Thursday, February 23, 2012

Making progress

Next week Micah Marvin will have been HOME for 3 months... And already he's been in my care for just over that. So thankful for how far we've come.

I looked in the fridge to see what we'd have for lunch today and realized we have quite a few leftovers that we need to eat up before they go bad. The problem: 1 serving of 3 different things. A few weeks ago, it would have driven MM crazy if he had something different to eat than Tobin and especially than me. If I was smart, I would have had him use his words and ask us to share, then given him a couple of bites of each of our food. And even then it would have bothered him. And there was a 50/50 chance that he'd throw a screaming fit before I even had a chance to offer to share... The reality is that I probably wouldn't have tried it.

I'd never complain, because as far as food issues go, MM is on the very mild end. The hardest thing is that sometimes I'm just sitting down to eat (after taking care of everyone else), and he's already finished and demanding my food. Hard to be patient.  And hard to know where to meet his need for food (wanting him to learn to trust that we will always provide for him), and where to teach him boundaries.

But today? He didn't blink an eye. He payed no attention to Tobin's food, and looked at mine and said, "Mommy's food?" Then happily ate all of his. Hallelujah.

Even better...Yesterday I was disciplining him** for spitting on Tobin (Tobin wouldn't hand over something that Micah wanted...being 2, if MM sees it, he thinks it's "mine.") As I put him in the time out chair, he waved his arms around, but was careful not to hit my face.

I stopped in my tracks. It's been over a week since he's hit me in the face.

I mean, the spitting is kind of a new adventure (he started that a couple of weeks ago, and has spit in my face a couple of times when I was telling him "no".) But I'm really happy that his first response has moved on from hitting. And yesterday it really looked like he made a conscious choice to control himself.

I fully realize that these behaviors are cyclical and will likely show their lovely faces again at some point. But I'm CELEBRATING that they're not constant anymore. And so thankful that we get to be a loving safe place for Micah Marvin to learn what it means to be in a family. Totally worth it.

** In case any one wonders what we do for discipline.... The first month and a half or so, we just did time ins (meaning we held Micah firmly but gently, restraining his arms and legs so he couldn't hit - this was almost always in response to fits, which were usually in response to being told no.)

We've moved to time outs, in a specific location, and always with me in sight and often just a few feet away (we don't discipline him ever by removing him from our presence, because we want him to know we'll always be here. Although if he's hitting or spitting I step away from him immediately.)

My favorite moments: He has learned that saying "I'm sorry" will always get him a hug & kiss and an excited "I forgive you!" Now after he says "I'm sorry", he gets super excited and says "I forgive you!" with me. So cute.