Thursday, March 8, 2012

Stop me if you've heard this one before...or the curious case of behavior deja-vu.

So we'll go along for a few weeks at school with Sam's behavior being "okay-ish." Not especially great, but also not especially bad. Then he'll have a few really good days, and I'll start to think one of two things: A--we've got this whole thing figured out, and I am such an amazing mother for getting my child what he needs to really succeed; and/or B--maybe we were all over-reacting, and he doesn't really have a problem after all. He's just spirited, but now he's getting the hang of it (side note: if it is MARCH and your child is still working on getting the hang of it please to talk to your doctor objectively about possible behavioral issues.).

Then he'll have a couple really bad days. Days when the future looks so dark for both of us, because he just cannot do school things in an appropriate fashion. Things like sitting down for 10 minutes. Things like working on an art project, or waiting his turn without giving up on the whole idea and finding something totally different. You know, things like focus. Persistence. Self-control.

Today I forgot Sam's awesome air cushion, which is supposed to provide sensory input. To be honest, I don't understand the reasoning behind it 100%, but it has a success rate of about 75-80% with my kid, so we use it. Except today. So of course he had a bad day, earning an actual frowny face for his second circle (story-time), a frowny face his teacher hardly ever gives. I guess he was hiding under the table the entire time. JE. SUS. CHRIST. Or, as we sometimes say around the little man, CHEEZITS. Dad gum.

I know, I really really do, that this is a long-haul process. But sometimes it can be dispiriting to know that a single dropped component sends the gears screeching to a halt.

On the bright side, I told him that if he lines up on the playground without being asked more than once 4 days in a row he would earn the Mighty Eagle setting on my Angry Birds. That worked like a motherfucking charm.* So now he's going to go 6 days in a row (which translates to 3 weeks) to earn another app.

*No, I don't know why telling him he needs to line up doesn't work. Threats don't work. There is basally no punishment severe enough (outside of like, beatings) to overcome the momentary thrill of exercising that power on the playground. But positive rewards work, as long as he wants them badly enough.

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