Sunday 16 December 2012

Tolerance level

My tolerance levels are maxed out this weekend already and it's only Sunday morning.  I've already escaped for 90 minutes down to the shops for a quite cup of coffee and a read of a book.   Yesterday Daddy was at work and I just about lasted til he got home.

You may be forgiven for thinking it's all negative in this house because my blog is clearly quite negative at the moment.  So I shall say a few positive things because to be fair to Missy there have been some positive moments.   Dinner time on Friday evening was very positive; I can't remember why but she made me laugh out loud a couple of times.  (Oh dear, I can hear her downstairs having a tantrum, Daddy can sort this one out).  Sorry, back to the positives.  We were playing the Round of Applause game after dinner, giving each others rounds of applause for doing things like making tea, reading a book well etc.  At the end Missy said we should have a round of applause for being ourselves.  I like this.

I can actually deal with her tantrums, they don't last for long and I'm fairly ok at the therapeutic parenting thing (though by no means perfect!) to help her move from that tantrum state. It's the constant 'mummy, mummy', constant chatter, constant attention. I get why she's doing it but that doesn't make it any less draining for me.

I saw the play therapist on Wednesday and ran through a typical day and typical behaviour.  I said I thought Missy was emotionally 12 months behind.  The play therapist suggested we actually treat her even younger.  Some of the behaviour she displays is like a 3-4 year old and so we should treat her like a toddler.  Which is difficult since I don't actually know how to treat a toddler.  Anyway, Missy has started to play at pretending to be a pussycat, meowing (or on occasions screeching) around the house and copying what our cats do.  I wonder if this is because she sees our cats get loads of love?  But this gave me a good opportunity to be tactile with her by stroking 'pussycat'.  I've made a den too for her which she likes.

Back to the play therapist.  It was a useful consultation and we have a follow up in January which hopefully Daddy can attend too, and then this will be followed by play therapy sessions with Missy.  She could see from the info the SW gave her and from what I said that Missy is a very anxious child and so she gave us lots of suggestions such as visual agenda for each day, lots of rhythmic activities such as rocking and dancing, being tactile such as rubbing cream into hands, and when it calls for, parenting as if she were a toddler.  So, we'll see if this reduces her anxiety over the next month (although with Christmas and interrupted routine at school, I think it may be difficult).

(Tantrum over downstairs and now happily reading her school book with Daddy).  Two interesting things that happened yesterday though were that on two of the occasions when Missy had a tantrum, she actually came over to me for a hug.  Interesting and definitely a positive change.

We put the Christmas tree up on Friday.  I'm not sure if this is the first time she's helped decorate a tree but I suspect it might be.  I'm not big on the whole commercialism of Christmas so the tree is really the only decoration we have in the house, other than a patchwork Christmas tree on the wall that Daddy's Mum made, and a wreath on the front door.  Missy loved doing the tree and pointed out that the house was different. We explained it was still the same house, still the same place to feel safe, just with a couple of things she hadn't seen before.  Missy's SW came last week and she got Missy to draw pictures of the house and each room, with the emphasis on it being a safe place.  Her visit gave me a chance to have a quite cuppa and to read my book, but I was interested to see how Missy behaved in her presence and there were definitely a few times when she behaved much differently - less stubborn, less controlling.  So is it me that isn't parenting well, or is that she feels more comfortable about expressing herself if it's just me and Daddy around?

There is a lovely smell of cheesecake wafting upstairs.  Daddy makes a rather awesome one, with the help of Missy.  It's also lunchtime, cheese on toast as requested by the little person.

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