What We Ate:
- Pumpkin Mini Donuts
- Egg and Cheddar Quesadilla
- Annie’s Mac n Cheese
This morning I made breakfast quesadillas with some tortillas I thought would be great for the “wheat” challenge. Turns out after I let the kids start eating them I re-read the package and noticed they had corn starch and soy lecithin in then. Oh well. It didn’t seem to affect their behavior in any way so I guess it didn’t matter.
I found Annie’s Mac n Cheese only has wheat and milk in to so we could have some for lunch!
Our day went from bad to worse and when dinner came around all the kids wanted was cheese. Earlier in the week, I had asked my pediatrician if there was a limit to how much cheese they could eat in one sitting and he said as long as it doesn’t cause other issues he didn’t think it was a problem. So they just ate an 8oz block of cheese for dinner…and maybe some raisins? I picked up sushi for myself.
Mr Rockstar didn’t take a nap yesterday. We knew as he came off his mediation the nap would disappear. Finally not only did the nap disappear but we were able to get him to bed by 7:30PM. I need either the early bedtime or the nap to keep my sanity so when the nap is spotty and the bedtime late I start losing my mind. Thankfully all the kids slept until 6:20AM with no night time wakings! Sadly, Mr Rockstar was still in a foul mood this morning even with all the sleep. I had decided yesterday I needed to reinstitute our reward system. So today I pulled out Mystery Motivator.
The behavioral counselor we see suggested we try Mystery Motivator 9 months ago. We did it for a few months but then it died over the summer. Essentially at the end of the day you review their behavior. If they get 1 or more sad faces then they don’t get a chance for a prize. If they get no sad faces (only so-so, happy face, and stars) then they can look in a cup and see if they have three matching color m&ms (I will probably switch this to raisins and nuts?!?). If the m&ms match then they get to have whatever is in the grab bag. If they don’t match then “Oh pickles! Maybe they will match tomorrow”. When you first start out the m&m’s always match but you make a big deal about the fact that they might not match, and if they don’t match and teach them an appropriate response such as “Oh pickles. Maybe they will match tomorrow”. This way you are setting this system up to wean them off it once you consistently have good days. You track each day whether they earned mystery motivator or not and when you see a pattern (for instance Fridays are always good) you might have that be a day when the m&m’s don’t match. Slowly you work it so more and more days have unmatched m&m’s. In the grab bag we usually have a small piece of candy (I need to think of something else to be a treat?), a small toy, or money. I figure $1 a day to save my sanity is totally worth it. As the day progresses you can remind them of the mystery motivator. You can cue them with “This behavior is so-so. You need to improve or you might get sad face.” or “That was star work! Good listening!” Today it did seem to get Mr Rockstar’s attention. I decided I could actually mark the chart every couple hours so he could see where he stood for the day so far. We had one major time-out with some aggression (he tried to pull over a bookshelf full of toys because he was mad) first thing in the morning. I said he was having sad-face behavior and he needed to adjust his attitude. He said he didn’t know how so we talked about some things he could do. He finally decided to pray to ask God to help him control himself and have a better day.
The other incentive system I re-instituted today was “Train time”. As Mr Rockstar does his school work he gets a train stamp. Depending on how many stamps he gets that is how much cartoon time he can have for the day. If he only does some of his work he will end up with 10-20 minutes and he hates only being able to watch half of his cartoon before I turn it off. I equate each stamp to 10min of iPad time. Once we are done with the school day I set the timer for how many minutes he earned and he has learned there is no behavior that will get him more time so he is usually ok when I turn it off. I try to limit electronic/tv time to only what he earns from doing his school work since this is such a huge “currency” with Mr Rockstar. The hard thing about this system is of course he gets the most cartoon time on his good days and on his bad days I can’t use cartoons to save my sanity. The weekends are the only time he gets some unearned iPad time just so we can have a more relaxed weekend.
Today both incentive systems seemed to help, at least he did his school work with a much better attitude. Sadly as the day went on he got worse and worse. At soccer practice he kept leaving his team and wandering off and then laster he was spitting in the other kids faces. After dinner we reviewed mystery motivator and I told him unfortunately he got a couple sad faces. He got so mad at this he picked up one of the kitchen chairs and rammed it as hard as he could int one of the newly painted kitchen cabinets before I could stop him. I picked him up and took him to the laundry room for a time out. He punched me so I said “So sad you chose door closed” and closed the laundry room door at which point he started to throw anything he could find at the laundry room door. Sigh. At this point I lost it. I am not a screamer. I raise my voice at the kids maybe twice a year. Usually Mr Rockstar just laughs when I do anyway so whats the point? I told him I wasn’t putting up with his crap or abuse any longer I was just going to run away because I was not going to stick around for it. At which point I went out the front door, had a little pity party, pulled myself back together and came back inside. Mr Rockstar was a little worried and calmed down some. Life is just so hard.
Somedays I just can’t breathe. The last couple days it has been building up and today my chest was just so tight. Life just gets so overwhelming it becomes impossible to take a deep breath. When Mr Rockstar is this crazy I don’t feel comfortable leaving him with anyone but that also means I never get a break. I always have to be “on” never knowing what crazy thing he will do next. I’m really hoping we are at a tipping point where things will start getting better even if only for a little while.