Thursday, May 15, 2008

A Litte High, A Little Low...

Potatey's school show was AWESOME! He had a blast, and I got some really cute videos of the 'performances' (I need to edit a bit and then will upload a selection to the blog). And for once it was nice to just sit back and enjoy the fact that MY kid wasn't the 'sensory overload one'.

Well, on stage that is - as MY sensory overload kid was in the audience, and put up a beaut of a performance too.. SIGH...

Potatey had invited Salamander to come to his show. Salamander first resisted (crowds and loud, potentially out of tune, singing are just not his 'cup of tea'), but changed his mind yesterday afternoon, and expressed that he wanted to go after all. Today, Salamander came off the school bus, super excited and all geared up to go. He bounced into Potatey's school, sat down, listened to the first performance, and ....fell apart....I won't go into the details, let's just summarize that saying he behaved like a bratty teenager with a bad case of PMS is putting it mildly.

After the performance was over and after Salamander had had some time to 'cool off', we talked about what happened, why Salamander's behaviors were inappropriate, how his behaviors had really hurt Potatey feelings, and what would have been better ways for Salamander to express the fact that the singing was too loud, that the lights were too bright, that the room was too crowded and smelly (aka sensory overload).

I'll be honest, my feelings were hurt too, and I did get upset and annoyed with Salamander. While intellectually I understand the 'why' behind the behaviors, what Salamander did and said took 'something' away from my enjoyment of Potatey's performance...

Salamander and I will do another 'post mortem' tonite at bed time, when we've both had some time to think about and process what happened. Regulation of intense emotions IS a struggle for him, I know that, and on the upside, he HAS made tremendous progress in that area. And another positive is that he DOES realize that his behaviors upset Potatey and me, and he feels bad about it.

We'll keep working at it..Salamander tries hard, he really does...

ADDED at 8.15 pm:
"Post mortem" completed. Salamander was able to explain what happened. Apparently there had been a few upsetting situations at school. Usually, as he gets off the school bus, he will have some 'down time' which allows him to think about the events of the day, and to, if needed, ask questions about the why and how and what it all means, which in turn helps him put things in perspective. Today he did NOT have that opportunity, as he was obviously being rushed straight off the bus to Potatey's school. As he said to me: "Mom, I had a bad day at school and the situations were just playing over and over and over in my head and I got really upset again. And then when I got to [Potatey's] school it was all too much."

Note to self: Salamander MUST have time to process and talk about his day BEFORE moving on to the next activity. Even if this means that we get to the next activity late.


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