The Puzzling Grumpy Kid

by beagooddad on November 13, 2009

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Geetle and I find ourselves arguing all the time these days. It’s strange. Pookie and I just got out of that phase and Giggles is just getting into her Terrible Twos Tantrum phase. When Geetle and I argue it gets pretty bad sometimes. She is a much better confrontation seeker than I am.

I’m not sure where all of the issues are coming from but I do know that one of them is her trying to understand why Pookie gets treated differently than her. Sometimes we are stricter with him, sometimes more lenient. She only notices the more lenient and she is starting to very directly let us know about it.

I also know that while her and BAGM have their moments, her fights with me are much stronger. I’m sure it has a lot to do with the different ways that BAGM and I handle things.

So while the battle will probably continue off and on just like they do with most independent seeking, vocally gifted kids, I decided to take some action. I need to have moments where her and I are just sitting around chilling and happy. And I need it to be little moments instead of constantly needing to think I need to do big things to have any good moments with her.

I would like to point out that she and I have a lot of great moments, too. But we do seem to be fighting more often between those moments.

So, while Christmas shopping for the kids the other day, I added this Disney 8-in-1 Multipack Puzzle to the cart. It has 4 100 piece puzzles, 2 300 piece puzzles and 2 500 piece puzzles. We did the Jack Sparrow 100 piece puzzle earlier this week and had about a half hour of nice, quiet, working together fun.

Since the bigger puzzles will probably need multiple sessions to complete, I bought a puzzle storage mat. I used to have this exact mat but ended up selling it in a garage sale one year. So, now I have a new one arriving next week from Amazon.

I’m hoping that we get into the habit of working on the puzzles once or twice a week. I’m also hoping that these quiet positive moments will help reduce the loud bad moments. Part of the fighting has to do with her wanting attention and realizing how easy it is to get some kind of attention when you pick a fight.

As for the issue about her knowing there is a difference between herself and Pookie, we have started talking to her about it over the last couple months. I know she doesn’t understand what it really means but she’s 6. I’m 34 and often don’t fully understand what it means. Our goal is to get her to understand it enough that she continues to look for ways to play with Pookie (which she is very good at) but understands why we sometimes respond to Pookie differently. Why we sometimes give him more attention (and why we sometimes give him less).

I was working on increasing my Amazon order enough to get free shipping and decided to pull the trigger on a couple books I had been thinking about for a while. Since We’re Friends: An Autism Picture Book and The Autism Acceptance Book: Being a Friend to Someone With Autism.

I’m not even sure if we will ever let Geetle see them. We have to read them first to see how appropriate they are for her and the situation we are all in right now. But, I think they could provide good opportunities for us to continue discussing what autism is and what it means for both Pooke and for her.

photo credit: comedy_nose

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