Home 2 weeks & already feeling the strain....

timer lady

Queen of Hearts
I'm still in my pj's; kt is due home soon & it's raining cats & dogs here. We have no help scheduled for tonight - just want a family night around here.

Ladies, I'm out of ideas. I set up a tent in my living room for kt to play dolls in; popped up a batch of popcorn & plan on ordering in pizza later. Going to have a pj girls night. Dolls, doing nails, playing with hairdo's & a couple of girl power websites that I've tripled checked.

Depending on the level of her anxiety when she gets in I will give her a PRN medication; psychiatrist okayed this yesterday - so we don't escalate to crisis situations.

I'm hoping to sit down with her to start reading the Harry Potter book that she chose to read & report on for school.

Must be the dreary weather.. I'm dragging today.

If you have any fun rainy day activities, let me know. Believe it or not, I'm trembling here this afternoon. :rolleyes:


New Member
Um......I dunno, why do you have to have planned and scheduled activities? I do not mean to sound weird, but.....well, I dunno, I just backed off the planned activity a few years ago, cuz I was burnt out and LOL- I was surprised recently when easy child screamed at me one day in a heated discussion that they HATED those planned times. She said it made her feel so pressured to "have fun" at my command. Upon discussing it with the other kids, they agreed. :-(
Is it possible kt might have some ideas of her own? Maybe she would like to try making pizza with you, instead of ordering it in, even if you use a ready made crust? Sometimes my kids will ask me to tell them stories of when me and their aunts and uncles were growing up- LOL- kinda like tattling on their aunts and uncles, LOL..........
even tho my kids are now 18,just about 17 and 11, they think it great fun to pop in a cd of kids songs and we sing at the top of our lungs to Oh Susanna, Pollywollydoodle, Home on the Range, etc. sometimes they just like to do "nothing"

It sounds like you have a full night planned!!! If she still needs more things to do to keep her busy, what about crafts? My easy child used to love using beads to make all kinds of jewlry. Also, sometimes in bad weather, we would put together a photo album. We always have tons of pictures that need to be organized!!! Even though it is sometimes a dreaded chore, it brings back lots of happy memories and we end up having a great time!

I think I remember you mentioning that kt likes to sew. My local craft store has kts for kids to make stuffed bears. My easy child used to love doing this!

Another thought just popped into my mind having to do with family pictures. How about making a collage of favorite photos around a similar theme and putting it in a frame? I did a fun one awhile back for husband's office. He loves anything having to do with boats, pools or the ocean. I had pictures of the kids as toddlers sitting in pretend boats at an amusement park, etc..., all the way to a few years ago when we were on a family vacation and someone we met took a picture of all of us in the pool for our Christmas card picture.

Maybe, if tomorrows weather is bad, you and kt could prepare something special together for dinner...

My kids loved the Harry Potter books!!! This might keep her entertained for awhile. They are so long...

If I think of anything else, I'll let you know. Got to go - I can hear difficult child 2 verbalizing already and I need him to get ready to pick up easy child from her after school activities soon.

I hope things go better than you expect. WFEN :flower:

timer lady

Queen of Hearts
dreamer, if kt isn't directed in some way in her play she becomes chaotic - she is slowly learning to self amuse but needs many cues. kt is on "safety watch" after the crisis Wednesday night & all sharps are put away until therapist appointment next week.

WFEN, thanks for the suggestions. I'm looking for things to fill in the time where kt isn't able to self amuse.

I've written threads in the past on the fine art of boredom. The tweedles haven't learned that art yet. Some difficult children are content to play, to fill their own time.

Others, not so much - kt is one of those. She's, even as we speak, playing with her dolls as long as I'm in the room. Sally is laying on the blanket with kt - a big furry pillow for her dolls.


Well-Known Member
I imagine it is very stressful trying to make sure everything is
OK. Dreamer's post is similar to what I was thinking. on the other hand I
have never dealt with the complex issues you face with your difficult child
on a daily basis. In fact, due to my sincere admiration for your
dedication, I hesitate to even hint at a criticism. I guess due
to the separations it is normal to want to cram in memories. It
also, however, "may" be indicative of your own anxieties that
free time might be scarey.

When I think back to my childhood (which was not fraught with
trauma, I admit) the most vivid and pleasant memories are based
on "senses" rather than activities. The smell of my Moms roast
in the oven and the sounds from the kitchen always made Sunday
afternoon special as I colored or read a book. We had a screen
porch and I can still almost feel the breeze on my skin as we
played rummy or chinese checkers during quiet times. Even listening to certain music together fosters great memories. I
listened to classical with Mom, guitar and folk with my Dad,
swing with my eldest sister. My easy child (and GFGmom) and I enjoy
show tunes together, my easy child son and I shared rock & roll and raegae (sp). Everyone shares Irish CDs on St. Pattys. Music
is a passive loving bond.

I hope your weekend is wonderful for all of you. You are a wonderful, caring Mom. Hugs. DDD

Karen & Crew

New Member
Sounds like a perfect night to me.

Not sure what KT's interests are but one thing that would be the proverbial icing on the cake for R would be board games - particularly strategy games like Battleship or chess. Any complicated board game that required mucho concentration would help him though.


Mom? What's a difficult child?
Even though we are dealing with different ages I can relate!!! I have one of those pot holder looms!!! Remember them??? difficult child loves it, it is advanced for her so I of course have to help her, but she would make me anyway, We make them for everyone when it is yucky outside... they are actually cute.
Also what about starting her own herb garden or something like that? difficult child loves stuff like that. We soaked sweet peas 2 nights ago and planted them yesterday. I am looking for some herbs to do with difficult child as well... she did carrots last year and loved it!!! They did sweet grass at school in Easter Baskets and you can eat it, the cats are eating it, both girls take peices and eat it. But difficult child was so proud that she grew it!!! It is just spelt berries... very easy.
difficult child is also learning how to sew little wool peices at school!!! I would have never done this her, duh. But she really likes it, she made a little Gnome out of a peice of felt and stuffed it with wool. She sewed a cone shape together and cut out a little window for the "face" and stuffed the wool up the bottom and the wool pops out the little window. It is cute and looks like a gnome!!!
So now she wants to sew a hole in husband jeans, I told her we would try tonight. I know these are thing you have to do with her but with the garden she can check on it and water it...
We also take walks and look for cool rocks and then paint them...
The mosaic stepping stones for paths that you make your self are fun also, they also had a cute idea in cooking light last month were you could make a mosaic for your house number, it was very cool...
http://www.mosaicworks.com or http://www.mosaicstudiosupply.com

Good luck I am always looking for things that I enjoy and we can do together that will help her learn something as well as stay sane!!!


New Member
I hope it wasn't taken that I was criticizing? "In fact, due to my sincere admiration for your
dedication, I hesitate to even hint at a criticism. I guess due
to the separations it is " ??

I understand difficult children who need to be supervised, who need direction etc and who cannot be left to their own devices, I was just thinking maybe kt could provide input for the evenings activities? (subject to moms veto power)
And I did not mean send her off on her own...just maybe not have everything scheduled and preplanned? Maybe some paper rock scissors, thumb wars, lets see what might pop into our minds......see what sounds good at the moment? I guess I was also thinking that could possibly reduce anxiety, ---- not having a plan that might derail? and it might help grow the ability to ummmmm....learn to um........be responsible (at least partly) for learning how to fill their own time? (subject again, to moms veto power) "down time" so to speak- with supervision and your presence.

When I take son to docs and it is him and me at RMH or a hotel, just the 2 of us......in unfamiliar surroundings, we have slowly learned how to amuse ourself without doing much of anything at all. Sometimes we talk about funny little stories of when him or his sisters were doing something funny or silly, sometimes we play tic tac toe, sometimes we play games with an order of french fries, seeing whose is longest or most twisty or how many can we stack before they fall.........sometimes we simply sit in the same room and just talk about whatever pops into our heads. Becuz the neighborhood around RMH is such a bad bad part of the city and becuz so many of our appts have been during really bad weather times, we often get stuck indoors at RMH. And becuz we have to park 3 blocks away, I seldom permit him to bring much with us. Sometimes there are other kids there, often there isn't, or they are too sick to play with us........and at RMH no child under age 18 is allowed to be even in any room, not even bathroom, without the parent in the room with them. So- sometimes we do homeschooling, sometimes we simply look at each other, (LOL) and sometimes we figure out what to do as we go. (and it is the same in the car for the 5 hour each way trip- sometimes we sing, sometimes we watch license plates, sometimes he plays gameboy while I drive..........we are together, but, it is not planned out etc)


Well-Known Member
Hey Linda,

Hope all is going well at almost 5. Since you've popped the corn, how about a good old Disney movie? difficult child just watched Old Yeller for the first time and loved it - although he did get a little teary-eyed. The Little Mermaid, Beauty and Beast, Lion King and Alladin were all favorites here. (Can you tell I'm a movie person?) But really, that's good for at least 90 minutes.

Beads, I think someone suggested that. Board games are a fav in our house; the old standard Monopoly can last for hours!!!!!!

Hope the evening goes well. You are right to be well prepared after her incident on Wednesday.



New Member
was wednesdays incident related to "free time" or unplanned unstructured time? I could not tell if she got hurt (or hurt herself) at home or school. At first I thought it happened at home, but then when you said she dropped 2 levels at school, I thought it happened at school?


Well-Known Member

Since Linda is offline, I'll answer part of your question. "kt had a complete & total disconnect this evening resulting in self harming behaviors" (that's a direct quote from Linda's post) on Wednesday evening at home and the stepdown was at school the next day.

I do understand about unplanned time (they are some of the best) but in this specific situation, control is required and Linda is called to be extremely watchful.



Well-Known Member
Duckie is younger but really enjoys painting, so much so that we have an area set up just for her arts & crafts. She's been into thumbprint painting recently. Maybe kt would enjoy that?


New Member
LDM, yes, I had read that thread previously. I was just confused becuz when I read she dropped 2 levels at school, I thought it was related to wednesdays problem. So I was not sure if that incident was related to anything at school or whatever? I was not sure if it had anything to do with unstructured time or kts inability to conform to the activity of the moment that was expected or what, and if it was becuz kt could not conform and comply to the activity of the moment, I wondered if maybe not having a preplanned activity might be helpful at all in any way, and reduce possibility of meltdown or rage, and reduce anxiety about whether or not kt would be able to follow thru with the expected and planned activities for this evening.

timer lady

Queen of Hearts
dreamer, let me clear this up for you...the episode/dissociative state on Wednesday had no clear trigger. kt has times of highly structured activities & is encouraged to self amuse with free time. However, kt's imaginative play becomes very chaotic; she often recreates the trauma from bio home during free time.

I teach kt the "safe" choices a mom makes while she plays with her dolls; especially when kt becomes frustrated & starts screaming & shaking her babies.

By coming up with activities I take that trauma based anxiety out of the picture.

kt becomes agitated if there is no adult in the room with her. With her lack of sense of self & sense of permanency - out of sight means no parents.

kt is sitting at my feet coloring now; I've been disinvited to play dolls or color because I don't do it right. I'm content to watch her play, color & create. I'll step in & redirect if her level of agitation increases to an unhealthy level.



New Member
Oh my now 18 still must be in same room as me.....she freaks when I take son to appts.
I think I was not speaking in a way for anyone to understand.....
I meant maybe you could come up with what to do as you went along, ask kt for input and ideas and kind of play it by ear. WHether an activity is planned or not, I bet she can get off track, off focus and still turn things into directions you do not want them to go in........I did not mean leave her on her own.I did not mean not do anything at all........I did not mean you did not have veto power and input. I did not mean have her in a different room. I just meant maybe you did not have to preplan it all out, maybe?
I was wondering/thinking- there is a slim possibility that having it all preplanned and prescheduled or whatever could possibly lead to increased anxiety, becuz maybe there might be pressure then to adhere to the prearranged activities?

Wiped Out

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Latchhook rugs are something my difficult child has enjoyed in the past. Other than that I don't have a lot to add to what the others have added. It does sound like a fun night planned-hope all is going well.


trying to survive....
You mentioned Harry Potter and I'm wondering if you've purchased the CD version of the book as opposed to just the text. Those books are soooo loooongg...Can KT read Harry Potter on her own? I was just thinking that it may be good to listen to it on CD. Has she ever tried those?

The perler beads have been popular in our house. It keep my kids busy.

timer lady

Queen of Hearts
Thank you again ladies - kt is now in her room settling in for the night. husband's office is right next to her bedroom & she checks in with him every 10 minutes or so. High level of anxiety.

I'll head up in a few minutes to rub her back to help her fall asleep.

jannie, I never thought of the cd versions for kt. She struggles to read at that level & to sit still for any length of time.

kt's latest big hobby is using the knitting looms. She's already knitted a scarf & 2 hats for her dolls. She'd like to make a sweater for winter next year.

by the way, we love the perler beads here. I know they have a website of patterns that we have printed out for kt to use.


New Member
Did you ever make pony bead critters? Me and my kids loved pony beads. (I also used to string them into their hair here and there, LOL)
My son even loved pony beads.


trying to survive....
How does KT do with pets? We just got a second guinea pig and I'm so surpised at how well my kids are doing with these pets. They also keep them entertained.