So to compare and contrast with church yesterday, we had to deal with phones ringing today. This has been an issue for several months now. T does not like the sound of the phone ringing, to say the least. It has moved from simply covering his ears and inhaling quickly when the phone (cell or land line) rings, to crying and stressing only when we answered it, to tonight's new wrinkle: going into full OCD scripting of "Be gentle with phone" even when we don't answer. Rob & I tried several approaches to distract, redirect, ignore, even attempted to acknowledge and validate that the phone hurts his ears and surprises him, to no avail. For a full 45 minutes, we heard "be gentle with phone" over and over, with him doing everything from pacing to looking us directly in the eye – nothing would stop it. And we didn't even answer the phone this time.
I'm tired today. I'm fighting a head cold valiantly, and didn't get enough sleep last night because AMC insists on broadcasting Mad Men at 10pm Sunday nights. (Okay, I could DVR is and watch the next day, but I don't.) When I'm tired I don't have the mental stamina to stay calm, and about 35 minutes in, started losing it. It is at these times especially that I am so thankful that Rob & I are doing this together. I don't know how a single parent would do it. When I'm about gone, Rob can step in and share a really sweet moment with him. T was still insisting that we "be gentle with phone", but sat in Daddy's lap and buried his head while he cried a little. It broke my heart and warmed it all at the same time.
Eventually it was time for his shower, and the change of scenery – and my last ditch attempt to distract by reciting Dr. Seuss' ABC – snapped him out of it. And just like that, I had my happy boy back.
I really don't know what we could have done differently, if anything. Off to write a note to his behavior consultant – another reason why we're sticking with ABA full time (you know: Applied Behavior
And even more reason to be in awe of what happens with him in church on Sundays.