getting ready to leave town next week for a week in a cabin in Pennsylvania. Today B & I went to 2 computer stores (plus 2 more stores looking for a Pokemon dvd, & to JoAnn's to get some yarn so I can knit christmas gifts while we're on holiday) to find the printer recommended by Consumer Reports. We found it, brought it home, I unpacked it & attached it to the computer, looked online for the drivers for that model that work with a mac... &, one email to epson later, discovered that this model is not & will never be compatible with a mac :( After lunch we returned it. In the process of hunting for the drivers I found that another model (that I almost got at store # 1, but it was out of stock) does have mac-compatible drivers that I can download. So I will do that at some point, then go back to store # 1 when the model comes in & buy that printer. B actually did very well while we were out & handled the disappointment of not finding his pokemon dvd very well. I have ordered it from Amazon & it should be here before we go away.

We did do one thing (other than look for a printer) that was on our schedule, & that's make gourmet chocolate ice cream :) My friend Roo gave me the Ben & Jerry's ice cream book a while back, but I was daunted by their use of uncooked eggs in their recipes. B & I decided to try to make frozen custard yesterday (the next level of ice cream making :) which required cooking the milk, eggs, & sugar (without curdling the eggs). It turned out pretty well, so B & I thought we'd try the recipe for Jerry's chocolate ice cream, modified by adding the egg/sugar mixture to the double-boiler with the melted baking chocolate & milk/cream combo & cooking it a bit, rather than doing it the other way around. It was messy, but worked well & we both decided, after licking the paddle & bowl from the freezer, that we liked the results (B was really impressed by how yummy it turned out :).

Tomorrow we have dear friends visiting from Buffalo for the day (C has the entire day off- yay!), which will be a nice break from our routine with the bonus of going out for lunch. We have asked b to think of someplace he's like to go & we may just end-up going for thai, which he likes :) Thursday B gets to play with his best buddy in the afternoon & I'll go along to visit with his parents, so we'll both feel like we got some play-time :)


At 11:25 PM, Blogger Zilari said...

Yay on the reading! That really is a very productive means of diverting energy away from negative thoughts. Reading has always calmed me, and there are a few "comfort books" (like the "Wrinkle in Time" series, which B might actually enjoy at some point) that I can read over and over again.

Also, I thought I might mention that there seems to be a signup form on Autism Hub now -- they've added a bunch of new blogs on there lately, and it would be great if yours could be added. :)


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