Been awhile so I thought I’d update everyone. We’ve been doing pretty well despite all being stuck in a hard situation. The introduction of the “Good Times” chart has all but eliminated the violence we were experiencing a few weeks ago. The “Good Time” chart is made up of three sections: Morning, Afternoon and Bedtime.
If Walter goes through the morning and afternoon without throwing things, hitting, biting or scratching then he gets a smiley face. Two smiley faces means an extra 20 minutes of pre-bed time play activities.
He used to draw the faces himself but he likes me to do it now. I’ve tried to represent our day with them and make them fun. He really likes them. He also drew the naked girl on Thursday and thought it was hysterical. I found it funnier than Dudette.
We’ve also been taking the I-Phone away. I gave him my old I-Phone. It’s in airplane mode so it’s just for games and a camera. No internet, calls or text. He loves it. He thinks it’s the coolest thing ever. I’ve taken that for two days twice now and the results have been good. My words carry a bit more weight now. The other thing Dudette and I have both started doing is avoiding confrontation at all costs. So if he won’t give us the ball/remote/phone/whatever instead of wrestling it away from him I calmly say, “you can keep it for now, but I will have it. The longer it takes me to get it the longer you’ll wait to get it back. It’s up to you now how long that is.” I’ve also mastered my father’s ability to drop my voice to the “I mean business, fuck with me if you dare level” and think the stink eye is coming along nicely. Most people dread sounding like their parents, I’m glad I got the lessons.
Walter told his therapist that when he gets mad he just goes in his room and tells himself to “take it easy.” I was very proud to hear the verbiage. Nice to know some of what I’m saying is sinking in.
Had a tough week as Walter’s parents missed the visit. He was quite distraught. We took him to Chuck E. Cheese but it was a band-aid on a bullet hole to the heart. He was good though bless his heart. Next day at the Aquarium wasn’t quite “fun.” Much like Disneyland he gets stimulated and then kind of a weird morose, passive aggressive, agitated mood comes over him. Then the next day he talks of yesterday as if it was magical. Dudette and I recall him being kind of a jerk and not letting us take pictures with him. It’s hard for him though and we are not mad and did not make a big deal out of it. I’m glad he remembers it as fun. Hopefully next time he’ll be more relaxed.
New school is great. He loves it. Goes early and wants to stay after school as late as he can. Homework is still touch and go but we are getting most of it done for now. The teacher won’t give me her email or phone number of course. I don’t want to hear teachers say parents aren’t involved. Whenever I try and establish communication I get stiff armed. I’ll abide for now, but we all know how this can go.