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Sunday, July 29, 2012

In Limbo

Writing a new blog post has been on my mind lately, but I couldn't figure out how to do it or what to write about. I mean, we're in limbo right now, so what's there to write about? Well, as it turns out, there's a lot.

Being in limbo has forced me to pay closer attention to my children, actually. Because I'm with them practically 24/7, I'm noticing more about their personalities, especially Sam. He's really been struggling lately with his little sister's attitude toward him. He says she doesn't like him because he's "mental". In turn, I've noticed Kaydee does get rather impatient with him.

Here's a little example. Sam and Kaydee were enjoying watching some Annoying Orange videos on Youtube the other night. Kaydee got tired of watching them, so she closed the browser window and left the computer, but Sam still wanted to watch. He was trying to figure out how to get back to where they were, and he ordered Kaydee to help him. Of course, she didn't want to, because he didn't ask nicely, but when I asked Sam to rephrase, she still resisted. 

"Just type in Annoying Orange," she snapped. 

"I did! But the ones we were watching aren't coming up!" Sam shouted back. He was starting to get amped up, so I looked to Kaydee and whispered, "Honey, please."

She stomped over to the computer and yelled at him to let go of the mouse, and in a few clicks, she got him to the right place. 

Because it was late and they were both tired, I let it go. Sam was happy, and Kaydee moved on to playing by herself. However, I couldn't help but notice that all this strife could have been avoided had Kaydee just been more patient with Sam in the first place. 

Is that asking too much from a newly-turned eight year old? Maybe. But it isn't asking too much from me. 

Sometimes I find myself reacting to Sam's whining requests in the exact same way -- with impatience and disgust. Perhaps that's where Kaydee learned it. I'm not saying we should give in to every demand our Aspies make of us, but maybe just taking the time to listen to what he/she needs, even when we're busy, or we'd much rather be doing something else, would make a world of difference in how the rest of the day goes.

I've tried hard to curb that initial gut reaction and (dare I say it?) impulsivity that gets me in trouble with Sam. Gut reactions and impulsivity are what gets Sam into trouble, so why should I expect it to work when I do it? By taking a calming breath and picking my battles, I find the day can run a whole lot more smoothly.