Saturday, March 14, 2009

Spring Break.

EVERYONE in my house is on Spring Break as of Friday night. Guess who is the only one who isn't happy about it? Me. I feel lousy that I am not happy to have my kids home for a week but given the recent rollercoaster behaviors of everyone besides Milagro, it is hard to get excited about having them all home for a WHOLE week. I usually enjoy being around them and having a chance to spend more one-on-one time with each of them without the afterschool/evening rush of snacks, homework, dinner, showers, bedtime, etc. Right now I am not feeling it. I guess it could be worse. When I was working, I had to scramble to find multiple sitters and stressed about it the whole time.

The good news is that C. is also on Spring Break. I am happy to have C. home for a week although she does have quite a bit of school work to do (C. is a PhD student and works for the university.) That means we might be able to do some "fun stuff" (as Pollito calls it.) Our hope is to get to one of the history museums that we have all been wanting to go to and to take everyone to the rodeo which started last night. Of course, we are keeping those plans secret because Corazon and Tortuga do so much better with little to no advance notice about anything that is remotely intended to be fun. They still struggle with the feelings that they don't deserve to have too much fun and it destabilizes them so they have to pay us back with misbehaviors (Corazon) or full-blown meltdowns (Tortuga).

I am trying to make sense of Tortuga's behavior, of late and more importantly how to help him take a step forward because I think this is partly what is going on. I can see that he is working REALLY hard to make good choices and in fact many of his difficult and challenging everyday behaviors have diminished considerably in the past two weeks or so. However, his meltdowns have continued to increase as well as his moodiness, rudeness, and his tendency to fly-off-the-handle the moment I say "no" to him or he doesn't get something he wants. It is much like 2-3 year old behavior which he has exhibited before, so maybe he is reverting back to emotionally being a toddler. I don't know. The grounding thing has worked better for him (and the rest of us). It really takes the pressure off of him to anticipate "less" in terms of situations and expectations that might set him off. It also means that I have to keep him away from the other kids as much as possible which also sets him off. I am not sure where to go from here with him but maybe I can try some things out this week that he is home.

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