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!"

Saturday, April 02, 2011

End of the Week Update

Well, I see my 30 day blogging challenge lasted a whole 5 days. LOL I'll see if I can get it caught up this weekend. This week has just been very busy, and mentally exhausting. Axel is is learning he DOES have free will.

As you may recall, on Monday and Tuesday I went to school with Axel. Just 1/2 days each time, letting him experience the bus, the playground, lunch...and a CLASSROOM! He did fantastic those two days. He was perfect, really. But I warned the staff: "The child you see now is NOT who you will have in school tomorrow when I'm not here. Just say'in!"

On Weds he had to go all by himself. Things did not go so well. It was horrible, in fact. Even though he APPEARED very happy (laughing hysterically, really) at his own antics all day, I knew it was very stressful for him. When he came home on the bus, he was all smiles to his driver, then he turned and saw me and instantly the guilty face appeared. I took this as a GOOD sign! It means he was connecting all that had happened during the day to consequences later on. He was very solemn as he took my hand and we headed up the driveway. When we got to the house I said, "Axel, today at school was not good. (we have to choose our words carefully to make sure he understands.) Now you will need to sit." and he took his place on "the spot" for 5 minutes. When his time was up, I gave him a hug, assured him that I loved him, then told him he could go play. Later we discovered what he'd been up to while he was playing quietly in his room. This is a child who is learning that he does have free will and he can choose his own behavior. Peeing is something he has 100% control over, so he utilized his control.

Thursday I went to school and lurked in the hallways the entire day. The plan was that I be nearby so that when Axel's behavior started to escalate, I could step in right away instead of waiting until his energy level was over the top. There were only two times staff asked me to step in, and both times he was completely shocked to see me, and his eyes said, "Where the heck did YOU come from?" When I did appear, he immediately stopped what he was doing. Like I said, I only had to intervene twice. Still, Axel was stressed. How do I know? Because he wet his bed that night.

Friday was a MUCH better day. I went to school around 11:00, which is when he'd started having trouble the previous two days. Only this time he held himself together. I stayed until he came in from Recess. The day before had been difficult for staff to get him in and I had to intervene. This time he came right in, put his basketball away where it belongs, and headed for the doors. I met him as he came in, "Hi Axel! Hey, I hear you're having an amazing day! Good for you buddy!" and gave him a big hug.
Still, the day was stressful for him. And how do I know? Because this time he pooped in his bed (in his pajamas.) I'm almost certain he was still awake when he did this, but I didn't discover it right away so I have no way of knowing. It seemed to me, by his actions, that Axel was drawing a line in the sand. "This is my side and that is yours. I control what happens on my side, and you control what happens over there!"

Tonight, Saturday night. It's just the kids and I. Angela was dancing around downstairs and Axel got into the tub for a bath. I listened to him happily play in there for about 15 minutes when I went to get him out. Much to my surprise, Axel had exhibited even MORE...ahem..."control" while he was in the tub, and he was now happily dumping water over it! As soon as he saw me he started crying. Guess who spent 1/2 hour cleaning poop out of the tub? It wasn't me! Well...I did had to finish up the job.

I'm pretty sure all this behavior is tied to Axel having control over something in his life. His world has just gotten much bigger and it's a little overwhelming out in that world!

So, that's what I've been doing with my time this week. What are YOU up to this weekend?


krlr said...

I just found you though haven't had a chance to read thru your archives yet... wondering if you read Stellar Parenting 101? Similar adoption related issues.

blcmec1 said...

Leah - you sure have a whole lot of patience! I admire your perseverance and consistence with Axel. God sure sent the right person to him. - Maureen

Nance said...

It was so much fun meeting you and the kids today! We absolutely LOVE Angela and Axel! We got such a kick out of those two, especially the looks Axel was giving you when you told him to come sit for a little bit....Priceless! The kids were playing there new best game tonight after dinner, prisoner! To funny! Oh, you will be getting 288 toothbrushes either Tuesday or Wednesday at the PO address. Let me know you got them. We hope you have much success with the whole trip! Can't wait to get together again!!!