I Just Can't Win

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Bunny, Feb 25, 2012.

  1. Bunny

    Bunny Guest

    On Wednesday difficult child was finally well behaved enough for me to want to take him to Monster mini golf, so I asked him if he wanted to go. He said that now it was too late to go (it was 12:30) and he cou;dn't go. Can we go tomorrow (Thursday)? Sure. Tomorrow is fine. Later that day I was leafing through a magazine and I saw a cake recipe that I wanted to make for the next night (I had friends coming over and I wanted to make something yummy) and I asked difficult child if he wanted to help me with the cake. He loved the idea and was very excited about it.

    The next day I'm in the shower (6:30 am!) and I hear a knock on the door. It's difficult child (he's the only one who knocks) and he said that he didn't think we would have enough time to go to Monster mini golf and make the cake. Could we do mini golf tomorrow (Friday)? Okay. Tomorrow is fine. He helped me bake the cake and we had a good time in the kitchen and he had a great rest of the day.

    Friday morning I tell difficult child that husband was not going to be home for dinner that night and I was going to take him and easy child to IHOP for dinner. He loved the idea because he likes to get breakfast for dinner there. Later, after I brought easy child to sports camp, I told him that I checked on line and Monster Mini golf opens at 12:00 pm and that we can go after lunch. Nope. He can' go that day, either, because now we're going out for dinner that night and how can I expect him to do all of these things in one day? Tomorrow. Whatever.

    Wake up Saturday morning with a headache. I tell him that unless I feel better I'm not taking anyone anywhere. Can anyone guess how well that went over? Complete meltdown! I'm being mean and unfair to him. I knew that he wanted to go today and I just don't want to take him. I PROMISED that I would take him and now I'm going back on my promise. husband had taken easy child to his hockey game, so it was just difficult child and me at home. difficult child conveniently waits for husband to leave to start throwing his fit. Finally, I got myself out of bed and closed and locked my bedroom door just to get away from him. He did, eventually, cool his jets and leave me alone. I started to feel better, so I got up and showered. husband and easy child got home so I asked about his hockey game. Then I told difficult child that I was feeling better and that if he still wanted to go to mini golf I would take him. Then he decided that he doesn't want to go because I said I wasn't feeling well and it's too late now (it was 10:00 am and the place didn't open until 12:00). "You'll have to take me tomorrow." I said to him, "You're putting this off again?" So then he decided that we just won't go. I told him, "Don't you walk into the therapist's office on Monday and complain that I didn't do anything with you this week. I asked you for 4 days if you wanted to go, and every day was another excuse from you about why you couldn't (or wouldn't) go."

    So, that was where it ended up. It looks like he is not going to go after all.

    Actually, I think that earlier in the week when he was not behaving well and I told him that I would not take him, I think that he was sabatoging himself to not go, and later in the week when he had truly earned the priviledge to go he was looking for any excuse he could find not to go. New thinks fill him with anxiety and the place is called Monster mini golf. I think that he wanted to go, until he was actually faced with going. It was something new. It was someplace he had never been. He didn't know what to expect.

    Very frustrating for me.
  2. buddy

    buddy New Member

    That is really insightful, I bet you are right. Q always loves and wants to do new things, but it is always a struggle the first time. I push through or we would never go anywhere and just warn everyone in our path....sigh. Such a bummer it worked out that way. I hope he gets over it and you can reschedule, though I am sure it is tempting to just pass...............

    I never take away an earned reward though. Or I really believe that he would lose most of them. I have had to postpone though because sometimes things just happen or sometimes he is not in a place to be able to go. Nice you can see what it might really be that is mucking things up...hope you can work it out. Yes, it is frustrating.
  3. Bunny

    Bunny Guest

    Thanks, Buddy.

    The kids were off from school this past week for mid-winter recess. easy child spent the week at an all day sports camp (9 am - 3 pm, M - F) so I thought it would be a nice thing to do with him while easy child was at camp and he was off from school. At least I know that I tried.
  4. StressedM0mma

    StressedM0mma Active Member

    Bunny, my difficult child is 15, and she still has bad anxiety with new things. Heck, she still has it with things she loves. When she has riding lessons, she still won't walk into the barn without me. I have faked a phone call, acted like I have to look for my hat, and she will just sit in the car and wait. She is too scared to sign in at the tdocs, so I get it. She does the tomorrow tomorrow tomorrow also. Then, when I can't do whatever it is on her schedule? Yep. the yelling and screaming here too. So not fun.
  5. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not



    I swear we are raising the same kid!

    My child, too, has difficulties grasping the idea that TWO activities can be performed on the same day....and it has nothing to do with anxiety over new things.

    Just today, for example - difficult child had to be somewhere at 2 pm....BUT she was in a huge panic because she ALSO had to do laundry. How could she possibly do her laundry at the laundromat, and still be somewhere at 2 ?

    Well, husband sat down and broke it down for her. He showed her that it only takes two hours to do laundry at the laundromat....and we know this because that is how long it takes every week. This is not new. husband pointed out that even if difficult child went to the laundromat as late as 11 am - she would STILL have plenty of time to finish the laundry, come home, change her clothes, and have lunch before having to leave.

    But no - difficult child just knew that would never work.

    Fine, husband told her. Do your laundry at 10.

    Nope. 10 o'clock would never leave enough time. Can't be done.

    OK then - do your laundry at 9.

    Nope - can't be done....she'll never finish in time.

    So what did she do? She went to the laundromat at 6:30 in the morning!

    and then we went through this whole panic scenario all over again at 10:30 when I asked her to come with me to the store. I just needed to run out for a few things - but difficult child was panicking that we'd never get back in time! How long will we be?? There's no time!!!!

    But we ran to the store and were back just after 11 - so once again, crisis averted.

    but SHEESH!!!

    I don't know if these kids just lack a sense of time? or whether one activity is so huge in their mind that they just cannot think about anything else? Like it takes up too much room in their brain or something and they don't know what to do with other ideas...?
  6. buddy

    buddy New Member

    that is so interesting DF! I have the opposite....We could have three free hours and Q will want to do so much that he can't even enjoy when he gets somewhere. It is just like his collecting...has to just do it/have it. So, we can go somewhere, he walks in and ta da! he can say he went there...nevermind enjoying the place, looking around. Just worried about being on to the next thing. If it is a place like the zoo, we can go up to an animal and all the kids are wanting to watch for a while and he is on to the next thing because what if we dont get to see it ALL? That is why we have to have task lists and schedules....so he knows there are limits and time lines...it is ok to change it but we make sure it still fits in because we could run around all over the place.

    This kid will see that a formerly empty building has a new sign..and it can be a dumb beauty supply store or pottery store or whatever..... but he has to go check it out HE misses NOTHING. Panic over not doing everything in a day. WHY do they have to live in extremes??? Do one thing or do a bunch of things....or panic! (rhetorical question but honestly, it is pretty interesting and extreme when I look at it like this...before your post I think I hadn't really thought about how different it was, just is part of the life that has evolved here)
  7. Bunny

    Bunny Guest

    DF, that is EXACTLY like difficult child! He just gets overwhelmed with having to do more than one thing on the same day. I have tried numerous times to explain to him that there would be plenty of time. On Friday when he said that he cou;dn't go because we were going out to dinner I said to him that we were going out at 5:00 pm and mini golf opened at 12:00. We had more than enough time to do both. Nope. No soap. And difficult child does the same thing that your difficult child does. He will get up at the crack of dawn to make sure that he has enough time to get ready for school. He leaves for the bus stop, which is just across the street, at 7:25 am and the bus doesn't come until 7:40, at the earliest.

    For difficult child, I'm not sure if it's always a time thing, or if sometimes he just gets overwhelmed at having what he thinks is too many things on his schedule.
  8. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Bunny, I recommend you ask difficult child if he would like to go 'check it out' not play anything or spend much time, but just see what it was like. Call ahead to make sure you will not have to pay admission if you are only there for 10 minutes. IF he wants to stay and play then you can pay. I think this is a classic sign of some anxiety of the unknown. Maybe once he sees the place he will realize there are no 'monsters' to speak of and see the fun that can be had.

    Just an idea.
  9. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    He just gets overwhelmed with having to do more than one thing on the same day.

    Bunny, this statement just leaps out at me. I don't think it's an issue of the amount of time available to complete the activities, but with your difficult child's capacity to handle more than one thing. Doing something social, such as going out to eat, involves tons of sensory input and interaction. It's a lot to take in and process for someone with anxiety issues. Throw in another activity that's new and outside the comfort zone, and it can be overwhelming.

    I think Busywend's suggestion of taking your difficult child to check the place out without actually playing mini-golf is a good one. He has a chance to get familiar in small stages. It's like dipping your toe and (very) slowly easing into a cold pool. A little at a time...

    Speaking from experience as one on the autism spectrum, anything involving social interaction and new places is very hard to take. Lots of sights, sounds, smells, unfamiliar people, it can all get overwhelming in a hurry. Like your difficult child, one of my strategies is to arrive very early, like he does for the bus. It gives me a chance to scope out the territory before other people are likely to be there. I can assess the light and noise levels, get used to the smell and "feel" of the place and identify my optimum spot, before I have to start dealing with people.

    Maybe your difficult child simply can't manage more than one outside activity per day.