After a lovely night out with C.--hanging out with wonderful, new friends who gave us lessons on beer and tell the best stories (I haven't laughed that much in a long time), getting real life hugs (and kisses) for the first time from a beautiful toddler I've "known" (thanks to blogland) since she was born, and snuggling a wonderfully smelling 11 day old newborn--I am ready to tackle the challenges around here.
Corazon had the hardest time staying with a babysitter last night. She was up 3 times last night. I owe a big thank you to some folks who have shared some great advice for tackling her current behaviors.The nonsense chatter thing is more under control (not the random laughing--not real laughter) but I took some advice and am now doing the random fake laughter too. She. hates. it. She will run up to me and say "WHAT?!" I just say "what?" back and keep going. She isn't sure what to do about it but I think it might be having it's effect. I also started having her "narrate" my actions for me because one of the things she has started doing again is she follows my every move and if I am out of her sight line she has to follow me around. It wouldn't be so bad if she could get anything done but she can't because every one of my actions distracts her and she is hyper-focused on me. She isn't enjoying the narrating but in the week that I have been having her do it I am seeing a small decrease in this behavior so we will keep trying.
I got a great suggestion from RadMomInOhio that I have started this morning. I am thanking her for her concern that I am doing something wrong and giving her a hug each time she does it. So far, she likes what I am doing and I am getting a high-pitched "You ARE Welcome." I can tell she is enjoying it but I have a feeling it will get old. I shall see. We have had good success with having her recite a mantra that says "I am not the parent and I don't really want to be the parent so I need to learn to trust mom to parent me." That has reduced some of the problem in the past but this has come back with a vengeance and she is just so dysregulated so much of the time.
I did take Mama Drama's advice to heart (the part about the ibuprofen, Mike's Hard Lemonade, and shower) with a night out last night so today we are starting on another part of her advice. She suggested handing Corazon those Highl*ghts-type puzzles where you have to find something wrong because she is in the mood to find things that are wrong. I have printed up a whole bunch of those in addition to some paragraphs that need editing (we are studying this in homeschooling) and I have the stack right where I can easily reach it and hand her one after thanking her for correcting me. I am hoping the combination of these two strategies will break her out of this.
The rest of the kids are doing OK. We have gotten a short reprieve from Tortuga's behaviors (he always does "better" when Corazon is doing "worse." Pollito is still exhibiting some challenging behaviors but his attachment is getting stronger and he has very few nightmares these days. Milagro informed me that she is ready school and asked me to walk her to our neighbor's house so she could play with him "without" me because she is a big kid now and can go to "my friend's house by myself." Even though she is our youngest, I do believe she is close to being our most independent child!
My plans for the rest of the day are to enjoy this beautiful fall day (high temp only in the low 80's!) get outside with the kids and maybe start some Halloween planning.