So this morning dinky got ready ok. We got to school ok (I was quite amazed at how simple the morning was going, but it was play therapy day and dinky loves it!). Then there was a little tussle on the playground. The school can be a bit idiotic at times! They put out all the fun toys for planning time before the kids arrive and then put up signs saying that the children are not to play with them. It is hard enough for most of the children, but what is the child with behavioural issues going to do? Yes, play with them… Of course! So dinky got the wheelbarrow and almost knocked over some of the mums, when I grabbed it from her, she got the go kart and started riding it around the playground. I managed to get her to stop by getting her hulk mask out of my bag. So instead of playing with the toys she went round growling at everyone and shouting “HULK SMASH!!!” all the other parents thought she was funny. Then dinky’s grandma phoned to wish her a good day! Which was a first!
Then the school doors opened. I managed to get her in and put her bag away. Then she ran back out again. So between myself and miss C the TA we got her back inside. She put her name up, got her phonics book and chose a seat. She did her letters ‘ai’ ok to begin with but soon got bored. She then went to the toilet, which normally means camping out in the story/creative area outside the classroom and the deputy’s office. The deputy head brought her back into class and asked her to say goodbye to me so they could do a special job. Dinky looked unsure for a few seconds, hesitated and said “ok. Bye mummy I love you!”. That was my cue! I grabbed her phonics book, gave it to Mrs. N and told her that dinky was happy with Ms. W so I was going to go before she changed her mind. The teacher was relieved and said “go, go, have a nice day!” so I went quick.
I got home and the postman arrived just as I did, a letter from the hospital. My ultrasound and biopsy is for next tuesday. The downside to isolating yourself… appointments that are for after school. Urghh. I tried to rearrange but the woman said that it has to be afternoons because the consultant doesn’t work mornings and it has to be done while he is around. What kind of consultant doesn’t work mornings? (obviously a breast specialist!)
So now I have to find someone willing to have dinky for a couple of hours. I do have two sort of friends. But both of them work, one will definitely be working the other won’t find out until Thursday. I might contact the childminder, if she can’t look after dinky she might be able to recommend a childminder that can. So that is another thing I have to sort out.
I text the play therapist to ask if she was free for a quick chat about dinky. She said I could pop down at 2.30pm.
In the meantime I got the glue, stickers and glitter out to decorate a box for her new (secondhand) DS to go in for special time.
So I went to the school and waited for the play therapist…
PT: so what can I do for you?
Me: I was just wondering if there is anything you can suggest I do at home with dinky and also to ask how you think she is doing here.
PT: ok, I’m no expert in what you could do at home I’m a play expert. In her play she seems stuck in that 3 year old stage rather than almost 5. What are the problems you face at home and how have you tried to resolve it?
Me: Well, dinky doesn’t like change to her routine, she like to know exactly what is going on. So I have drawn some pictures with times to give her an idea of what the day is like. The routine varies too much at the weekend to have separate pictures for the weekend. So she keeps asking when lunch is. Also she asks for programmes that are weekdays only, then can get really aggressive, and throws toddler tantrums.
PT: what do you do when she physically attacks you?
Me: it depends on what she is doing. If its the head butting and the punching or kicking then I push her away until she has calmed down enough for a cuddle, because she normally cries afterwards. If she is full out frenzy attack, then I have to restrain her. Which is not easy especially in public. She knows the biggest way to get me to let go when we are out is to say I’m hurting her. She knows I get upset by it because she knows I wouldn’t hurt her. I’m just holding her. It’s difficult.
PT: hmm, she has got it sussed, terrible two type tantrum with partial 4 year old reasoning…routine is good though, It offers her stability. That is what she needs… She needs stability more than anything. In her play she seems very insecure, last week it was the moving out of the house and this week it has been having no where to live. It is a really big thing for her.
Me: I didn’t realise she Understood we had nowhere to live. I didn’t realise she understood what was going on.
PT: the play comes from the subconscious so I doubt she does really know that you had nowhere to go. She might have heard it once and kept it inside. I have said it before, for the situation you are both in you are both doing brilliantly. You both have this ability to shrug it off on the outside, but hold it all inside. You have had more practice than dinky so she still has trouble keeping it all in which is part of her behaviour issues. She needs to let it out, which she is now doing here. I think you are doing all you possibly can in what are very difficult and trying circumstances. I have grown up kids and even when they were that age I would have gone crazy if we were in that situation. I don’t know how you do it, and still get her to school everyday, and on time.
Me: it kind of helps if you are a little crazy to begin with!
PT: haha, maybe you are right, maybe it does help…
PT: I will dig out some really good books on dealing with challenging behaviour, the problem is in your circumstances, stuck in one room, there isn’t much, you are doing more than I would have thought of already. What do you do once you calm her down?
Me: I take 2 of her toys or 2 films, her choice. But my dad was given a DS and yesterday she had her first special time. I give her 10 minutes. If she is naughty she loses a minute. If she does something really good she earns a minute. She can’t play the DS at any other time than special time. I decorated a special box for it today which is why I have odd bits of red glitter on me.
PT: that’s a fantastic idea. Let me know how that one goes!
Me: I will. Ok, well I have to go because I have to get dinky. Otherwise we will have a meltdown on our hands.
PT: just quickly, are you still seeing your nurse?
Me: no I’m kind of between nurses so to speak.
PT: oh, ok, any word on when you will get someone new?
Me: not yet.
PT: leave it with me. I have their number. I’ll see if I can push them along a little bit. You are both doing ok. You just both need a little support right now, which is ok. She is quite like you. Laughs off the hard things in life. She is adorable and I wish I could see her everyday.
I will get the books and get dinky’s teacher to put them in her bookbag.
Me: thanks S. it was nice to catch up. Thank you for your time.
PT: anytime, and I genuinely mean that!
Get around the corner..
We get home, have a lovely meal of sausage and chips (I try to treat her on play therapy days), and then she had a film followed by reading practice and then special time. She loves the DS!
And now I’m writing this in the dark in silence while she wriggles and twists and turns. My daughter is amazing! (and obviously she is the cutie!)