Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Again With the Discipline

Up until about three months ago, Charlie was basically a happy-go-lucky kid. He rarely complained, rarely cried, and almost never screamed.

But as I mentioned before, things are changing and I'm finding myself running to keep up.

Charlie has an opinion about everything these days: nap time, bed time, therapy, music, videos, and toys. At this point Charlie has two ways of expressing himself: delighted shrieks and horrendous, gut-wrenching sobs. I can take the shrieks, but when he cries it feel like someone is ripping out my stomach. I CAN'T TAKE THE SCREAMING.

At first glance you'd think that he was in some kind of pain--he's that loud and real tears run down his chubby little cheeks. My mind races--is it his shunt? a seizure? reflux? But no. It's just a run-of-the-mill toddler tantrum. He can't talk, so I can't tell him to "use his words," so I'm working on two major concepts:

  1. Screaming will get you nowhere.

  2. Ask nicely.

At this point, for me, tone is everything. I can usually figure out what he wants, but I can't take the screaming. I can't. I keep reminding myself that this is normal behavior all the while feeling like the worst mother in the world when I ignore my child's screams. Gah.

So, when he screams for a video, I tell him to ask nicely. If he changes his tone to something less shriek-y then I put the video on. If he continues to scream, then I put him in his bed and let him scream until he's finished.

I'm also going to spend this weekend trying to put a communication board within easy reach--I figure it must be frustrating to not be able to talk.

Meanwhile, my MIL has adopted two Manx kittens and they are just about the cutest things ever. I keep going over to her house just to play with them. Charlie finds them intriguing, but then he touches them and find that they are entirely too fluffy--YUCK!