True Progress for a 2e Kid (and family)

Last summer, we went on a family trip to the ocean. We had been to this particular destination twice before, and had stayed in the same rental on both occasions. This time, we (the parents) decided that there was no need for such a large home. My TBP was excited for the trip. He was in good spirits as we pulled into the entrance. We drove past the usual, larger rental and immediately the questions started from the backseat. The mood went from cheery and upbeat to anxious and emotional. My TBP could not accept that we were NOT staying in the same house. No matter how we explained it, he was devastated.

This scenario took place in the beginning of our 2e journey. How could a kid be so upset about a vacation rental? He kept telling us that we didn’t understand and that we weren’t listening to him. We thought that we were listening, but he was right…we didn’t understand.

Fast forward to this summer’s first trip of the year. During this trip, we had several small successes where there could have been real struggles.

For our first short trip of the summer, we chose a favorite place that is close with a beautiful pool. When we arrived, we decided to have a rest in the room and our son “slounges” in the king size bed. Although we are the ones that packed and unpacked, he is “exhausted” and needs down time to recover. Personally, I was relieved that he wasn’t asking to swim right away.

Slounging in the room

Since we brought the puppy, we needed to take her for a walk despite the desire to rest the afternoon away. We get a bit of debating and negotiating, but ultimately my son agrees to the walk. While this doesn’t seem like a major win, it is true progress! We head outdoors and the muggy air hits us right away. I have to admit, I wanted to return to the air conditioned room and resume the slounging, but we are taking a family walk.

Summer loves her walk!

Beautiful Scenery

Shortly after we left, my son begins to itch like crazy. His already present heat rash, is aggravated by the steamy air. I’m thinking that this is going to be a miserable walk. Just when the complaining begins to get too much, we reach a small pond area. His interest in the water skippers distracts him from the heat rash. Another victory! It is amazing to see him focus on these creatures instead of his body’s uncomfortableness. At the pond’s edge, he is in his element. Being able to lean in, observe & test out ways to catch and release these small insects is the perfect activity for him.

Once back to the room, the slounging continues until dinner. In the past, this would have been a time where things could go south quickly. Instead of waiting, we are proactive and offer a snack since dinner is a few hours away. The snack is taken, consumed & he retreats (with the Ipad) to the King bed. We have a charged Ipad (finally found the charger while unpacking) and a fed boy. If he had it his way, that bed would have been his location for the night. When it is time for dinner, he gets dressed (with few complaints), eats his dinner (despite not wanting to eat), and entertains himself while he waits for his food and for us to finish our dinners(since we didn’t want to eat in record time). We saw this as another huge success that would not have been likely during last year’s vacation.

writing notes to me as we wait

Enjoying a beverage

My little fruit bat

The final test of the trip was swimming. My TBP had begged to go swimming after dinner, but the pool was already closed. We assured him that he could swim first thing in the morning. He gives us a couple of “no fairs” but stops fairly quickly…probably because he is tired like the rest of us. Instead, we decide to watch The Lorax (which he thoroughly enjoyed) and call it a night. You can imagine my concern when we got up the next morning to thunder and lightning and realized that a swim in the outdoor pool was not going to happen! As I watch the sky light up, I’m thinking that this is where it is going to happen. This is where all of the close calls are going to stop and we are in for a full blown tantrum. Instead of a tantrum, he expressed his disappointment (appropriately) and we talked about the safety issues and that the weather is unpredictable. Last year, no amount of reasonable explaining would have made a difference.

Boy and his dog

I am not saying that it is continued success from now on. I know that we will have some challenges ahead, but I am proud of the work that we have done as a family! Here’s to the rest of a fun-filled summer!

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8 thoughts on “True Progress for a 2e Kid (and family)

  1. Your son is maturing. Having the situation explained…he understood the rationale…and acted appropriately. That is something not all NT children would have done. Well done to your son.

  2. How awesome that you had so many little successes. Vacations are a nice measuring stick, and it is nice to be able to see so much progress from year to year. And, hey, he’s getting along well with the puppy, too! Hooray!

    • Yuji-We are so proud of the person that he is becoming! Being more logical about his decisions and working through something that is uncomfortable were not possible last year. What is really great, is that he notices the difference too! Thanks for your continued support!

  3. That inflexibility & emotional response sounds so familiar. One time, she was upset because the bike trail was paved and not dirt like she remembered. Grouchy for most of the ride, until we distracted her with wildlife on the trail.

    • Brainhugger-
      I completely understand! I find that it is still hard to explain some of these intensities to family members. I think I get a bit nervous that they misunderstand the actions and interpret the behavior as controlling and nasty instead of seeking what feels right and makes sense to him 🙂

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