Today I have just a little reminder that Mr. I has special needs too. Things have been going more or less smoothly. All I had to do was halve his age to get his emotional age and go from there. I just think of him as being younger, which helps when he has fears and behaviors that are more in line with a 6-8 year old, instead of a 12 year old. I'd worry about a 12 year old who can't go to a certain room of a house or is afraid of the dark if the curtains are slightly open, but it's understandable for a 6 year old to have those kind of fears. I don't get as frustrated, he is calmer, and all is well...
...Until we do something like "make" him and Ms. D go to a science night at Hubby's work. Today we did just that. We prepared him ahead of time, telling him a couple of days in advance the plans for this evening. He has gone to events at Stanford before, and seemed to enjoy some of them, especially the ones oriented towards children. I am thrilled to get an evening off and have them do a little science for their schoolwork. But this isn't what we normally do on a Wednesday night. And additionally, we are in the middle of spring break, kids coming to our house, our kids going to their friends' houses. Mr. I slept over night at a friends last night and the probable lack of sleep didn't help matters either. This combination of disrupted schedules, hyper stimulation, and a lack of sleep is not very good for a kid who is on the edge already because of past trauma and FASD.
So today Mr. I had a full on rage in the van while we went grocery shopping. He hasn't had one of these in ages! He started simmering this morning and didn't want to go anywhere with me. I did not trust him to be home alone in this state, so I had him come. I got the "look". Then when we were driving, Ms. D rode shotgun while Mr. I slouched in the back of the van, as far as he could get away from me and still be in a seatbelt. While I drive, the person in shotgun gets to pick the music. And Ms. D found Justin Bieber. Like many young teens, she really likes him. *Big sigh*. The problem was that Mr. I does not share the same taste in music. He does not like Justin Bieber. At all. So Mr. I yelled to shut the music off. Now! Did I shut the music off? No. So Mr. I escalated. He kicked. He punched the window. He screamed to the passing cars that I was kidnapping him. He did show some self control though. When he tore the headrest off the seat in front of him, he threw it at the back of my seat instead of my head. Progress!
Because of the rain, I needed to ignore the excitement and concentrate on driving. I smiled. Did you know that when you smile, your brain follows your facial muscles? Try it. A happy face can bring happy thoughts, well, most of the time. I asked Ms. D, "How am I doing?". She smiled and said good.
We left Mr. I in the car at the farm stand, but he pulled himself together and joined us. When we got home, I didn't mention the rage. He was a bit dysregulated, but not too bad. He couldn't decide what to eat. So I left him alone. After a little while he asked if I could sit down and watch "The Blind Side" with him. We ate popcorn and he fell asleep on my lap. Mr. I did much better. But just before the time to go with Hubby, the county called with information on a horse program. I am going to *make* the kids go to that too. They weren't happy about that. So we'll see how things go tonight. They'll probably have a lot of fun once they get their bearings and calm down.
Even if they don't have fun, I will. If I just enjoy how I handled Mr. I's rage today with peace and love, rather than with frustration and anger, it will be a good evening. But I think I'll get a few things done around the house, which will help me feel more at peace. Maybe I'll even crank up the music. I can't believe I'm the only one here! I'm riding shotgun in the house, God is in the driver's seat, and I can assure you, there will NOT be any Justin Bieber songs playing in here this evening!