Pookie has been going through some new stimming stuff. Most of it involves echoing lines from his new favorite movie, “Marley & Me.” And he frequently echos just one or two words like “Marley” or “Oh, God” over and over again while laughing and having a great time for minutes on end. Seriously, like 15-20 minutes once in a while.
Sometimes I need him to do stuff like clean up toys or put on shoes or brush his teeth.
Sometimes those two conflict and the task ends up taking forever if I can even get him to get around to it.
This happens once or twice on most days. Sometimes five or ten on others.
Sometimes I end up getting crabby and irritable and can’t manage to talk to him without having a mean edge in my voice that sometimes I lamely justify as needing to get his attention.
And sometimes I just have to sit down and not say anything because I’m just about to yell.
When all of that happens, I’ve just done my least favorite thing about parenting.
It happened during dinner at a restaurant the other night. BAGM saw it and switched seats with me.
She actually started to get frustrated for a little bit, too, but I think she was just worrying that I was mad at him or something like that.
I realized and explained that I’m not mad at him for what he’s doing. I’m mad at myself for not knowing how to help him stop without needing to raise my voice at him. I have a basic barometer that I use with Pookie. If I’m raising my voice and he’s not about to do something like walk into the street and get hit by a car, I’m screwing up. It never once has helped me with him and it almost always makes the situation worse.
I have to get better at finding ways to redirect him or join him during these moments. Those are really the only options available and sometimes I just can’t do that which makes me feel crummy for a while.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, fortunately Pookie is very good at forgiving me and still telling me he loves me before bed each night.