Saturday, May 11, 2013

Four Going on Fourteen.

Not an uncommon phenomenon, apparently.

No matter how much I want to bang my head into the wall, no matter how wonderful the "terrible" twos were (I'm serious! The worst part of two was having to repeatedly explain why we don't dance on the dining room table.), no matter how strange three was... Four has been hell. Absolute hell.

Now, some of this was mitigated by finding a provider that would listen to me. This netted us a diagnosis of Sensory Processing Disorder / Sensory Seeking Behaviors.  We incorporated some additional sensory experiences into our days, and things got better - at least, from a physical standpoint.

But the mental... oh, the mental. This morning, I woke up at 6:30 when Monkey came to lay down in my bed with me. Naked. I'm not sure why he was naked, but it was 6:30 in the morning, and I didn't much care. By the time 7:00 rolled around, it was clear he wasn't going to go back to sleep. So, he played with cars in the bed so I could, theoretically, get some more sleep. Then the whining began. "Mommy, I wanna watch something on TV!" When I declined the whining for Mario Brothers, he sulked for a few minutes, then stood up and jumped, deliberately driving both knees into my sternum. This was punishment for making him "very disappointed" in me.  He got sent to his room, I got to try to breathe again. After half an hour of making sure nothing was broken, calming my temper, and trying to decide through sleep-fog how to handle this mess, I got out of bed and went to his room.

Monkey wasn't in his room. He was, in fact, in the living room, where he had decided "screw this, I'm playing Minecraft."  He was sent back to his room, and The Drama Llama stampeded into town. He was hysterical. Sobbing. Completely fell apart at the seams. I held my ground, because really, when I say "go to your room" after someone nearly breaks my ribs, I don't mean "go reward yourself with a game of Minecraft, good job." So, up to his room he went. Still naked as a jaybird.

I actually got dressed (you see, I wanted to handle things ASAP, so I was still in pajamas!), then followed the shrieking sobs to Monkey's room, where he was curled up in a chair, sobbing under his monkey blanket. Naturally, I feel like the meanest mom ever, but my chest was still sore, so I knew I wasn't quite that mean. I'd intended to have a discussion with him about why he got sent to his room, but there's no discussing things with someone that far gone. So, I told him he could come out when he felt he was ready, and I would talk to him in the living room.

He came down with me, sobbing about being hungry, and wanting to play more Minecraft. When he was told I'd get him something to eat, but No More Minecraft, the sobbing began again, now with bonus shrieking. We got downstairs, and I got him some cereal. It was still before 9:00 am at this point. I bring out cereal, and ask him to pick out some clothes from the pile of just-done laundry. He sobs that he doesn't NEED clothes, he needs covers to keep him warm. Discuss clothes as portable covers, and get him dressed, then under a blanket on the couch. Hand over the cereal, and we have more sobbing because he doesn't want cereal, he wants hamburgers. I now finally get both food and drink and his melatonin into him, and he sits to chill out.

All this in my first hours of the day.  And it wasn't over yet. Still to come was more whining, more sobbing, and more accusatory "you did that on purpose!" shouting. All over whether or not he will be playing Minecraft and/or watching television. Needless to say, I was sitting at the edge of hucking the television out the door to see it smash on the sidewalk... until I remembered I have both Star Trek:The Next Generation and Supernatural to watch, and I really would be pissed if I'd smashed the television before I could.

Apparently, this is not an uncommon thing for parents of gifted kids. This is, in fact, likely part and parcel of the whole gifted package. When your child is mentally 8, physically 4, and emotionally 2, strife is incredibly likely. He wants the independence afforded to a child his mental age, but he is physically unable to handle the prerequisites - things like turning on lights - and emotionally unable to cope when he can't have whatever it is he feels he should. Essentially, it really is much akin to the teenage years - come early.

Now, with Monkey being "only" four, I obviously don't have all the answers. All I can do is hang on and hope that those that went before are right - this too shall pass, and what we do now matters. It will make a difference, and the teenage years won't seem as bad as the neurotypical child's teenage years. By the time my gifted child gets to his teen years, meltdowns, hormonal fluctuations, frustration, sobbing, anger and general Drama Llamas Enter To The Left will be old hat around here. So maybe, just maybe, this is simply preparation for the future, and we'll find the teen years to be easier for it.

Hey, whatever keeps me going through the day... including the Orange Cream Swirl I have waiting for me this evening courtesy of Mr Seagram.