Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Yoav and Sensitivity to language

Yoav just yelled out, "The Mailman is here! I mean the Mail Girl!"

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

More about Yoav

I'll write more later, but today on the subway, Yoav sat across from me and asked for water and I reached out to give it to him and he said, "Thanks for doing that." He's too funny. He's always saying please/thank you/sorry lately. I'm starting to feel uncomfortable almost. It sounds like I forced him for years to say thanks for him to say it with so much meaning or maybe that I yelled at him for years when he asked for anything LOL. He says it like he's really sorry for bothering me.

He did some more multiplication today - so far, I've heard him do 2*2, 2*3, 2*4, 3*3, 3*4.

Changes in Yoav

Yoav seems to be a changed person the last few days. I've never seen such a sudden change in him. I probably shouldn't write about it b/c maybe it's too good to be true and as soon as I write it, all we be back to the way it was. But I'm hoping a few days or week of this new Yoav will get him feeling good in his new skin and he'll toss the old for good :) Not that I don't love him any which way, of course, BUT, living with the new one is far easier :)

So the background is that he's been torturing us and it's been getting worse and worse and worse over the past month or so. He has the rituals that are just driving us all insane. He has to "redo" everything - a seemingly good Aldort idea turned bad by Yoav's overuse and overdependence on it. Sometimes we have to redo walking out of the house four or five times. First his sleeves aren't up over his elbows, so we have to do a redo all the way back from in the house; Then he realizes his pants aren't tucked under at the waist and could possibly touch water IF we happen upon a 3" high puddle; Then he sees he's holding a piece of paper that he wants me to be holding instead; and on and on. Each time we have to re-unlock all the doors and start back from inside our house.

Oh and the scootches! Every time he sits down to eat, we have to spend five minutes on a sitting down ritual. We have to scootch him but it has to be a perfect scootch - just so his hand against his stomach is just touching the edge of the table when scootched - he puts his hand against his stomach to check and he'll say "too much" or more so we have to scootch more or less in increments of as little as a cm! Then we have to discuss the loneliness of everything at his setting. He asks, "Do I have a lonely plate and a lonely chair and lonely eggs and a lonely cup and lonely water and lonely fork and lonely...." I say yes. Then he asks if everything I have is lonely and how scootched am I (I have to give a number). Then he says in a sing-song voice, "So now I ca-an eat."

He's also been hurting Elie more than usual. Actually, first he was hurting Elie a lot (not major hurt - but a lot of pushing Elie out of the way, pouring water on him and other unpleasantries). Then the hurting shifted to screaming at Elie. Just a loud "Aaaahh!!" when Elie got too close to anything Yoav was playing with. Or just for fun for Yoav to get Elie to cry (which he did every time because Elie is a very sensitive little soul). A few days ago, I started a game with the screaming. After a scream, I said to Elie, "Now you say 'Dah!'" and I said Dah a few times and he repeated and then I said, "Now I'll say 'Bah!'" It worked! After a day of playing this, Yoav screaming Aaah, Elie realizing it was his turn to say Dah and me with the Bah, Yoav was laughing instead of screaming and just saying the Aaah to get the game going! Probably too soon to think this has ended, but no screams today and a full day of no bothering Elie. Literally, nothing. Not even water dumped on his head in the tub or throwing anything at him or ANYTHING.

Not only has there been no hurting or screaming, there's actually been gentleness. He says sorry all day long. Silly things like he's thirsty before he goes to sleep and says, "I'm sorry I'm thirsty and you have to get out of bed." And he means it. Then of course, I think about times I've tried to get him to try sleeping without the drink because I don't feel like getting up and feel guilty and quickly say, "It's ok!" in a tone of, "Of course I can get you water - I love getting things for you!" He says he's sorry to Elie and once laughed when Elie fell (Yoav has, until this time, been laughing at almost everyone getting hurt). Then after he laughed, he asked Elie if he was ok. WOW! It's like he's suddenly gotten older. Is this possible? Even as I write it seems too sudden a shift. But maybe that's how shifts are. Maybe he was ready and just needed something to happen to help with the nudge to calmer waters.

I have a few ideas other than just divine intervention that might have led to this. First, we were nearly at our breaking point and had gotten a referral for a pediatric psychologist to try to figure out why Yoav seemed so inflexible. I ordered a few of books from Alibris (The Explosive Child and The Spirited Child) and read some along with my Enki Foundation guides, so I think I've been more empathic and more connected. Like there was an example in The Explosive Child of a tantrum that could have been five minutes of connection which the parents were trying to skip so they could continue on their way but it turned into a 45 minute tantrum and messing up all their plans. It's a good story to keep in mind ;) Also, we had guests on Shabbos and I moved the living room around to make room for the extension in the table. I put the couch sideways across the room to make a tiny playroom area and then the table took up the rest of the room. After everyone left, we removed the extension, put the table back the way it was, but just moved the couch closer the the table, so there was still a little playroom versus just a big open room. That plus the fact that Yoav has started collecting Matchbox cars (he agreed to get one Matchbox car a week instead of doing the $0.25 machines all the time) has led to Yoav spending a huge portion of the day just playing alone with blocks and cars. He builds elaborate parking lots until he runs out of blocks. I've felt lately that he hasn't been playing enough. It's so hard for me to play with him, b/c he usually doesn't want Elie to play and Jeremy hasn't been home much between work, gym and classes, so it has just felt like Yoav was missing out on play and I didn't know how to help him with it. Just before all this change happened (Wednesday I think), I told Jeremy that I thought Yoav really needed to see more of him and he said he'd stop doing his evening classes. Odd, since he only was home one day before this change happened and now he's traveling.

Anyway, that's enough for now. I'm going to try to post some updates so I can remember how it all plays out later.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Elie's Teeth and Potty Training

So we went to the dentist today because I thought Elie had cavities on his two front teeth. He has indentations at the top of each, close to the gums. Turns out it's "second stage" something. I don't even remember what she said, but he has wear of the enamel and she (Dr. Lois Jackson - MUCH recommended after our one visit) said I should brush his teeth three times a day and use the gauze pad at night after he nurses to keep the teeth clean. My own feeling is that the cavities were caused by eating dried mango :( Since we found the dried mango at the food coop, we've all eaten so much of it, and I gave it to Elie without thinking about his teeth. Yoav's teeth are so amazing - no cavities, no decay, no browning and only very occasional tooth brushing. So I just wasn't that conscious of Elie's teeth since I don't think about Yoav's. Oh, well. Live and learn. I'm going to be really careful from now on to try to limit the decay to what it is so we don't have to do any fillings.

And I think Elie is just about completely potty trained. We went 24 hours without a miss and without me having to think about it. He just pees/poops himself at home on the little potties we have scattered around the apartment. When we're out, he either cries or pulls on his pants or does the potty sign when he needs to go. At night, he wakes up to pee and I pee him into the little potty by the bed.