Remember a few weeks ago when I said that Louis was doing much better? Remember that?
PRIDE GOETH BEFORE A FALL.
All of his worst behaviours are back. Pants-wetting. Defiance. Overly-violent play. Hitting. Whining. Tattling. He’s also added “acting like a deranged chimpanzee at lunch” and “being too rough with the cat” to his repertoire.
I said in my last post that December is hard on kids. It is especially hard on sensitive, anxious children like Louis, who need 100% predictability in order to not totally come apart at the seams.
While I can understand why he’s basically spending his days torturing the other children, that doesn’t make it okay.
I refuse to let this spiral out of control again. I’m bringing the hammer down.
As a result, it’s been pretty screamy here lately. Sample, from earlier today and still going on right now OMG this kid has more stamina than Sting.
Pixie, Daisy, and George are playing with the MegaBlocs. For a wonder, they are playing nicely – sharing, talking, working together to build the world’s tallest, skinniest treehouse. Louis, who has spent the first part of the morning whining at anyone who even looks at him sideways as he lines cars up in obsessive rows, gets interested. He charges in and tries to shove his bigger-than-anyone-else body into the group. He doesn’t say a word. He just tries to push and grab.
Pixie has apparently developed a backbone since Friday, because she doesn’t give an inch. Good for her. I wouldn’t, either.
I’m hanging back, waiting to see if they can work this out on their own. Louis pushes again. Pixie says, sternly, “go ‘way, Louis! We are playing!” So Louis turns to me and whines – I mean, really whines – “Haaaaaann-NAAAAAHHHH! Pixie said NO TO MEEEEEEEE. I want to PLAAAAAAY.”
Well. Inside my head I counted to ten.
Me: Louis, I didn’t hear you use your nice words to ask a friend to play.
Louis: BUT SHE SAID NOOOOOOO. I WANT TO PLAAAAAAY.
Me: Louis, you are tattling and whining. You are not being a nice friend. Come to the quiet stair and think about how to ask Pixie nicely if she will play with you.
See? I even gave him a hint as to what I’m looking for here. He is almost four years old. He’s been coming here since May 2012. He knows what the process is when another child has a toy that he would like to share. He just honestly thinks – nine times out of ten – that the “ask nicely and wait” rule doesn’t apply to him.
I walked him to the quiet stair. He howled. He screamed in guttural rage. He sobbed. He kicked and punched the wall. He roared. He’d taper off for a while to see if I was paying attention to him. Anytime he got quiet, I’d check the clock. If the quiet lasted for a minute, I’d ask him if he was ready to be a nice friend. I don’t know HOOOOOWWWW he’d whine, and then smirk at me. So I’d walk away. Cue the hysterics.
Repeat. Again and again. FOR A HALF HOUR.
Finally, on one of my visits, he said he was ready to be a nice friend. He walked over to Pixie and mumbled “kin I play wif you?”
Pixie, I swear to god, eyed him for a second, then tossed her hair and flounced off, saying over her shoulder, “I don’ WANT to play wif you, Louis. You kin have da BLOCKS.”
BWAH HA HA HA HA HA HA!!!!!!
So. Louis settles in to play with the blocks. George and Daisy were, I hasten to add, still playing with them and had been all along. Louis was not at home to that. He didn’t want them looking at him. He didn’t want them talking to him. And when Daisy tried to offer him a block to put on his tower, he roared “NO!” and smacked the block out of her hand.
“Louis,” I said in a warning tone. “Was that nice?”
And cue the hysterics. He flung himself on the floor, grabbing every block within reach and throwing them across the room.
Back to the quiet stair.
Another fifteen minutes of rage.
And it’s only 10:15AM.
Meanwhile, we had all kinds of snow yesterday, but then it changed to pouring rain and THEN the temperature dropped, so the yard is an iron-hard slip-and-fall hazard that is really no fun for playing in.
Come on, Christmas. Mama needs you.