Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Going to the movies

Most days Brady seems like a typical rough and tumble little boy who has some quirks. But it's outings like this that remind me that he does have some "special needs." We've been wanting to see "Toy Story 3", but we were wondering if we should take Henry or not. He's still a bit young to sit still through a whole movie, and we wanted to try out Brady's new kid-sized earmuffs. So, the three of us headed to the free summer movie this morning - "Horton Hears a Who" which Brady has already seen multiple times. He's been to a couple movies before and was fine as long as we kept him out of the seating area until he got used to the loud sound, so I wasn't quite expecting the difficulties I had with him since he was now armed with earmuffs.

He insisted on having the earmuffs on before even going into the theater and it still took a lot of convincing to get him to walk in as he was scared of how dark it was and how loud it might be. Then, I had to hold my hand over his eyes off and on for about 40 minutes because he was scared of things looking like they were going to come out at him. I guess I should explain this fear by telling you that we made a horrible mistake in trying to go to the 4D movie at Busch Gardens a few weeks back. After two water squirts, he was curled up in a ball screaming "make it go away." So now he's scared of things coming at him from the movie screen. Poor kid.

I kept telling him we could leave if he wanted to and watch it at home, but he said he was too scared to walk down to the door b/c he'd have to get closer to the screen. It was a mess. Towards the end, he settled in and had some Goldfish and is still claiming that he loved going to the movie theater.

And all that was the easy part of the day. As we were leaving the theater a little girl bumped into him and spilled water on him. He had to hide until she was no longer in his site. Then he kept growling very loudly in the car, which made his brother do it as well, and then he cried for his earmuffs b/c it was too loud. Then we get home and had tantrum after tantrum over how I cut his sandwich (the way he originally asked, but then he changed his mind a second too late). After 5 minutes in his room, he was able to come and eat the heart-shaped sandwiches. After lunch he was a little better, but more argumentative than normal (which is very) and hitting and screaming when I don't let him do exactly what he wants.

He's in quiet time now, playing pretty nicely, so hopefully he'll be feeling better after some downtime.

And in case you were wondering, Henry did beautifully at the movie. Sat quietly through the whole thing, not getting upset until I picked him up to leave!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Fun Shopping Trip

Shopping with Brady in tow is always an adventure.  At the grocery store, Brady still likes to get into the little car carts, but he's constantly hanging his head out the side trying to talk to me and yelling to me about everything we just have to buy because he's never had it before or he's seen it on TV. And at Target, he's usually just grabbing things or at least touching everything.

Well, yesterday, he had a blast at Target. It really was pretty funny. Apparently, he needed some proprioceptive input and he actually found decently acceptable ways to get it! We got one of those carts that has the two seats attached to handle side, but he didn't want to sit there for long. For most of the trip, he pretended that the cart was a runaway train. He'd stop and have me walk ahead and then he'd run and jump onto the seat. He had a great time and entertained some of the other shoppers as well. When we had to stop and look at something, he had a horrible time trying to be still and stop talking so I could think, but once we were moving again, he was fine. At the end of the trip, we had to stand and wait for some pictures I had printed. Instead of bugging me too much, he found a new way to get some proprioceptive input -

And after all that, he was able to calmly decorate the frame we had bought for Father's Day. Even when he didn't do something quite like he had planned, there was no meltdown, he just decided that Daddy would still like it. Usually if he makes a mistake, he'll have to start over no matter how minor the problem. We were dealing with permanent markers and I was scared, but he did beautifully!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

His way or the highway (or at least a meltdown)

At almost 5 years old, I would've thought he'd be better about dealing with this by now. Brady comes up with a plan, and if it has to be changed or interuppted, he acts like the world is ending.

Ever since he could communicate, he's been very firm in what he wants. It used to be that a certain person had to get his drink for him, or his sandwich had to be cut a certain way. If you didn't meet his expectations (whether he had told you about them or not), he'd have a fit. It wasn't all that surprising when he was a "terrible two-year-old", but now it's getting really old. He has the words to tell us what he wants and he should have to patience to deal with things if they don't go according to plan.

His poor daddy gets the brunt of this because I know most of his little games and plans and the way he likes things done, but Daddy isn't always in the loop. Two recent examples:

First - When we open the garage door and light pours in, Brady pretends it is fire. He freezes on the stairs until the door is completely open and then has to walk around the light patches on the floor because they'll "burn" him. Major meltdown when Daddy tries to make him finish down the stairs before the door is done opening. And by meltdown, I mean pushing Daddy back up the stairs trying to hit and kick, then running back inside crying for 5 minutes before we could coax him to come back outside to the car. Daddy had NO idea what he did wrong.

Second - On the way to dinner last night, Brady decides he wants us to sit on either side of Henry, and Daddy on the other side of the table. I told him Daddy would want to sit with them, but that is not acceptable in his mind. We get to the restaurant where we're meeting Daddy and Daddy picks up Henry, sits him down in the booth and slides in next to him. Brady starts bawling. After a couple minutes, we manage to calm him down so he can tell Daddy his plan and we figure something out that's agreeable to all. He sometimes calms down fairly quickly, but I don't know how to help him not have the emotional outburst in the first place..

I'm just wondering if/when/how Brady will learn that people can't read his mind so he needs to use his words instead of crying/hitting/kicking/running away when someone does something he wasn't planning on and if/when/how he'll be able to handle a change in plans or do what other people want to do instead.

All that and ..... I really wish he'd stop being so rude to people that try to open or hold the door open for us. He's my designated doorman, but other people don't know that and they are just trying to be polite. Even Daddy forgets sometimes and he gets an earful when that happens.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Loud restaurant and head-butting

Thursday morning, we went to the zoo with some friends, then went out to lunch. We all decided to head to Johnny Rocketts, where we've never been before. As soon as Brady walked in, he got a terrified look on his face and covered his ears. One of his friends tried to hand him a pack of crayons and Brady kicked them out of his hands. We stayed for a few minutes to see if he could get used to it, but he couldn't. I felt so bad b/c he kept saying he wanted to eat there, but he just couldn't handle it. So we all walked to McD's.

Fast forward to today. We got a coupon for a free shake from the same restaurant, and I thought it might be good to try it out again when we weren't with a bunch of people and have had a calmer morning. He did great! He was scared at first, but knew a milkshake was in his future so we were able to distract him and he got used to it fairly quickly. I was so happy for him to conquer the loud restaurant!

I don't know if it was an after-effect of the loud restaurant (since he seemed to handle it so well), but he was constantly in and out of quiet time this afternoon. And he wanted to come to the store with me this afternoon to get some papers laminated (I'll leave what I'm doing with those to another post). Major issues just trying to get out the door. He just doesn't get it that there is limited time in a day. He kept going back to playing when I told him we needed to leave. Then I'd threaten to leave without him and he'd freak out. He finally got shoes on, then realized he had wanted some cherries for snack and started crying when I told him he'd have to find something he could eat in the car instead. I can't remember how I managed to get him out to the car, but I did, even though I knew it probably wouldn't be a pleasant shopping trip. Unfortunately, we didn't have time to do any of his "exercises" before heading out.

First stop - OfficeMax. He got a little upset that they wouldn't let him help laminate the papers, but I distracted him with some little card holders on the counter. Then we had to go find the velcro. He found crayons that he didn't want to give up. Once I wrestled those away, he started head-butting me as we walked down the aisle. It got worse as I tried to figure out what I needed to buy. When I squatted down to talk to him, he jumped up and his head went straight into my nose. OUCH!  We then had to stop at Babies R Us. He did alright in that he didn't start to head-butt again, but he had to touch every single thing he walked past and knocked lots of things down. At least he cleaned everything up without too much hassle.

I really need to stop trying to take this kid out in the afternoon, especially when we haven't done a very good job with the sensory diet for the day.