Waffles and Wiggles

One morning, my 3-year-old said, “I am my brother, not me,” while I was busy getting my older son ready for school.  Ah, a sign of something coming, I thought.  I squatted at his level to acknowledge him, but could not stop for more than a short minute.

Then, my younger son started complaining, “I don’t want the waffle cut in half!”  Ah, a louder signal.  I still couldn’t pay attention to him, though I did make eye contact with him. I was still  busy with my older son.

Then I told him that he needed to change out of his pajamas.  He said, “I don’t want to change!  I want a Batman costume.”  However, he wouldn’t change into the Batman costume which I handed to him.  He threw that away.

Then, he was sitting in front of the clothes drawer, unable to make up his mind what to wear.

He was bouncing around.  A sure sign of disconnection, I thought.

I was busy packing my older son’s lunch, and didn’t have the time and attention to Staylisten for more than a couple of minutes.

So when my older son went off to school, I offered Special Time for half an hour.

First, my son disappeared for a minute as he sometimes did during Special Time.  I begged, “Please don’t go!  Please come back!”  Then he smiled, waved good-bye and left the room.  In a minute, he came back.

Then we covered ourselves under a blanket and played with flashlights.  Lots of laughter.That turned into a physical play.  He wanted to be up side down.  So I held his feet and lifted him up.  A head stand.  He wanted me to tumble over too.  More laughter.

When the time was up, he went and changed his clothes before I even noticed.

And he ate the same waffle he had rejected because I had cut it in half.  I said, just to be sure, “I am sorry I cut it in a way you didn’t like.  How is it?”

He was busy eating, and he said, “Good!”

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