Friday, June 19, 2009

Joy and Sadness

We spent 3 days in Scarsdale, NY with my college roommate and good friend. Corazon did beautifully. She loves playing with my friends daughters who are 9 & 10. The 10 year old is bossier than Corazon can be and the 9 year old adores Pollito and Corazon so it is a good combination of kids. It continues to be wonderful to see her when she can play so normally. The RAD stuff doesn't gear up much when she is with the girls and I so enjoy seeing her. The couple of times it appeared she seemed to get it right back under control after tapping and practicing patience (strong-sitting.) It truly warms my heart to see how happy and "normal" she can be.

It's hard for Tortuga because he wants to play with the girls and they are very accommodating BUT he cannot handle it too well so he gets carried away which leads to disruptive behaviors and "over-zealousness" which looks like aggression. Plus we are struggling with his "hatred" of both Pollito and Corazon. It galls him to see them having fun and it makes him mean, rude, and just plain unsafe. So we dealt with quite a bit of that. I finally got to the end of my patience with him so by the last evening there I declared that since he wouldn't listen to me I was done telling him what he could/couldn't do and thus C. was in charge of him. What that looks like is that she doesn't try to work with him to get him over difficult behaviors so she she puts him to bed early or makes him sit and read away from the others. He got quite a bit of that after I stopped dealing with him. By the time we got in the car to drive to Boston on Wednesday he was begging me to be in charge of him and promising to work harder to listen. :-) It didn't last longer than the 3 1/2 hour drive to Boston!

We arrived in Boston to a wonderful welcome in our old home. My dear friend lives there so we get to stay in the same place that the kids are familiar with the space. It is great for the kids to see their old rooms (and how they have changed). So far, they are doing really well. They each have commented on how happy they are to be here AND how much they prefer their new home. On Thursday we went strawberry picking but we decided to leave Tortuga with a sitter. He had sentences to write and his attitude was mean and disrespectful. We were going with a dear friend and her new baby and I just wanted the kids to have a good time. He was in a mood that just didn't seem to be conducive to having a good time.

C. & I took the three youngest. The day was overcast and it threatened to rain but we were committed to going and the kids were excited. The rain held off until just about the time we were finishing but we still had about a half mile walk back to the car. It poured just as we wrapped up so we got a little wet but we managed to laugh our way back to the car. The kids had a great time. Just about the time we were rushing back to the car it dawned on me how peaceful and pleasant our outing had been. The kids were cooperative, silly, helpful to one another and just seemed so relaxed and ready to enjoy the day. Milagro ate her way through the strawberry field and she is eating strawberries in every. single. picture. It made me so sad to realize how different it would have been if Tortuga had joined us in this excursion. Both C. & I realized how rarely we have these experiences and more importantly how rarely our kids have a chance to truly relax when we do things as a family. Both Pollito and Corazon pointed out that they wished Tortuga could have had fun too BUT they were glad he hadn't been with us. How do I create more of these opportunities that Tortuga cannot handle but that give the other kids a chance to be family kids who can enjoy one another and us without being as on edge as they clearly are whenever Tortuga is around? It makes me so very sad.

We are planning something really special for Saturday but I am not ready to share it yet. I will leave you with some pictures from our adventure pre-rain.


Lisa said...

Loved, loved, loved the pics!!!! Sorry the little guy missed it but so glad the others had such a great time.

ldw said...

Wonderful pics - looks like so much fun! I struggle with the same situation, as you know, and I don't have any answers either. I don't want to exclude him but if he can't be a positive addition to our outing, he shouldn't be able to join. In my case, he would NEVER get to join so how is that helpful?

Dia por Dia said...

Ldw, I feel the same way. I don't know what the answer is. I think we make too many choices to take him and "deal" or to stay home instead because it would be too hard. We sat him down in the a.m. and told him he wouldn't go and why. No judgment or punishment just simply said "we want to do something relaxing where no one is "hating" anyone and where no one needs to be reminded a dozen times to respect people and things. You haven't shown you can handle it, we know you try, but we aren't going to pressure you today. You can be sad and/or mad because we would be sad but if you act out then you will show us we need to leave you next time too." He was upset but held it together well.

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