WMSJ's Skate for the Light Night brought the 10-year olds (Sage and Hope) and their Daddy out in another beautiful snowy day, full of great fun as they learned how to ice skate!
So while they were having a blast on ice, I was at home with the "littles".
Initially, it was very quiet here. Joy (18 months) wanted to watch home videos on my computer. Stevie (7, autism) wanted to watch sections of his favorite videos on the TV in the other room on. All by himself.
As in, with nobody else there: including yours truly, and baby Joy.
So, when I had watched all the video clips I could stand to watch, I veered Joy (read: I carried her) into the other room...that room, the one with Stevie...
As you could probably guess, it didn't go very well.
"No TV! Turn it off!"
"It is off, Stevie."
"No shows? Goodbye, Mommy! Goodbye, Mommy! Go to the other room! Put Joy to bed!"
"Stevie, you cannot have this entire room and the TV all to yourself. It is everybody's house."
I continue holding Joy, as I flip through the videos, trying to find one that will let me sneak away from my still-attached-at-the-umbilical-cord daughter, who is, by the way, heavy!
Stevie pulls on my clothes, trying to move me out of the room. "Goodbye, Mommy!"
He pulls harder.
He pulls "this way" and "that way" and then his frustration and determination escalate quickly. OCD has met it's match in Stevie!
I know where this is going, and it could get ugly.
But it might not: Just because it happened that way before, doesn't mean it will happen that way again.
So, I keep my cool. I hold Joy in one arm, and hug my fermenting child with the other arm. (This would be why God saw fit to give me twins first!)
I keep thinking: I can't let him know that I am no longer able to physically handle him if he goes into a full-out tantrum. Rheumatoid Disease has left me easily hurt.There is no one here to help me with him. But I can't let him know any of that. I can't let him see me sweat. I know God will help me in my time of need. I will act like I can handle this. I am in control-even when he wants to be the biggest control-freak in town.
Besides being emotionally unregulated, Stevie seems confused... like he really wants to fight to the end, but then he looks and sees me: his Mommy, the one giving him a hug-- a hug that helps to ground him.
So he doesn't fight. But, He's clearly conflicted.
I sit on the big fluffy brown chair with him and I finally set Joy down.
"Goodbye, Mommy!" he starts again: his cheeks red, his voice distressed, tears of frustration start to fall. He wiggles like he may try to push me off the chair, but I just hug him tighter, run my fingers through his hair to calm him.
"I'm not leaving, Stevie. It is my house too and I am going to stay here."
And I did.
And he lost his control over the environment he sought after, as he maintained control over his body and emotions and calmed down. Wow. Now that took some serious self-control!
I am so impressed with him; he has come such a long way in the last year!
Here is a picture of the twins at the Ice Arena:
The first picture must have been in the beginning because I heard that by the end of the night, they were whizzing around the rink!
The subject of control came up again, but this time it was about how much easier it seemed to maintain control while on ice skates, as opposed to roller skates. I guess the wheels don't come off as easily on ice skates.
Maybe we should teach Stevie to ice skate, too :)
Proverbs 16:32 Better to be patient than powerful; better to have self-control than to conquer a city.
Sometimes, we need to loose control over one area, in order to gain control over another. Like Stevie, we may be holding on to something that isn't ours in the first place.