Sunday, March 9, 2008

Public Outings

Public outings are getting more difficult. After the bowling night two weeks ago, I am very apprehensive about going out to events. This past Thursday night, there was a rollerskating fundraiser for the school. It was also Michael's week to work late. Fortunately, our friend Angie was coming over to hang out with us for the evening. Angie emailed me over a week ago wondering if we might want her to come over on a regular basis and take Akila out for an evening. Let me think about it. NOT! I of course jumped at the idea knowing that Michael and I, and definitely the other 3 kids need a break more often from the chaos. Emily also happened to be home for the evening so Angie, Emily and myself brought the kids rollerskating. It went really well, Akila rollerskated the entire time. It got a little sticky when I said it was time to go, but nothing horrific. A year ago, I would have brought all four kids to an event like this by myself, but I don't think I can anymore.

Angie is going to come over every other week and spend time with Akila. I can't express how grateful I am for her. Emily has also been a great help and she has only been living here for one week. I am going to go through withdrawal when she moves out the beginning of June. Anyway, Friday night, Michael worked super late but we had a pretty good night. And then came Saturday. We had a potluck for the babysitting co-op we belong to, followed by tennis and then I was suppose to drop Imani off at a friends for a sleepover. I woke up to find out that Michael had to go into work for a few hours. He left just after 10 a.m. by which time Akila had had several rages over piddly things. I was quite seriously thinking of skipping the potluck but had RSVP'd for it and already made the salad. The potluck was at a church with a gym for the kids to play in and I thought this might work out so they could run around.

It was all going pretty well, we were jumping rope, playing basketball, running around. Only two other families showed up (there are about 15 total); poor advertising. Anyway, after we ate, the kids were playing in the gym and Imani has been doing some gymnastic flips. A girl reportedly wanted Imani to do another flip and Imani got shy and didn't want to. Akila freaked out and chased Imani down who came running to me for protection. I sat with Akila in the hallway explaining that if Imani didn't want to do a flip, that was her choice. She was hyper focused on wanting Imani to do a flip. It went downhill from there. Hitting, kicking, name calling. She could not get calmed down. Thankfully (I think), nobody saw our meltdown in the hallway. It was quite the scene. She was pulling all the coats off of the coat rack. Kicking boots, bags, and just generally losing it. I went into the food room, packed up our stuff, got the kids ready, and we left.

She was going ballistic in the car. Kicking my seat as I was driving, reaching over and trying to hit me (we have a minivan and she sits directly behind me, I may have to rethink this; maybe the roof?). I have a friend who has a spirited child and she told me a few months ago that when her daughter is acting up in the car, she pulls over, takes her out of the van and has her sit on the curb until she settles down. I tried this a few weeks ago and it kind of worked. I tried it again yesterday. It kind of worked again, but I don't think I will be able to do it much longer. I could see her looking around and thinking about running. That's all I need. To have to chase her down while the van is running with my other three kids.

At this point, there was no way I wanted to attempt tennis, which she was fuming that she was not going to do. We dropped off Imani and came home. The rest of the afternoon was full of ridiculous rages. At one point, she was with Jesse (Emily's fiance) in the dining room coloring. Zeke came in to color also. She went nuts as she usually hates it when one of the other kids enters a room she is in (we need a bigger house). I went in to try to help but she was getting quite upset. I was going to have Zeke go into a different room to color (sometimes, it just isn't worth the fight, especially on a day like yesterday) so we were grabbing a baggie with some markers for him. Akila started to freak out because the bag had 2 yellow markers in it. Now understand, she has a huge tub full of markers she is using with plenty of yellow markers. But I take out the additional yellow marker (this drives me nuts, I feel like I am giving in to every stupid little thing, but sometimes, I will do things I normally wouldn't to avoid a rage), and this of course isn't enough. She now seems to think that the bag of markers is hers that I am trying to have Zeke use. So I grab 5 different colored markers out of the tub for him and this of course isn't going to fly with her either. Poor Zeke; what a ridiculous situation to have to watch.

I finally have had it and she goes into a full fledged rage. Hitting, kicking and the whole thing. I tell her to go up to her room to take a break for 2 minutes and she refuses. I drag her upstairs. She comes right back down. Raging because I have turned on the timer and she doesn't want it on. I turn it off, tell her to go back up and I will let her know when the time is up. It probably took close to 30 minutes for her to take her time out.

And so went the entire day. She raged over ridiculous little things. During her anger, she always says that people bug her and make her so angry. It is our fault for making her angry. She kept asking why "I was trying to make her angry". I asked her if it really felt like I was "trying" to make her angry, she said yes. I told her that I never try to make her angry, but that she just gets angry over too many things. This only made her more angry. I must stop trying to make her angry.

This morning has been a rough start as well. Oh well, we had a pretty good week last week. Another one will come again soon.


debbie said...

your daughter sounds so much like mine. mine is a little younger, but between her and my son, there are very few places i can go on my own. if i basically run, i can do the grocery store, but i end up spending too much on extras just to get them through it. we can go to a movie as long as i am o.k. with leaving half way through. which i do willingly as i am exhausted by then. does it ever get any easier? every year we become more and more isolated, but they are so much happier and calmer if we just stay home.

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