Saturday, September 09, 2006

When worlds collide...

I inadvertantly learned something very important this morning. After getting B safely to bed last night, his week of transitions making him a bit fussy, I got on the laptop. C hung out doing stuff on the big computer while I blogged, then kissed me goodnight & went to bed around 10:00. This time of the day (night, really) has become my time. Over the summer this time was my compensation for rarely being in the house alone & nearly always being "on call" to my family. Not that being "on call" is an onerous thing, & certainly not that C doesn't do his share of caring for B... but you never know when it'll take 2 parents to weather a storm or we have to start tag-teaming B in order to get one or the other of us freed up to make a meal or a meeting. So, as long as I do quiet things, I am a free woman after everyone goes to bed. The problem last night was that I had a few too many things to do... My first prioity was to update the blog, which I did earlier than usual because the Harry Potter forum I help moderate was posting a new discussion forum last night, & I wanted to be available in there. I modded & sleuthed until just past midnight, then realised that I had really wanted to watch some of my new InuYasha dvd, which had been languishing for days... So I did. I am a night-time shower-taker, so by the time I took my shower & got to bed it was after 2:00 am. Yawn!

C & B made good on their plans for an early-morning sail this morning, even though it was raining when they got to the club. They ate breakfast in the car, by which time the rain had stopped, so they went for it. Meanwhile, I tried to sleep in- although I kept waking up every hour or so after they had left (at 6:30). At 9:45 I got up, & then it was that I learned the important lesson- I am just too old (or something), now to be staying up until 2:00 am... I just couldn't snap back by sleeping in & felt dreadful. I was able to get dressed & eat some breakfast, & was just ready to get back in the forums to see what had happened overnight when C & B got home. B made a beeline for upstairs, legos, & Kratts' Creatures, after checking it out with me on the way by (for form's sake, at least). I wasn't complaining. I was just about able to sit with the laptop on my lap & read, my head was so fuzzy... C made himself a lunch & went to work for a couple hours to catch up on his paperwork, reminding me that we had a Japanese lesson at 1:00 as he went out the door. That was a very helpful thing, in my woozy state of mind. I was able to finish up in the forums by 11:30 & was about to check in with B when I heard the 4th "shit!" from upstairs that morning. He had been yelling "shit!" while legoing & watching tv, & I would call up & ask if he was ok, & he would say yes, & I would remind him not to yell "shit!" (we have been working on the swearing thing for months, it seems) & to try some of the other alternatives we'd thought of. Finally, this 4th time, I'd had it & went upstairs yelling (not proud of it... sigh). As I yelled, became aware that it wasn't so much what he was saying that upset me but that he had been ignoring me. He didn't even remember my calling up to him to see if he was ok more than once... As I calmed down, I apologised for yelling, but told him that it felt bad to be ignored, & that we really had to find some sort of compromise with the swearing thing. He moaned that he didn't see why some words are worse than others, & that the substitutes we've brainstormed don't feel the same. What was causing most of the trouble was when a lego wouldn't pop in or out without stinging him, so I asked him please to just yell "ow!" when that happens. We talked about the power of words & I told him that he's just going to have to take it on faith that there are appropriate & inappropriate times to yell "shit!". Then we talked about an older friend of his who has AS & whom we have never heard swear. I asked B if he thought it was possible that this could be because his friend knows that he can't figure out the appropriate & inappropriate times to do it, & so has decided not to swear at all, to be safe... B agreed that this was possible. Then I pulled out my ace in the hole... (I have been thinking about this) I told B that he could say "shit" in japanese (which he learned accidentally & had been using before I finally sat on him...) as long as he didn't say it in front of our japanese teacher. B got a small smile on his face & said that he thought that was fair. So, even though I started out yelling, we ended-up feeling friendly toward each other, finding common ground, & B even told me that he could understand why I was so upset, with him not listening to me... sweet kid :)

We had some lunch, although I had a lot of trouble focusing on eating. I was wandering around tidying up & finding a wrapper for the money we pay our japanese teacher-I always try to put it in an otoshidama wrapper or tato or something nice, in japanese fashion. Then I was thinking about what sort of tea to make (B & I have been sharing the tea blends we created a couple summers ago with our teacher, who really likes herb tea). My main concern was to gather my scattered brains before the lesson, since it would be embarrassing otherwise. After Tomoko, our teacher, arrived we hadn't even gotten to the tea before B started to meltdown... he had been curled up on the sofa with a pillow over his face & I had been trying to get him to sit up & be ready fro the lesson, when he suddenly went into a fetal position & started hitting his face with Rufus & moaning... I was so startled it took me a minute to realise what was happening. I tried asking him possible environmental triggers, but he kept shaking his head. Tomoko offered to leave, but he said no, still rocking & batting himself on the head. Finally I asked if it was hands & feet (a common trigger for him) & he kind of screamed yes, so I talked soothingly, told him that I'd been expecting the challenges of the week to show up in overwhelming feelings, & that he would feel better soon. I mentioned that we had new japanese chocolates to try today, & all of a sudden he rocked upright, red-faced, dazed, & teary. The chocos were enough of a distraction from the bad thoughts that he was able to emerge. He was bleary for a while, but managed some chocolate & tea. He wanted to stay for lesson, but he also seemed to need to do something else. C had come in while B was in meltdown, & he offered to take B to rent some movies for the evening as promised, so they went & Tomoko & I had the lesson (more adjectives!) which I'll share with B this week. I was very grateful that, if we had to have anyone else with us during meltdown, it was Tomoko. Not only does she feel like family, having been teaching us for more than a year, but she is in her final year of working on her masters in Family Counseling & Therapy, & she really understands what's going on with B. She observed, after they had left, how impressive it is that B can function so well with so many overwhelming thoughts & feelings. Having her with us also helped me to process the extra layer feelings I get when B is having difficulty in public, because she is a supportive presence.

After lesson I began getting ready for hosting our church choir picnic & first rehearsal this evening. This was the reason for renting movies for B, so he'd have something fun to do :) He & C found 3 Pokemon movies he hadn't yet seen, so B was very psyched. C & I tidied & moved things around to get ready for 15-20 extra people in the house. I baked brownies (good thing because we ended up with hardly any desserts :), put beverages in the fridge, got the coffee-maker set up, etc, etc... At some point I realised that I had pulled my head together & was thinking clearly- probably during japanese- which made it possible to function & even have a good time at the picnic :)

So, not only have I learned that I really have to avoid staying up so late, but I also need to find other ways & times to get my needs met :) I probably should have gone to bed after moderating in my HP world & just waited to get the anime fix (I justify it all by watching with the japanese soundtrack so that I learn something- I even recognised one of my new adjectives last night! :). My B/family world do not function very well when I am not functioning well, either. Having B back in school should allow me to find time to do the things that help me feel balanced & taken care of... but it will take time to get back into the schoolyear routine. Perhaps staying up late was my own personal version of one of B's meltdowns, a way of dealing with all of the things I hadn't been able to do for so long. On that note, it's after midnight, so off to bed!


At 2:57 AM, Blogger Kristina Chew said...

I think you're right about why B may have gone into meltdown mode---Charlie tends to have delayed reactions to change and transitions, like the start of school. (He cannot sleep at all tonight, and it is almost 3am!)

At 1:18 PM, Blogger Lisa/Jedi said...

Oh, Kristina... I hope the rest of your weekend wasn't adversely affected by the late bedtime!


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