Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Operation Sandman: Night 1: "What hatn night to do with sleep?"

It's 8:01 p.m. as I write this. This is Day 1 of the plan. Tonight, rather than sit in the room with Mr F as he falls asleep, Sweetie (whose night it is) was going to sit on a chair in the doorway: inside the room but with the door open.

Things got off to a rocky start: at about 7:30 Mr F couldn't stay up any longer and wanted to go lay in his bed. Although we're supposed to keep bedtime more or less the same, and that generally starts about 7:45 with his ride and then in the room by 8:15-8:30, Sweetie figured this would be okay.

But Mr Bunches and I were drawing an alphabent -- he writes the letters and words, I draw the pictures -- and we were only on 'T.' This was a problem because Mr Bunches really likes to be first, and gets really upset if he's not first. We've been working on helping him handle it and not get so upset but so far it's tough.

So Mr Bunches got concerned that Mr F was going to be first in the bedroom (and Mr Bunches worries that Mr F will turn off the TV in their room, which serves as a sort of nightlight and which scares Mr Bunches if it's turned off.)  So we offered him the choice: he could quit the alphabet and finish it tomorrow, going up to bed now to be first, or he could let Mr F be first and we'd finish the alphabet and then take him for a little ride.

He chose option B, and Mr F went up to bed. We finished the alphabet and left on the ride, the sound of which woke Mr F up a bit. But by the time we got home 23 minutes later, Mr F was back asleep.

The problem was, Mr Bunches, who is 9 after all, reneged on the deal: he got upset again and wanted us to make Mr F come downstairs and then wait so he could be first. (I am going to confess: on other occasions we've done exactly that, but never when Mr F was already asleep.) He was getting loud and upset so I took him back downstairs to my office area, and talked to him.

I offered him a deal: let Mr F be first, and I'd take him to the bookstore tomorrow to buy a book. No.

I upped the ante: let Mr F be first and tomorrow he could to go Target and get a new small toy.  Deal.

We practiced saying his calming phrase: Sometimes [bad thing] but that's okay because [good thing.] As in Sometimes Mr F is first, but that's okay because I will get to get a toy.

He started crying and couldn't get through Sometimes Mr F.  Sat back down, talked more, talked about which toys he liked and how I know he likes being first but he also likes toys and being nice, made the deal again, said the saying, and then for good measure decided that we would help him upstairs and keep his eyes mostly covered so that he wouldn't see Mr F and it would be like he was first after all.

It all went smoothly until the bedroom door where he said, in what he seemed to think was a quiet voice But mom I'm supposed to be first.  Sweetie said shhhhh but it was done.

So: 8:09 now. Mr Bunches is in bed, writing a note to us that he is supposed to be first. That's his way of expressing his frustration: he writes us a note. Mr F is in bed, too, but he's humming and rocking back and forth. Sweetie's in her chair, in the doorway.

1 comment:

Andrew Leon said...

Oh, man, I am so familiar with the being first thing.
Maybe not to your level, though.