Saturday, March 29, 2008

My son still has potty training issues - probably due to his ASD. When he goes poop he usually asks me to wipe him because he "takes a long time to wipe up." Tonight as I was cleaning his bottom (nice conversation topic isn't this?) he told me that when I'm home he likes me to wipe his bottom because I can do it quick and get him clean the first time. But when his daddy is home and not me then he doesn't ask daddy to help (because he won't) and it takes Deklan a long time to wipe up. I told him that when he goes to Uncle's house he'll have to wipe himself there too because Uncle and Aunt have potty training issues as well. :) (Actually Aunt and Uncle haven't let Deklan sleep over because of the potty training issues. Sometimes Deklan has accidents - not usually, but sometimes - and Deklan has to wear pull-ups at night because he wets the bed. My brother, aka Uncle, doesn't know if he and Aunt can handle the "diaper thing". Of course what they don't understand is that Deklan handles his own "diaper thing" and throws the wet pull-up away and puts on big boy pants in the mornings - all by himself.) Anyway, Deklan said that cleaning himself up at Uncle's would be ok because "I use a lot of toilet paper and I know that Uncle has more money than us and can afford toilet paper more than we can."

Of course I'm not sure that Uncle and Aunt can handle the tantrum thing either. When Deklan has a melt down it can last anywhere from 5 minutes to 1 1/2 hours or longer - depends on the reason for the melt down and who is dealing with it at the time. The melt down usually doesn't last as long if mommy is dealing with Deklan. Could last forever if it were up to daddy. That may not be completely fair, but not completely inaccurate either. I don't always want to give in or baby Deklan but I do want to understand what the reason for the melt down may be. My husband, on the other hand, would love to shut any child - including the sisters - in their room until the fit is over. He doesn't understand that with Deklan, shutting him in his room is just shutting him out. The sisters can be sent to their room if they seem to be throwing a fit and 5-10 minutes later they'll come and apologize and it's over (unless they end up grounded - but that's another story). When Deklan throws a fit then, I believe, that he feels he can't quit until the issue is resolved. It doesn't matter if it's putting on a shirt (the right shirt of course) or if it's going to bed when he doesn't think he's ready (getting a drink, going potty, every other excuse he can think of that lasts FOREVER!). The other day, for example, Deklan did have an accident. It was about 6:30 p.m. After helping to get Deklan cleaned up, I gave him the choice to either put on a pull-up (since bedtime is at 8:30 anyway) or big boy underwear because he wanted to go back outside to play. Since he couldn't decide, and he wouldn't let me help him, he laid in the floor and screamed for nearly 35 minutes. I couldn't take it anymore so I went in to try to help again. This time he let me help with the clothes but had a problem with the shoes I gave him to wear. Another 10 minute fit. I think he finally got to go outside for about 5, maybe 10, minutes before coming back inside. Daddy's opinion was we should completely ignore the whole thing and put Deklan to bed. Maybe he's right and Deklan's just throwing a temper tantrum but I don't think ignoring it is the solution. And, if it's just a fit, then why can't he be consoled or punished to stop the screaming. The girls can be consoled or sent to their room as punishment and the tantrum stops; the girls get distracted - not Deklan. Maybe I'm just babbling. It's so frustrating and very hard to explain.

Bedtime is normally the worst time of the day for us. We can start letting Deklan know an hour before bed that it's "almost time for bed." And then every 15 minutes there after - including letting him know when to put on his pull-up so he's ready. The only way we can get him to go to sleep is to go to mommy's bed. [Sidebar here: My husband and I have separate beds due to our sleep habits - I rarely sleep at night (toss and turn maybe, but not sleep) and when I do fall asleep I'm awake 5 times a night to go to the bathroom! (And I'm only 33!) Anyway, since my husband has to get up and go to work I prefer different mattresses so that I don't disturb him. Sounds weird but it works for us. This way we have "visits" when desired but we don't have to feel the bed move every time the other of us tosses and turns.] Then he wants mommy to tuck him in, which usually is fine. Then he wants me to fold his blankies, or not fold them if they are already folded; next is praying with him; then he may decide that his tummy hurts or he needs a drink; he may decide he needs his beans heated up (you know the bags of beans or corn that you heat and they stay warm for hours); or... Sometimes it just doesn't stop. My limit is going back in the bedroom 1 time. After that, either he gets ignored until I can no longer stand it or daddy handles it. Bedtime is at 8:30 during the week because of school. We're lucky if Deklan is asleep by 10:00. It's just so frustrating. I started out complaining because I can't get my husband to understand the whole of Deklan and I think I ended up complaining about Deklan's tantrums instead. Oh well, if anyone (besides Mommy Dearest - whom I love to hear from and read her blog as well) actually reads this, then Thank you for listening.


mollyalexis said...

My son still has potty training issues. I need to teach him to take off his own pullup and wipe himself and throw it away. I guess I get in a hurry sometimes and it's easier to do it myself. Funny blog. You sound a lot like me. I looooove teasing my kids.

mommy~dearest said...

Ironically, I must have missed this post!

My son has meltdowns too, and no, they are not typical tantrums. Meltdowns are different, and require different interventions. From what you describe, you handle Deklan's meltdowns much like I handle Jaysen's- trying to find the cause- and I fully support that. You are a strong woman, and a wonderful mom!