Today was Snuggle Bug's birthday. We didn't have cake and presents because we'll be doing a combined party for him and Cuddle Bear in about a week and a half. Still, I sent him into preschool with a fistful of lollipops to share with his friends and teachers. He was told happy birthday by everybody in the house and given lots of hugs. Snuggle Bug was his usual cheerful and mischievous self. I don't think the lack of cake and presents made too huge of a impression on him.
The boys decided to be contrary this afternoon. It was a difficult afternoon for me. I am trying to adapt my parenting approach from one based in behaviorism to one that is closer to being child lead. Today was day one of this transition. The boys seemed to be of the opinion that this made everything free reign. Their favorite activity was jumping on the couch. I firmly told them that they were not allowed to do it because it was unsafe and it damages the couch. This turned into the boys jumping on the couch and then stopping to tell me that they shouldn't do it because it was bad for the couch.
I am apprehensive over how the next few weeks of this are going to go. I decided to transition to a more child lead approach because the behaviorism one just wasn't getting any real progress. I'm not saying that the boys are poorly behaved. When we're out in public or they are around unfamiliar people, they behave very well. I've had quite a few people comment favorably on this. But things like spankings for potentially dangerous misbehavior and time-out are not working out that well for me.
I thing out of the three of us, I was the one who had the hardest time this afternoon. It was exhausting to keep redirecting them. When it was time to clean up, Snuggle Bug had a melt down and lay on the couch screaming for a few minutes. He was absolutely furious that I wasn't letting him play while his brother and I were picking up. I confess, I did try bribing the boys to cooperate.
It did nothing to motivate them. I think that I need to make clean up a daily activity rather then a weekly one. I am wondering if I made the afternoon more structured for the boys that I would have less problems with melt downs and misbehavior. Currently, it is pretty unstructured. Every thing that I have been reading, it seems that kids with autism benefit from structured activities.
I have about a month before school starts. Between now and then, I am going to reintroduce the 3:00 snack time followed by 'homework' time. Right now, I think I'm just going to have the boys work on coloring pages and maybe have Cuddle Bear do some reading. My thinking is if we have that hour set up as time to sit at the table and work on things, then perhaps it will make homework an easier thing.
Aside from this stuff, I am pleased to report that I finished my plying. All that I have left to do is wet it and set the twist. Then I can use it to finish up the crochet Wingspan shawl I am making. Which I will then over-dye with green so that the different yarns are at least in the same color family. The merino-bamboo fiber that my MiL gave me a few weeks ago has been sitting on the back deck in jars with dye. I'm attempting to solar dye the stuff.
I figure it has been enough time for the colors to seep in. Now I am going to wash the fiber and dry it. Hopefully, the colors set and I will be able to spin up some lush and lofty yarns. One jar has red dye. One jar has a mixture of orange and yellow dye. The third jar has blue. Of the three colors, I am most interested in seeing how the blue and the red come out. I figure if the dye doesn't take for these, I can always spin up the fiber and dye the skein with a bottle of Rit dye. I'm hoping that I don't have to do that, however. We'll see, I suppose.