Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Reaction

I had forgotten how bad M's reactions used to be.

Sometimes, when M is being frustrating, Whim and I will start asking each other, "Is this a reaction?"

This morning is my reminder.  No.  Or maybe.  I don't know.  I'm starting to think M has two kinds of reactions: one that makes it hard for him to have self control and one that makes him emotional.  Anyway.  Today was the emotional kind, and it is definitely the worse of the two.

M was in full meltdown from almost the moment he walked through our bedroom door this morning.  He was bawling because L woke up.  That's it.  Normally M wakes up before L, and it didn't seem "right" to him that L had woken up just as he did.  He was overcome with frustration, sadness, and anger.  All at once.  This is the kind of thing that we used to have to deal with every single day. 

I thought he had pulled it together by the time we went downstairs, but the next meltdown started as I was mixing up the pancakes.  This time because L sat in 'his' chair.  Again I was reminded how hard it was to do anything at all when M was like this constantly.  Today his reaction put L on edge and I was dealing with two crying, freaked-out kids.  Needless to say,  I didn't finish the pancakes.

I turned around and made magic chocolate on the spot, and man, that stuff works.  No more meltdowns for the rest of the day.  He wasn't perfect, but he never is.  He was back to normal.

I'm sure some reader may see this and think that all M needs is discipline, boundaries, a spanking, or whatever.  But the thing is, M responds normally to discipline and reason when he is on a clean diet.  He is completely beyond both when he is having a reaction.  No man or method can reach him.  Seeing him at a low point today helped me see how far he has come, and I am grateful.

So the culprit?   I don't know.  He had a few things yesterday that were different than normal.

Yesterday he had Annie's Organic fruitsnacks in his stocking, but that was first thing in the morning and they are Feingold approved.  Seems unlikely.

Then there was the birthday cake, which was right before bed.  Arrowhead Mills yellow cake mix and Allowrie butter in the icing.  I'm almost sure the cake mix was approved, too, and it definitely read clean.  Not sure.

So that leaves the butter, and it is the most suspicious.  Isn't butter supposed to be creamy white?  The label said "Pure" but what does that mean, really?  It's bright yellow, and the ingredients on the package don't add up to 100%.  I haven't had any luck finding any info online, but there is an address I can write to.  Until then, no more cake.

And the pancakes?  I gave up and poured them in a muffin tin.  They weren't the most delicious breakfast I've ever made, but they were good with maple syrup.  And no butter!





14 comments:

  1. That is so great you guys have come so far! I can't even imagine how frustrating that would be to deal with every day.

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    1. Yeah, no kidding. Between that and Lennon's seizures, it's lucky I didn't end up in the nuthouse.

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  2. You're absolutely right - you HAVE come a long way and you should be proud. Anyone who reads this and concludes they need discipline should go back and read everything from the beginning.

    On an entirely unrelated note, we're really going to Bangkok. Hopefully we'll be there on Wednesday :D

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    1. Thanks Xae. And how cool! Where are you going to stay? (Email me if you dont want to tell the whole internet world) :) And how long will you be here?

      We should be sure to at least meet up for a meal or something. :)

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  3. Gosh, that is just so scary. And must be so hard to deal with all the time. Thinking of you!

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    1. Thank goodness we don't really deal with reactions like these anymore. Yesterday was a rare look at the past, one I am not sad to see gone.

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  4. This post makes me want to go back to the beginnng and read everything :) I am not an advocate of discipline and spanking anyways so you won't hear that from me! I am more of a understanding the childs "needs" behind the behavior,modeling and natural parenting methods.

    However I can relate to this post as my now 14 year old son has always had to have "routines" that he sets for himeself and when those routines get "broken" by a change you are gauranteed a meltdown. Yup, even now although it has improved since he was small it is still there.

    I am glad to hear you have come a long ways because it is not easy and you should be really proud of how far you have come!

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  5. Thank you for your support! :) I think some of us are more likely to stick with a routine and feel uncomfortable when it is broken. But he is much more flexible when his diet has stayed clean.

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  6. I understand what you mean. We don't have dietary issues in our family, but we do have Asperger's, and your description of meltdown is very familiar. You're right: It's not about discipline at all. When it's about discipline, it means that the child is capable of choosing different behavior. At a certain point (we've learned) there is no choice involved. It just has to run its course. Please don't doubt yourself.

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    1. Thank you, Rita. I wonder about aspergers, sometimes, when Miles melts down like that. I feel like some of the traits fit him, like being stuck in routines, playing/quoting movies instead of playing imaginary games, and sensory stuff. But he is very loving and connected with us, no problem with eye contact or empathy, so that makes me think it must not be. For now, it's just his quirks. Maybe we'll understand better when he's older.

      Anyway thank you for your encouragement. It's so nice to hear from others who understand.:)

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  7. {Kathy} It sounds like quite a revelation that you had yesterday. Kudos to you for getting him back on track!

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    1. Thanks, Kathy. I hate the reactions, but it was nice to see a reminder of how far he's come.

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  8. This is all so familiar. I liked the comment "When it's about discipline, it means that the child is capable of choosing different behavior. At a certain point (we've learned) there is no choice involved." <---I'll try to remember this when I'm doubting myself as I attempt to appease the (monster) child and just untangle us from the situation.

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    1. I think hard moments of parenting are one of the most unifying experiences... When we don't pretend like it's all easy, when we talk with other parents about the worst stuff, other people's stories start coming out and we don't feel so alone.

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