Wow. Today was um...challenging...!! My friend's children managed to lobby their poor mother into letting them stay here another night, which is MORE than fine by me, they are great kids, they make my kids happy... what's not to love. Jack ADORES them and was so thrilled to wake up and find them here this morning. He wanted sooo badly to play with them today but the poor kid... his communication skills, whilst MUCH improved, are still way behind his peer group's. I don't notice UNTIL he gets around children of his own age and it's a bit of a shock to be honest. Anyway, Jack wanted to play with the kids but couldn't really find a way to communicate his needs. The children were all pretty wild today and there was a LOT of charging around and squealing which makes it even harder for Jack to be heard and understood. Too much excitement tends to lead him to throwing things and lashing out at Jessie. So many times today I had to go to where the children were playing and remove Jack from the scene. So many times Jack assured me he was "a nice boy now" and I, thinking we'd got to the root of the problem, sent him back into the mix. The bigger kids really were doing their best to include him but were unable or unwilling to figure out what Jack wanted and after only a short time mayhem would ensue again. I had hoped to get a ton of work done whilst the kids played together but this time it was not to be. I DID manage to find several things throughout the course of the day that would help Jack cool out. One of which was to have him help me do chores. I asked him to help me sort the laundry into piles until he felt calm enough to go and play with the others. It worked. He LOVES to sort laundry and I could tell that being of use and helping out was really making him feel better. Another thing that worked was to have him sit in a chair or to stand still and to show me how calm he could be whilst I counted ( slowly ) to twenty. I asked him to try and focus on his breathing and I could see the poor little guy trying really hard to take nice deep breaths. By far the biggest thing that worked for us today though, was time, love, attention and empathy. I really felt for him, despite how angry and mean he was being. I knew that he was really hurting inside and wanted desperately to play along and be part of the gang. I held him on my lap and talked to him. I cuddled him and loved him. Most importantly I looked at him with love in my eyes. He had seen anger, confusion, frustration, disappointment, bitterness and concern in my eyes today, but he hadn't seen love. I made sure to soften my expression, smile tenderly upon him and let him see just how much I love him, no matter what. THAT really seemed to work. Suddenly he seemed like a happier, calmer boy. I held his hand and we went up to see the older kids. Jack said he was sorry for being wild and he agreed to sit nicely with them. An hour or so later, after Daddy had come home, Jack came up to me, hugged me and patted my back and said "I love you, Mummy"
And I love you, Jack. So much more than you know.