A Mommy Blog About Raising Men, Not Boys.

Monday, March 16, 2015

What They Don't Want

It's really normal for kids to give you shit about things they don't want to do. For instance, my oldest child just had to be visited by me FIVE TIMES in order to get his butt out of bed. I predict that in about 30 minutes he'll whine about "WHY DIDN'T YOU GET ME UP EARLIER?" But during the five times it was whining mumbling about tired, tired, sleepy, can't get up, too tired, no no no no no....kind of like that. The last time I stood there like statue and refused to move until he actually STOOD UP. Even then, he argued that THIS time of sitting on the side of the bed was different that then last three times he'd done it. This time he WAS actually getting up. No really. No you don't have to stand there. GO AWAY MOM. 


When he was little, we attended a music class for toddlers and preschoolers called Music with Mar. It was wonderful and magical. Except he only liked the parts he liked and the other parts could go hang. The first six months of this class were punctuated by either joy or him being a total terror during the class, screaming and refusing to participate, screaming and crying because the thing he WANTED was ending (such as banging cymbals) etc. It was organized, it had a lesson, and he had to stay on track and he didn't want any part of that at 18 month or 2 years whichever it was. he was very little when we started. I was lucky to have a great teacher there, Miss Monica, who told me "they all do this at first." So I persevered. Honestly, sometimes I'd have to collect myself in the car before driving home because he'd be such a little terror in the class. By the time we moved away when he was four he loved it, all of it. He was a pro. 

Most of us go through those pains at "the right time", when they are toddlers. We teach our kids to push through learning pains, we teach them to keep going and be strong and eventually they learn that we're right just like our parents were right and once a thing is learned we all enjoy it (usually). The challenge we're facing right now is that for our special little guys, these kind of programs just don't much exist.

There are literally hundreds of various kinds of things we could do with them/for them if they were higher functioning. The ability to talk and by that I mean CONVERSE, to follow multistep instructions, to sit down and listen, those few skills would jet them into a different future and a different life. They could participate in camps, and theater groups and tons and tons of activities. There are social skills clubs, there are gatherings. 

For those on the severe end of the spectrum? Nope. 

There are some good reasons for that. It's hard, I mean, WHAT CAN THEY DO? They're all so different with different challenges and different needs that I can't imagine what you'd organize regularly that they'd all enjoy. 

What we've found is that there is a wing of our soccer organization locally that hosts a TOP SOCCER group and on Sundays those children with disabilities are welcome. Even us. There are lots of different kinds of disabled children there. Physically disabled, downs, various degrees of autism are there. We seem to be the most severe in that regard although I believe we have some sitting with us on that side it seems, they're just younger and it's harder to tell when they are younger. 

What happens is at first there are desirable activities, running with a parachute on etc, and those go well. They like those. But then we get to activities they don't want to do. And there is a world of difference between how a 10 year old reacts and how a 2 year old reacts when faced with an undesirable activity.

There is screaming. There is stomping. There is hair pulling. At one point Miles started bashing himself in the head. The hysteria winds up into full on Autism melt down.

I spend part of the time on the field, being positive and supportive and trying to get them to participate. Some stuff they do well "kick the ball". Some stuff like "let's run after the ball" they are like "FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK YOUUUUUUUUUUUU". They don't say that, but that's how I translate it. 

Yesterday I just walked off the field during the game and sat down. Miles followed me for a while, and at some point he walked back onto the field. He wasn't playing but standing around watching. Eventually we made them both go back out, but I stayed behind. I was remembered Louis when it was time to put up the cymbals, and the crying. Or the crying if someone else took the cymbals. The shaky egg was no substitute. The shaky egg was bullshit, everyone knows the cymbals are the only thing a two year old wants. 

My ten year olds want to run with the parachute and kick the ball once or twice and then be left alone. We'll keep going back, and I'll keep running on the field with them and being positive and encouraging. I won't let them give up. This might be the only activity they ever have and they need it, no matter how much it pisses them off.

We're not above bribing them with ice cream after. Pavlov was probably on to something.