Thursday, March 31, 2011

Boomerang Effect (also known as Fallout)

  There are certain things that happen around here that will most certainly result in some very poor behavior from small boys. Any disruption to the routine, any 'fun' event like a birthday or party, an illness, visits from family, etc. Each boy reacts in a different way, but it is usually pretty predictable.

  Seth has an issue with each time we have to spend time with Ahren for doctors visits, therapy sessions or testing. The last three times we have had to focus on Ahren he has done the same thing : pooped his pants. The incident when he threw the poopy drawers into the dryer and I started it? That was on a day we spent downtown seeing doctors. The day I spent with Ahren getting his MRI? Hidden poopy pants in my closet. The day we had to visit the specialist after the zoo? Poopy pants he then played in at the doctors office. So when I had to spend 6 hours with Ahren on Tuesday getting another set of testing done and then speech therapy, I knew what my punishment would be.

  But......he made it through Tuesday just fine. It helped that he got to go to a friend's house and spend the day there with our beloved Nanny, and that the other boys were very jealous of him.  Then yesterday I could see him winding up and beginning to unravel, but we made it through and had a great/hard workout at martial arts last night. (Oh the joy of the martial arts!)

  And then today......KABOOM.  The uglies swung around and smacked us good. Nasty behavior and talk this morning, lots of demands, and then the inevitable. I found him secretly trying to wipe the poop off of his rear end. He swore up and down he didn't poop his pants. He tried his very best to convince me of it. In fact, he made up a story of how the poop was stuck in  his bottom and he had to dig it out and that is how he got all messy. Well either the boy has a serious intestinal issue or the Poo-Punishment had struck. If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it is probably a duck. A dirty duck in his drawers, that is. So I calmly cleaned him up, then fetched him a diaper and diapered him up. We had discussed this in the past. Non-threatening and calmly, that if he had trouble then we would supply him with the right gear to handle the issue. If poo cannot go in the potty, then it needs to go into a diaper. Plain and simple. We love him and will provide him with whatever he needs, we are his parents and that is our job.

  Well, I am telling you if you felt a disruption in the universe this morning it was the fury that spewed from that small boy. He screamed and cursed and said every mean thing he could think of, he kicked and smacked and spit and rolled around like a scalded monkey. But....he did not get off the bed and he did not take off the diaper. (The bed is our safe zone for big tantrums. He can hit and kick and roll around and not get hurt) It took almost an hour until he was calm enough to come out and talk. I had him wear the diaper for another hour or so, then let him change, talking to him calmly and lovingly again.

  Now he is calm, regulated and happy. It's almost like the wild electrical activity of a seizure, how the rage tears through him like a storm, and then once it is spent, everything is fine again. He is once again a charming, respectful, happy little boy. I am so proud of him for being able to work through the rage while staying in the safe zone. He is understanding some of the boundaries and I think he actually appreciates them, deep down. They help him to feel safe.

One quick funny story: Levi was talking about someone he met, and he was trying to describe him to me. He told me that he had really thin ankles, and he was from, you know, that place where all the African Americans were.

Me: thinking hard, a place where all the African Americans are? Stumped.

Levi: Oh I know, Africa. He was from Africa!

Well, how very PC of our boy! LOL!


Diana said...

I'm impressed! I've yet to be effective in getting my kid to stay in a safe zone OR to keep the diaper on. Nope. I just get the next round flung all over the place.

ManyBlessings said...

No safe zone either here. Any attempt is seen as a threat that must be taken. ;)

This though? "It's almost like the wild electrical activity of a seizure, how the rage tears through him like a storm, and then once it is spent, everything is fine again." Couldn't agree more. Although we have no respect here almost ever.

Love how you dealt with it. I learn so much from you.

Reba said...

Sounds like a victory today! (However, that storm this morning may be what is causing our crazy weather today...rain mixed with sleet and hail when it was sunny this morning???) We are getting there too. Love safety zones.

PS We have done the diaper thing when seems to work fairly well. You might carry one in the car for doctor's appointments?