Monday, June 21, 2010

I Can't Calm Down!

Taz has become more attuned to his behavior and body lately and more verbal about his feelings. It's wonderful in one way, because we can use this to teach him. But harder in some ways because it's heartbreaking to hear what he's going through. And I think I'm realizing just how much he can't control.

We are hearing a lot of I can'ts

"I can't calm down!"

"I can't stay away from Chica!"

"I can't be nice!"

His need to interfere with Chica all the time is becoming a compulsion driving him like an engine. If she does something wrong, he must interfere, despite the fact that we tell him over and over that it's our job to take care of Chica, not his. If she talks too loudly or yells or looks at him when he's mad or touches something of his, he must do something to her. Usually a hit or scratch or push but sometimes more.

I think I've described before how unsafe he can be with her. But this compulsion is just driving us all crazy! He tries to stop himself, I can see him try, but the itch usually gets the better of him. Which is why supervision is getting harder and more important than ever before.

Dh and I were just talking about how we basically are living out of laundry baskets because we never get time to fold clothes and put them away. Most moms can give their children an activity to entertain them for a short time. Or put a movie on. Or maybe allow them to help with the chore. But I can't. I absolutely can not do chores with the kids awake and no adult help.

I feel like my entire day is filled up with keeping the kids apart, being hyper-vigilant when their together, keeping activities going so Taz is entertained, playing outside, getting them drinks, getting them snacks, changing diapers, and maybe trying really hard to cook dinner. When Dh gets home the place is a disaster, the kids are usually cranky and hungry, and dinner is half cooked. Thank God he is a patient husband and good father.

Oh, and that he doesn't have some medieval view of gender roles.

Anyway, I sort of rambled here. But chores are a big issue. Taz doesn't even have the focus to clean up his own toys. I have to literally point to every single toy and tell him one at a time where to put it. And even then I still have to remind him of what he's doing when he gets distracted on the way to the toy basket. It's more exhausting than picking them up myself and takes 5 times as long! Chica, who's 3 years younger, does a better job.

Well, I never meant for this post to be about cleaning but I guess that's what's on my mind today :)


  1. Do you have access to a PCA in your state. I have PCA's for my boys (Asperger's and Bipolar), and it makes a big difference in getting chores done. They can help with some chores and otherwise, can be the hypervigilant one for a change so that you can do some housework. I know what you mean about being hypervigilant. I have been that way for years. I was so mad when a dr. at the phosp said that I was too vigilant when my kids were together (she watched me watch them play together in the hospital). I thought, "Well, if I wasn't hypervigilant, someone would surely die!" I am much calmer now. I have been working with Heather Forbes and Bryan Post on my parenting, and it has been an amazingly healing transformation for my family. All is far from perfect, but we're healing, nonetheless.

  2. Oh, I know exactly what you mean! I've often said that parenting Carter has been kind of like parenting a toddler for years and years - he requires that level of supervision constantly, and even more when he's acute.

    But Carter is our youngest, so that piece is even more challenging for you.

    I hear you, too, about him being able to verbalize more. I've been through that several times, and again yesterday when Carter, for the first time, opened up about his hallucinations. On the one hand, I'm relieved to have a greater understanding of what he's experiencing. On the other hand, OUCH!!!