Sunday, February 20, 2011

Special Needs and Bazooka Bubble Gum

So kid number 4 has a challenges regulating, and transitioning. Sugar-free gum helps. I know it's weird, but it's true. I mentioned that gum theft had been on the rise in our house to our therapist, and she pointed out that chewing gum actually helps sensory seeking kids regulate.

So we bought lots of Trident.

Whatever works. And, oddly, gum does work.

Unfortunately, kid #1 recently purchased Sugar-FULL Bazooka bubble gum at the Dollar Store with Valentines Money. Now we've taught our older kids that if they really care about something it needs to stay somewhere unattainable to kid #4. We'd love to guarantee that personal belongings are shown respect in this household. We're working on it, but in the meantime, you better just hide the stuff you really like.

Bazooka Gum did not get hidden properly.

Now Abby-girl has an earlier bedtime the rest - it helps with our sanity. Unfortunately, she was in non-compliance mode. We put her to bed. She snuck out of her room and promptly proceeded to chew 20 or so pieces of Bazooka Sugar-FULL. Now, as your probably aware, most people cannot fit 20 pieces in their mouth simultaneously. This is the case with our small-boned 3 year old. So, being the clever problem solver that she is she chewed 10.

And then she stored those 10 in her HAIR while she then proceeded to chew the other 10.

Abby is sporting a new, and rather cute bob haircut today.

I just got the scissors and cut a chunk of hair out (it could be fixed later), then loaded kid #4 up on extra melatonin. (Melatonin is the herbal supplement that doubles as miracle drug for families parenting kids from hard places - WE ADORE IT.)

Now here's the weird part:

The consequence for blatant naughtiness was a cup of warm milk and these words, "That gum belongs to Ethan. It doesn't belong to you. And gum is not for bedtime."

Because I know she'll swipe stuff again. I know she will wander the house again when she is supposed to be sleeping. I know we won't take gum away from her. I know that stiff consequences won't fix a thing.

Sleep issues will be the norm.
Trouble understanding ownership will be the norm.
Impulse control trouble will be the norm.

In these early years it is Bazooka Sugar-FULL. NOT A BIG DEAL. And I pray that God will protect my child as the years progress, and weight of consequences are much larger than we can imagine.

So it's baby gates, better hiding places and more melatonin. It's prayer for wisdom.

This is so not how I would have parented #1,2 and 3. And it's impossible to know where to make allowances for brain differences and where to enforce tough consequences. We're winging it here.

So if you see as making weird parenting choices. Offer grace. It's possible you do not know the whole story. It's possible that it is not as simple as you perceive it to be. It's possible that in our shoes, you would be making the same decision, and praying for wisdom too.

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