Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Sometimes I need a kick in the head

You know how some things are obvious, but only after you've suffered? Like when you're driving along, trying to scope out the interior decor of the homes you pass, and all of a sudden your car makes a scary bang- and- shatter type of sound. I don't know about other people, but personally I keep driving and hope it won't make a difference. I should probably check it out, pull over and call for help, but I don't. I keep going and hope it doesn't catch fire. Then some important and expensive engine part falls out.

For years, as long as we've known her, Genea has been a terror at restaurants. When she was little, we could smile and snort and pass it off as normal kid-whack-a- doodle- ness. If we went to a loud chain restaurant her funk blended in with the background. But now she's ten, and she is a big ten. Failure-to- Thrive be damned, the kid caught up and there is no chance of mistaking her for a younger child anymore.

It's much like dining with a petulant 3 year old. She shoves her way through to the table. She sits, slamming the seat back, jolting the table. Grabs my napkin roll- her own immediately in front of her- and unrolls it from the air. Two forks and a knife clang down on the table. Snatches the little cup of crayons and hordes it to herself. Finally shares with her sister, "accidentally" dumping them so they roll off different directions. Scribbles on the paper, and the table. It's amazing how noisy this can be. Kicking me. Discovers her chair squeaks and rocks it back and forth. Bumps the table every time. Reaches for her water and knocks over the salt. Kicks some more. Elbows clunk down. Pretending to choke on her water. Now taking the ice out of her water. Drops ice on her lap. Jumps up, screeches, chair hurled back in to the wall with a bang,  the table jolts 2 full inches. Talking non-stop. Nonsense, interrupting, instigating with comments. We've not yet ordered.

I hope it goes without saying that we tried all the usual methods time out blah blah blah, walk to the car blah blah blah. Redirect, direct, yell, etc. Mostly the solution seemed to be to stay home and eat.

Years of this. Years.

So a week ago The Husband decides he wants to go out to eat. I'm not one to ever turn such a thing down, so I agree. Then I begin the dread- session. Sigh. Ugh. I hope she can behave. Blegh. She was such a turd last time. Ugh. I don't want to do this. I don't want to make dinner either. Argh, this is a bad idea.

It occurs to me finally (finally!), to just ask her about it. I have her come sit in the bathroom with me while I get ready to go. I bring up all the above listed behaviors and ask her what would help her feel more secure at a restaurant so she could relax. She immediately had an idea. Sit on the inside, she tells me. Sit on the inside in a booth.

Huh. I hadn't even thought of that. It sure seemed like such a big, pervasive issue should require months of therapy. Hand signals at the table, maybe a carrier pigeon to relay messages between us. Some hypnosis or maybe biofeedback. Something complicated that would take a long time.

So we sat her on the inside of a booth and she was fine. 

Evidently, sitting on the outside makes her feel nervous and insecure. All those people going by and she can't control any of them and what they might do. I'm guessing there is an abandonment thread in there someplace, possibly being snatched by a stranger? All I know is sitting in a booth and giving her the inside against the wall was the big secret and our dinner was great.

All this time and I could have just asked her about it.





18 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. cool! Let me know how it goes if you get a chance!

      Delete
  2. Wowie - just TALK to them! Who would have thought!

    That's a lot easier than admitting you've broken some important car part, though.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. heh heh, one time I was at a stoplight and heard a shattering sound- knew that would not be good. It was my side view mirror. Weird though, because the car was stopped!

      Delete
  3. Honestly just talking to her seems way too easy. I can see why you wouldn't have thought of it (not being sarcastic at all!!). With kids who we spend months in therapy for the tiniest breakthrough it is amazing that she knew the answer just like that ! Woohoo!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I KNOW! I was so sure it was related to food issues, and we were covering that in therapy so.... ? Lesson number 1: never think I know what I am doing, lol!

      Delete
  4. I wish I could ask Noah why he behaves like a turd when we are out. He has almost no insight into his behaviors. Most of the time we let him play Minecraft on his Kindle and just let him ignore us, which is far better than the obnoxious behaviors he does without it.

    Yay for asking her and getting an answer!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I did not know you could get MC on kindle- aha! Yep, we let the kids play their DS games sometimes. I figure if people give us the ugly eye, they don't know what they are judging.

      Delete
  5. How GREAT is it that she knew what she needed and could tell you? SO GREAT!

    We have a newly-tall ten-year-old, too. It makes it much harder than when she was itty bitty.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Right? It was a shock that she had the idea right there!
      Is Pixie sprouting? She is such a cutie :)

      Delete
  6. We have the same issues here. When we found out our FASD had a processing disorder it made complete sense. For her it was her processing disorder and OCD kicking in and she does not like being in busy restaurants and her behavior will reflect that. We have had some out and out fits too, especially when we went to Red Robin. We can't sit in a booth even though she really wants it too, because unless it's a half booth my husband can't fit. So we have been getting half booths lately because she has asked to sit there, and now I am finally connecting the dots as to why. I will need to tell my husband about this but it makes perfect sense. She asks for a booth every time. Wow. Thanks for posting that post, it really hammered home to me about the behaviors and where we sit.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. awesome! I love finding pieces of the puzzle- especially if it results in "peace" ha ha. Let me know how it turns out, I'd love to hear!

      Delete
  7. You're so lucky she can articulate the source of her discomfort and come up with a solution. Truly amazing. We are so far from that it's not funny.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It really was amazing and unexpected that she would know like that!

      Delete
  8. Wow. What a simple solution. Aren't you glad you asked? Sometimes the simplest communication turns out to be the best. I'm happy you figured it out.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hi - I just started reading your blog (came from BG's momma's blog). You know, I have always requested booths for our family, but more for containment. I see now there is also reassurance for ds, which relaxes his fight or flight behavior. Very interesting, thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  10. containment is smart! I had not really thought about it either way, I'd just take whatever the hostess gave us. Not anymore!

    ReplyDelete

I love comments! If you agree or disagree, comment away! However if you are a butthead about it, you may be excised.

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...