Breaking up (with winter) is hard to do…

I’m ready for it to be over, but -like many an ex-boyfriend or beau of my sister’s- winter refuses to accept that this relationship is going nowhere regardless of any attempts to convince me that it can work out.  Snow has ceased to be the thing we sing about wanting for Christmas; it is now, unequivocally, the thing we dread seeing on the doppler radar, barreling towards us with wild abandon.  Even the cats are refusing to go out, and I think they’re not so much shedding as tearing their own fur out in an effort to make spring come faster.  Spring…don’t even get me started on that flirtatious coquette that waits for us around each bend, laughing at our desperate desire to hold her and never let her go.

Weather woes aside, we’re doing fine.  We simply are, really, done with winter and all its idiosyncratic behavior.  J, for example, now asks about school so wistfully that I feel bad when we don’t get a call because, maybe, he’s just dreading walking out there in slush, ice, snow and misery.  Dada and TGG look at the still-unpaved road right in front of our home and I can see their calculations for possible car repairs ticking away on their foreheads.  There is no ice melt to be found ANYWHERE, but you can start buying bathing suits and patio furniture right now at any retailer in town.  Apparently, the weather has little to do with merchants’ distribution calendars.

To the happy  news, then, because -after this long, dreary winter- we are all chomping at the bit for some happiness, aren’t we???

J will eat any vegetable we put in front of him.  No hesitation.  No doubt.  No resistance.  No blackmailing.  J just eats it.  Last night it was steamed broccoli florets with a touch of butter.  And when I say “a touch of butter” it means that the butter was so minimal as to be inconsequential.  A few nights ago it was a cauliflower gratin; at lunch yesterday it was a spinach sauce for his pasta.  Wonders, my friends, never cease.  That he now wears a smaller size of pants is just a cherry on top of everything else.

The other happy news: J’s self-awareness seems to have taken a significant leap forward.  Allow me to explain…or just bear with me, whichever works best for you.  When J came home with a bad bruise on his forehead last week, we FINALLY figured out the ONE person who makes him that angry and frustrated.  Mind you, a concerted effort was made by all to remind him that no amount of pounding on HIS head would make the person go away.  Pounding on HER head wouldn’t help either.  We figured we’d throw that in there, just in case.  We made sure to tell J that it is best if he simply ASKS for another task that doesn’t involve her.

J’s teacher came over on Sunday afternoon while J and TGG were at the movies.  We discussed several things that were on our minds.  For one, what to do with J’s interaction with this person.  For another, whether she thinks that the med reduction we are pondering for March is a good idea.  On the first item we agreed that, sad though it may seem, J has to learn that not every person will be to his liking, and that he has to find positive ways to handle these situations.  We all agreed to talk with him about it, encouraging him to re-direct when possible, and to let his feelings be known in a polite way.  On the second item, much to our relief, we all agreed that -because J’s SIB hinges on the one person’s presence- we CAN reduce the med as long as we all work on helping him navigate his frustrations.

Yesterday went by without incident.  Today, as he was getting ready for school, J said HEAD and pointed to the spot that he likes to hit when he’s frustrated.  I asked him what he wanted and, pointing, he repeated HEAD and HURT.  I decided to interpret this as “this hurts when I hit it,” and I went back to the days when he skipped hitting himself because he was wearing a band-aid on that spot.  Dada brought a bandage and, after putting some lotion on to make sure his skin doesn’t dry out because of the adhesive, I put it on J.  He touched it to make sure it was there.

This afternoon I got the news that J had a good day.  Not only did he have a good day, the person that provokes him was there with him, and -instead of going off like a Roman candle- J touched his band-aid.  I assume this is a reminder to himself of what can happen if he engages in the type of behavior that is par for the course.  His teacher had mentioned last week that J was very contrite, embarrassed even, by being caught pounding his head like a lump of meat, and it had taken him a couple of hours to make eye contact after the incident.  Today he exercised self-restraint…which is totally awesome…

Now if we could just get winter to do the same…

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