When Ryan last saw his behavior therapist I sat in on the session because Aaron was with his Dad who was on staycation. I received homework from the therapist to document what sets us off on his behavior. I worked on the list this morning, since it was the first time I was away from the kids all week. It was harder to write than I thought it would be. It is hard for me as a parent to just focus on the bad of Ryan and not look at the whole picture of his behavior. I dreamed of him all afternoon setting me off. Remind me, no lists like this before I have to sleep.
1. We are in the car. I ask Ryan to play with his DS, Highlights, read, or otherwise occupy himself. He replies no, I want to learn to be patient. Less than five minutes later he is punching, kicking, annoying, teasing, or doing something to make Aaron scream. I ask him to look at me and he is all wild eyed and laughing at his brothers displeasure. I do everything I can to calmly redirect him. I wind up pulling the car over, very upset that Ryan did not make a better choice. He does this daily. Another version of this is he sits in the car screaming, Aaron STOPPPP for 10 miles. I feel angry, frustrated, sad, unsafe to drive, and tired.
2. It is the 4th of July. I am sitting at the side of the pool waiting to watch my husband, my nephew who is 27 years old, Ryan, and Aaron participate in the splash contest.
Ryan takes his turn and sits on the side of the pool. He won’t stay out of the pool he keeps jumping in which is dangerous since he is near the diving boards. My husband is in line and motions me over. I have to escort Ryan away from the pool and we sit under a tree because he would not follow the rules. I feel sad and embarrassed that Ryan could not behave appropriately, but enjoy the time with him.
3. We are at the pool bar-b-queing. Ryan has been obsessing about fire for the last few months. We have had to hide all the barbecue lighters in the house after I found Ryan outside lighting candles and playing with fire repeatedly. We hid the barbque lighters so well we had to go buy more. Ryan was trying to get at the fire with sticks all day which is dangerous. He lost privileges, had a few time outs, nothing kept him from the fire. We tried giving him some supervised time to explore the fire but it did not help. I went to swim and took Ryan with me. He escaped (I thought he was with my husband) and would up at someone elses barbecue playing with fire. A parent had to come and get me because he was disturbing another family. I felt sad and embarrassed. I felt harsh judgement from the other family because he was annoying them after they asked him to leave.
4. After four timeouts the swim coach asks Ryan to leave practice. I find that frustrating since Ryan is well aware about his boundaries at swim team. I feel myself start to become angry when I ask Ryan how he can go better tomorrow and he answers with, “Who cares?” *(the next day he was extremely well behaved at practice again)
5. We are rushing to get out in the morning. Ryan won’t walk upstairs to get dressed and brush his teeth. He stomps his feet as hard as possible up the stairs to get a rise out of me I asks him to stop, my husband asks him to stop, he ignores us. I wind up having to go up and help him get dressed and remain on task to brush his teeth. Afterwards he goes back downstairs and starts touching the blinds, and throwing a bottle of water at the ceiling. I asked him four times to stop. He stops. My phone rings, it is my husband asking me a question as he drives away from the house. Ryan starts vocalizing nonsense noises loudly as I answer the phone. Won’t stop till I make him sit on the time out spot in the kitchen so I can pack up and keep and eye on him. I feel tired and drained that I at times I have an almost 9 year old who in a certain way never got past being 18 months old.