Thursday, February 21, 2008

Webcam, Take II

This video is a continuation of the one below where Thane saw my laptop's webcam for the first time. We played for awhile as he was just so cute. I posted this because it really shows how wonderfully he is doing (if you get past the black eye!)

ABA and Lunch

When applied behavior analysis was suggested for Thane, my knee-jerk reaction was no way. Part of that stems from my brother and knowing that ABA, regardless of what the experts say, makes a lot of use of negative feedback or aversives. This is not my style nor Dave's.

There are many things that simply have not been worth the fight to me . . . meaning that I haven't really wanted to push him to the point of unhappiness about any behavior. That doesn't mean I don't react to him throwing toys or something (the toys get a time out away from him until he is calm), or that I think every minute of his life will be shear happiness, but I don't want to create conflict where there doesn't need to be any. Who cares if he doesn't wear clothing at home? Who cares if he lines up his cars? It's all about picking battles . . .

I also completely understand that there is no such thing as a perfect parent. We do the best thing we can think of at the moment, hind-sight makes us question our choices, and how we react in the future evolves from what has worked and what hasn't.

Thane had gotten very difficult about eating meals, or eating much variety. It wouldn't matter much to me if his choices were pretty well-rounded, and if he didn't expect to eat half grapes and stick them to the furniture. He can eat a half grape if he puts the rest in a discard bowl, but the floor and furniture was just too icky. We want him to try new foods. I know this hardly seems like a crime, but he is 4 years and 2 months and has never even let a piece of pasta into his mouth. I am sure he would like it with some toppings that he enjoys, like tomato sauce, but he won't let it past his lips.

We gave the ABA guy a try because we were getting nowhere with potty training. Then he basically got the concept in a day, no pee accidents within a week, off the timer in less than a week, etc. So it worked. The first day was awful, then it turned easy.

So we decided to address the wanting Thane to eat at the table and actually finish a meal rather than eat two grapes and cry for more food in a half hour. We wanted him to eat more foods and not always be a separate meal. I wanted him to try some of the products of our efforts to make some pretty darn tasty gluten free, egg free foods (he does have dairy and some soy again). We have allergies to work around too.

The therapist suggested first a plan for eating at the table, finishing the food on his plate (which Dave is really uncomfortable with since both of us parents have a weight problem and Braeden is gaining too fast). This plan has taken as much as 5-6 hours a day to implement. It got easier for a bit, but then fell apart because of parental failure. We were sick of it!

We tried again and we had lunch with the therapist on Wednesday. It was horrible. He didn't think so, but I really felt like I was torturing my son to get him to eat a bite of waffle. I had to physically keep him in his chair. I didn't do anything that would hurt him physically; in fact, I was doing all I could to prevent him from hurting himself. I found myself thinking that maybe I should just let him live on waffles, apples, grapes and cheese after all. Maybe he doesn't need to sit with us or finish a meal on anyone else's schedule. But how will that work if he goes to school? Gets a job? And we do have the added complication that he really cannot have gluten. Gluten damages the insides. It makes him very sick for the short term, clumsy, he has trouble speaking, etc. He does need to have some guidance around food issues.

I was told I did well. I stayed calm. OK, maybe on the outside, but inside I was yelling I want to stop. NOW! So where does one go with this. Physically he is OK. Emotionally he still loves mom and hangs out with me (the webcam videos were a few hours after our ordeal). I don't want to do this anymore, even if yesterday was totally rare. It still happened and it was more than I can handle. I felt so mean. I love my kids to pieces and I know I have to correct them here and there, but this is different to me somehow. Like I am turning something small into a battle.

I'm glad he and I had so much fun later on (and Braeden too, he was laughing really hard while watching Thane watch the videos, because he says "Hi!" to them constantly). I hope I don't have any more days that make me doubt my decision to try this therapy. It's hard because eating a meal is not punishment (and a meal can be one bite) to most of us, but I guess Thane disagrees.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Thane Meets Webcam

I got a little tablet/notebook computer for Valentine's Day. It has a built in webcam, so I tried it out today. Thane was totally delighted and he was just too cute not to post this video (especially after the lunchtime fiasco earlier today).

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Shiners and Clues

For a change of pace, Thane cheerfully showed off the black eye he got on the 13th for my camera. Now if only he would have stayed still for a second! He appears to have inherited his big brother's penchant for drama, closing the wounded eye and all. It actually looked much worse on the 14th and 15th, but is starting to fade now. Today he bruised his cheek on that side.

I thought these images, while not good photographs, captured a moment rather well. Before my computer died, I was printing red clues to set up a hunt for Valentine's Day. since Thane loves "Blue's Clues" I decided to make red paw prints with the numbers 1-14 on them. I also had a few blank ones. I laminated them and was cutting them out when I got caught in the act. Thane was so totally thrilled with the idea of red clues. It is hard to imagine a happier child than Thane finding those red clues. He was so adorable I had to let him have them. Doesn't he looked thrilled?!?

Chocolate Kisses

My son knows how to snooker me . . . this morning he comes in and says "I need . . . I need . . . I need . . . I need . . . I need a kiss." Thane gives me a rare kiss and then wipes his mouth as he always does . . . "I need a chocolate kiss!"

Next comment: "I got 12! See Mama?" He pilfered them from a bag of chocolates on the counter. Since both kids have issues with chocolate, as charming as he was, it really was not a good idea.

Then in the afternoon he went upstairs and came down with a handful of chocolates. I asked him, "Did you steal those from Braeden?" He puffed up big and proud and said a breathy "Yes!" As if that wasn't cute enough, he went over to the window, knocked on it, and started calling to Braeden, who was playing outside, to say, "Bwaeden! Bwaeden! I stee your chocowates! Bwaeden! I eat your chocowates!"

Sunday, February 10, 2008

More Snow

It was snowing again today . . . a bit too hard for getting good photos, but they are fun anyway (at least in my opinion). This is the first day that Thane's temperature has been under 101 since last Tuesday, so he was begging to go out! Then he conned Dave into taking him around on the kick sled.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

A Day in Life

It isn’t so much that he was lining up his supplements and chocolate treats before eating them . . . it’s more the look of concentration mixed with disgust at one of the vitamins being out of order. That one was eaten first to rectify the problem. To me it shows a little bit of the obsessive behavior that we deal with constantly. It doesn’t get to me all the time, but sometimes it can drive a mom a bit nuts. And I am not sure I needed any help at all with that!

Today has been one of sort of odd conversations. It made me wonder a bit about receptive language, but more likely we have entered a realm of outer space for the day and will return to Earth tomorrow.

Thane: “There’s Mist! There he is!”

Braeden:”She. Mist is a she. She’s a girl!”

Thane: “No girl. Mist is black and white.”

Next . . .

Braeden was shaking and kicking in his chair. Thane looks at him and says “Stop kicking!”

Braeden: “Thane just turned into Daddy!”

Thane: “No, Thane’s not Daddy. Braeden is Braeden.”

I was popping some popcorn and Braeden got the brilliant big brother idea to pretend to take a bear from the line. Thane started screaming “Give it back! Give back Thane’s Bear. It’s Mine. Give it Back.”

Braeden tried to explain that he never actually took it, to no avail. I kind of wanted to tell him he got himself into it if he thought Thane would possibly understand the humor of both taking his most treasured food (the one thing I haven’t had to fight about lately) and ruining a line at the same time. I mean, c’mon boy, where do you live? But, he’s nine. What do I really expect? Too much I guess.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Pinewood Trophy

The car wasn't finished until this morning, but Braeden still managed to win first place at the Cub Scout's Pinewood Derby today. He's won three out of four years now. Dave won for the adults, but Braeden's trophy looks better.


Braeden was part of a Storyteller ice show on February 1st. He played a cow. He's shown below with a friend who appeared as a sheep. They were in a Little Boy Blue segment.

Now I have to show a picture that is way more typical of how Braeden likes to pose. He is such a boy!