It's almost New Year's here and that means Deeana celebrated her first Christmas with us as a family! Both her and Hayden have been waiting for Santa for weeks - all while Mom was worrying about meltdowns. I am happy to report things went well!
Let's back track to a few weeks before Christmas and update you about how things have been going. Deeana is still doing Theraplay once a week and we all find it to be very beneficial. About 3 weeks ago, Mommy decided to try and "move out" of Deeana's room again. We started a sticker reward chart, and reminded her that sleeping in her bed wasn't scary, but a big 3 year old thing to do. We go through a nightly routine of telling her that we will come and get her in the morning when the alarm rings and such, and minus a few bad dreams (to be expected) and a few stubborn moments, she has slept on her own and Mommy is sleeping soundly back with Daddy. ;)
We are still working on potty training - this still remains to be a struggle. We sometimes wonder if it is a power struggle or a typical kid thing. Is she being a child who is too busy to be bothered with toilet training, and would rather play, etc.. We know she knows when she is wet, when she has to go, and she is physically able to go by herself, but she just won't do it. Oye...
Leading up to the days of Christmas I could sense the anxiety coming from Deeana. She became cranky very fast and easily fell into a tantrum. Then again, my 8 year old was very wound up as well. ;)
Here is what we have found that has worked for us, it was suggested by our Theraplay therapist. We would take Deeana into a quiet room, sometimes dark, and sit her on our lap. We would gently tap her from chest to toe, starting front then back. Similar to the patting of a baby's bottom. Sometimes we would hear a deep sigh and would know she had relaxed. Other times if the house wasn't quiet enough or she was wound to much, I would rub her arms and legs with lotion (I frequently do this before bedtime before she puts on her pajamas). The lotion has helped a lot with bonding as well.
Onto Christmas. We spent Christmas Eve at my mother's, leaving early to open presents just with my mom first before the rest of the family came and the house got full. We V's then spent Christmas Day at home. Deeana was a delight to watch when unwrapping - she would take the smallest bit of paper and hand it off to us or go to throw it away before fully unwrapping. It was bliss to see her and Hayden's wonderful smiles.
We took a small break from opening more gifts with Michael's family and just saw then recently... spacing out the gift giving just enough that the kids had plenty of time to play with their new toys and help with anxiety.
Deeana still thinks Santa's "here" and it's Christmas time, then again, she still talks about Trick-or-Treating. :) In do time she will understand the holidays and really believe in Santa, the Easter bunny, and so forth.
She is growing so much with our family and learning more and more everyday. Just the other day she told us "I kidding!".... and her favorite knock-knock joke.... about a moon, up in the sky.
May you have a blessed New Year!
P.S. Enjoy some pics: