Thursday, May 6, 2010

The things you do

I sometimes can't believe the things I do. I just spent the last 45 minutes greasing and straightening an American Girl doll's hair with a hot iron. The whole time I was praying for peace and patience, as it was the last thing I wanted to be doing.

I'm feeling a bit crabby. Sorry. But there is no school tomorrow, so I have a good reason. It is probably good that there is no school tomorrow since Akila has had such a hard week. The kids were watching a movie tonight, I had said they could stay up late since there was no school. That means 9:30. I know that is normal bedtime for many families, but not for us.

Anyway, I should have known better. 9:00 the raging started. It started as she wanted to watch some Dr. show on ABC called Private Practice. It is not appropriate for kids. So she escalated. I gave her a few other options, for things to watch, and I tried to get her to play mancala with me, or Uno or some other game. But she was raging. And, by the way, she wanted to make soft cookies. I said we could make cookies tomorrow, but that it was too late.

She raged more. Threw things, destroyed things, to the point where I had to restrain her, more than once. Eventually, I had her on my lap, she was very tense, and she was sobbing. She was stuck on that we need to make cookies. Then her obsession moved on to hair. I told her we would take her braids out tomorrow and straighten her hair. She raged more. More restraining. More destroying. More cursing. She eventually returned to just sobbing as I tried to rub her back and calm her tense little body down.

Her next idea, was that I could straighten her dolls hair. I said I would tomorrow after we finished her hair. She raged. She had been raging for so long, that I still had not been successful in getting her evening meds into her, which pushes bedtime later. So, I made a compromise. I said I would straighten her dolls hair and make it shiny if she would take her meds. She agreed. It still took her 8 minutes total to take her meds, as she carried on and on about ridiculous things.

So, I fired up the hot iron. Put grease in the American Girl doll's hair (which I have repeatedly told Akila is not good for dolls hair), and straightened it. It looks the same as before I started, but it is a bit shiny from the grease. She calmed down, was a happy camper, and went to bed OK (I think, she is falling asleep as I type- I pray!).

Do you think I wanted to straighten a dolls hair after 9:30 at night (or at anytime of the day for that matter)? Um, no!!! But I took this moment to connect with Akila. This is what the book The Connected Child has been talking a lot about, and I am giving it more of a try. Many people would have a hard time with this, and think that Akila just won a power struggle. I would agree with them if it was one of my neuro-typical kids. Akila's brain doesn't really work like that. Compromising is sometimes the only way to survive.

I also want to make it clear that I am not goofy enough to go out and buy a $100 doll for Akila to trash. I bought it at a garage sale for cheap!!! Good thing, as she gave it some horrid looking bangs last week, and now it is full of grease and her hair is half way fried. She is looking a little trashy.

Akila has been begging to paint my finger nails and I suppose I will keep that option in my back pocket. I hate finger nail polish on my fingers, I can tolerate it on the toes, but not my hands for some reason. So I am going to get some clear stuff and see if that will satisfy her need to do my nails. It would be a great connecting activity. Last Sunday, I spent an hour and a half playing Barbies with her. She does love it, to connect on that level. And I know that sometimes I get too caught up in "life" and getting things done that I don't interact with the kids enough, with all 4 of them. This is a new goal I am going to try to work on.


GB's Mom said...

Sounds like a great goal! keep us up on how it is going :)

Judy said...

Ohhhh I feel like we're old friends after reading your post! I can empathize with you, truly! Boo does the same thing (only not over dolls ;) ) He has the rages, we have the compromises and I do things for him, that I NEVER would for my other kiddos. There are different expectations for them. It's not fair, but it's our life. Our FASD kiddos just cannot turn the 'channel' in their brains. They get stuck. If it makes you feel any better, this morning Boo raged (pulled out all the drawers of his dresser, trashed his room and ripped ALL of the blankets and sheets off of our bed and his. Did I mention that I just put clean sheets on my bed last night? OY!) because a friend stopped by to see our new kittens and my older daughter brought them out for her to see before Boo could tell us that HE wanted to be the one to show her. This caused a (relatively short) 45 minute rage. Good times ;)
Anyway...all that to say, you're not alone!

the johnson crew said...

one of the first things i did with my girls when i came back from the conference was paint their pretty little nails... they are always asking and i am always "too busy" but it means the world to them... (i too don't like my finger nails painted, so i uses an opague white... you can't tell when it chips off.)

great job on straitening your dolly's hair, LOL! i want to see a picture.

i am praying for you all with no school today.

it was so good to see you last weekend. you are a dear friend to my heart. thanks for being my friend through our hard times.

blessings sister,


Beth said...

Oh, I needed this right now. My girl, 14, is only partial FAS, and our struggles are only a shadow of what you're coping with. We dealt with raging when she was little; now she can control herself, but the quickness to anger and resentment still lurks. And I've been feeling such a need to connect with her more - to love on her enough to overbalance the frequent need for correction. Can't wait to read the book! God bless you as you forge ahead with this high, high calling!

Miz Kizzle said...

Hair is a huge issue with girls, isn't it? Did you know there is an American Girl beauty salon at FAO Schwarz in NYC? I think you can even pack up your doll and send it to them to fix the hair if it gets wrecked. My daughter never liked American Girl dolls and endless accessories (she lavishes all her attention on her pony) but my nieces are crazy for it.

Rob said...

That seems terrible. She just wanted to make cookies and only because you said no she started destroying things. That is an awful behaviour. Then she will start Losing things and it will get worse. I know a bit about the condition she suffers from. You need to take action and get some therapy for her.