Ariel gave me the title of this post. I wanted to share this story because it is another developmental progression for Daniel. The whole thing started with Daniel getting very angry at his Perplexus game. In the last few months he has been working on the concept of winning and losing. He does not like to lose. He had been twisting and turning the game trying to get the tiny ball through the maze, almost winning multiple times. Finally, it got to him that he was not winning. He started to cry, and asked “Why am I not winning?”
It took some time to calm him down.
I managed to get him to lift his head from his hands, and look up by losing at the game several times myself. I lost and then expressed myself by saying things like “Oh, darn I lost again. I will keep trying, I guess.”He started to look at me and then would put his face in his hands and say: “Oh, no. Oh, no.” He told me to stop one time, but then I said something about being done playing and trying again later. He was not satisfied, but calmed down some.
He then got upset again.
However, this time he went on the couch and covered himself with a blanket. I asked him if he was alright, and he said: “No.” He continued to say things that I could not decipher, but then we had this conversation: (Joshua is upstairs with David, daddy time.)
Daniel: I’m leaving.
Me: You are leaving? Where are you going?
Daniel: I am leaving far, far away. (He looked at me then, he covered himself with the blanket again.)
Me: Are you going to Mars?
Daniel: Yes, I am going to Mars.
Me: In a rocket ship?
Daniel: Yes, I just did. It takes for a long time.
Me: What is it like on Mars?
Daniel and Ariel: All red.
Daniel: Venus is yellow.
Ariel: Now I am going to Mars. Look Daniel is the first kid on Mars. No wait we are the first two kids on Mars.
After all of that they decided to leave Mars and read some books.
There are some major things that Daniel did today. He understood a little more today that it is alright if you lose. He was able to calm himself, with little help from me. He has never made a statement about leaving before, which prompted me to ask him if he knew what that meant. Here is the conversation:
Me: Daniel do you know what it means to leave?
Daniel: It means to go somewhere, because I was mad.
Me: What or who were you mad at?
Daniel: At brain (that’s what he calls his game “my brain”) I played and played and did not win.
Me: You were mad at brain and wanted to leave?
Daniel: Yes, because I could not win. I am mad at brain, and wanted to leave.
Me: Are you still mad? Do you still want to leave?
Daniel: No, I am not mad. Brain needs to go in the garage.
Me: So are you ok now? Is everybody fine?
Daniel: Yes, everybody’s fine. Ok.
Sometimes I cannot believe that he is talking to me like this.
This is the first holiday season that has not been meltdown madness from October until the end of January. There have been moments, but they have not lasted long at all. Daniel has learned positive coping mechanism like going in his room alone and reading or just looking at books instead of continuing to be aggressive. He continues to learn to express what he is angry or upset at in many more ways. The rest of us have been able to read him much better as well. It has made a huge difference having David, Ariel, and Joshua understand Daniel’s frustrations.
I still need to explain why Daniel is behaving a certain way at times.
The difference is everyone is more understanding, and relating in their own way by thinking of similar things that cause them frustration. It is very clear that Daniel is feeling safer at expressing himself, and feels like he is being heard. It has made a huge difference in his interactions with everyone. He has been talking nonstop — he is repeating many scripts to himself. Some of his frequent scripts are about emotions, his emotions and other people’s emotions. I believe his scripting has helped in learning to calm himself as well. Possibly my own change of attitude toward the holidays helped the month of December.
Next year I will do better with October and November.
On another note I happened to hear this poem on a movie that was background noise for me earlier, (I don’t know what the movie was.) and thought some of you may enjoy it as well. So many poems to read so little time…and music to listen to…and books to read…and dances to dance…and paintings to adore…and sculptures to love…and pictures to seek…and skies to keep…I think I need to stop listening to music I always open the floodgates with music. I can’t help it! I’m not stopping!
i carry your heart with me (i carry it in
my heart) i am never without it (anywhere
i go you go, my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing, my darling)
no fate (for you are my fate, my sweet) i want
no world (for beautiful you are my world, my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you
here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart
i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)