Blogging about life in Minnesota, raising our six kids with Down syndrome while battling Breast Cancer.

Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the floor in the morning the devil says, "Oh shit! She's up!"

Friday, February 04, 2011

About that MRI

I forgot to post about Axel and how he did waking up from his MRI.

He was quite agitated at first, so they gave him something...versed maybe? I forget. Anyway, he was awake and sitting up when they brought me back to him. As soon as he saw me he gave me a glare and turned his back to me. I went up and put my hand on his back and said "Hi Axel", and gave him a kiss on the ear and he turned further away. I went to the other side of the bed so I was in front of him and he turned the other way to put his back to me again. Little sinker. LOL

It took him about an hour before he'd actually look me in the eye, and then only because I had apple juice. To say he was not happy with me is an understatement!

By the time we were ready to leave, he had been up and walking, had eaten crackers and had a bunch of juice. He was charming for the nurses and a total little snot for me. Shaking his finger at me doing his bossy jabber. He has this certain little tone he likes to use when he's being rude or disrespectful, and that's pretty much all I got from him until we got ready to go. He was PISSED!

And then he did his other little thing he does...

I had cleaned his mouth off two or three times because he had cracker gurp on them, and couldn't figure out where this stuff kept coming from. We had stopped in the gift shop to get him a toy (because I've always done that with my kids when they have a big procedure done) I asked him something and when he answered me I realized he had a mouth FULL of cracker paste. Yes paste, because that's what saltines DO when you hold them in your mouth for an hour.

Living with Axel has taught me a few things. One is that some children will hold food in their mouth for HOURS AND HOURS AND HOURS, saving it for who knows what. Now, it could have been he just didn't feel like eating any more crackers, and he was feeling a bit odd after anesthesia and stuff. I'll give him that. But I have seen him do this before, and that's not what it was. He had stuffed the last cracker in his mouth just as I told him it was time to get dressed to go home. You know...I interrupted his chewing and while listening to the nurse I wasn't paying attention to the fact he never actually ATE the cracker he put in his mouth.

From experience I know that even if I *had* noticed the cracker, and told him to finish chewing and swallow, he would have done is magic freeze trick, frozen stiff right there, and refused to move. Not swallowing. Not dressing. Not a.n.y.t.h.i.n.g. until I let him do what he wanted, which was get his clothes on to go home. It's called passive aggressive behavior, and Axel is a master at it!

Incidentally, a couple of my adoptive-mom-friends have told me their kids do the freeze thing too. I've decided that for some of the orphanage kids it's a fear reflex. If they sense danger or a threat (and a "threat" can be not getting to do what they want to do.) they will freeze in place. Maybe in the orphanage freezing was better than flat out refusing to do something, and a better way to avoid getting hurt. Who knows? All I know is it drives me crazy when he does this. we are a good 45 minutes later in the hospital gift shop and The Prince has a mouth full of saltine PASTE in his mouth. His next step will be to let it all drool out of his mouth because at this point who wants to swallow cracker paste? Certainly not the little boy who's been gophering them in his MOUTH!


So we get to the elevator and I pull him aside to an out of the way corner in the hallway. "Axel, open your mouth." He doesn't want to, because of course we've had this issue before and he knows he's not supposed to do this. Finally he opens and his mouth is FULL of this stuff. "We're not getting on that elevator until you swallow that."

I now have a statue. Axel has now frozen in place, arms stuck where they were when he let go of my hand. I know that once the statue appears, I'm screwed. He's not going to do a.n.y.t.h.i.n.g. for me unless I let him do what he wants...which is go home. I consider finding a bathroom and letting him spit out the now-offensive-cracker and chalk this up to "Axel doesn't feel good because of anesthesia." Only I have played this game with him MANY times and this time is NO different. This isn't anesthesia. This is Axel doing what Axel wants to do and not being happy that I won't let him.

And this is called a "Power struggle."

I should know by now that I cannot win a power struggle with a kid. YEARS of power struggles with Angela have taught me that I need to NOT ENGAGE with the power struggle. Instead I need to think 3 steps ahead to a motivator and DISTRACT the child into doing what I want him to do. Give choices so the child thinks they're in control but really they're not. The problem is Axel doesn't understand making choices yet. He's never had an opportunity to do that in his life, and he just does not get it.

And he knows it.

I could have just ignored the entire thing but there would have been further issues in the car with drooled, then wiped-all-over cracker paste. Gross.

And so we stood there for 10 minutes. Him facing the wall, me facing the elevator trying to figure out how to change this around. Good grief, this about crackers for cripes sake. And yet it is about so much more than crackers.

And as I stood there it occurred to me this was not one of my better parenting moments.

Parenting Fail.

Axel was now standing facing the wall (not right up against it, just facing it from a couple feet away) and in his frozen state his mouth was hanging open and he now had the cracker paste drooling down his his chin because he wasn't going to swallow NO MATTER WHAT at this point. The problem I was hoping to avoid in the car was now happening right there in the hallway outside the elevator.

"Axel? Are you ready to go home?" I asked, in a sing-songy-like-nothing-ever-happened tone of voice.

He swallowed, gagged (cuz that stuff was nasty!) then swallowed again. Smiled and said "Shalalmayehannnvhaheajana Home?"

And so we went to the car.

It's a 20 minute drive home, and he sang in Axelese most of the way. I guess I didn't damage him too much.


Difference2This1 said...

Yeah. The "freeze" dance game we play. I'm so over it. 'Cause I'll give her the whole "traumatized child" thing. I'll give her the whole "didn't have the love when a baby" thing. I'll give her the whole "this is how she copes and survived" thing. I'm sure these are the reasons some of the time. But, here at 2 yrs home, I'm quite amazed that the "freeze" dance doesn't happen 3 minutes before bedtime. This child shows miraculous recovery in her speech at 3 minutes before bedtime...why, the child can be posivitely "chatty" at 3 minutes before bedtime. She played us for a while as we let her stay up late a few times talking thinking we had finally broken down some walls. Turns out not. I'm pretty sure at 2 yrs home, this child uses the "freeze" response to keep her power more then 50% of the time now. 40% so she doesn't have to "deal" with whatever issue is on the table. Only 10% out of fear. Working on not letting her control us this way anymore.

Jo's Corner said...

Leah ~ You really are one of the best Mom's I "know"! You show your kiddo's Love throughout the process. I love how you explained the 3-steps to making the choice thing! Whether God has another child for you may be in the air, you have been Blessed with beautiful children who will go far, due to your gift of parenting! ~ Jo