Drew is regulating. Not to be confused with regular.
He is regulating his emotions. True to Drew style, when I attempted to first write this post, he burst into tantrum mode; and sent himself to his room. Minus THAT, he's regulating.
It's one of those things that happens in slow motion. You hate to tell him no or to make him do something you know he doesn't want to do. You creep around, walking on egg shells, trying desperately to not disturb the small amount of peace. Then, there is the unevitable. The request to go swimming in the pool although it is 20 degrees outside. Or, the request for his third bowl of ice cream. And, his request to stay home and not go to school. All of those requests are those that you must not succomb to...you just can't. You would. You might even contemplate a way to make it happen; but you just can't. So, you say, "no", or "not right now", or delicately attempt to explain the situation- all the while cringing because you know the throw down is moments away. You may even begin to duck or step away to shield yourself from the rage.
But then, shockingly, you don't get a throw down. Instead, you might see him slap his legs, stomp his feet or say, "aww man". Maybe even run to his room, shut the door, and sit for a moment. But, he stays with you. He doesn't go to that place where his eyes are glazed over and you know he isn't really there anymore. He's here and he's regulating. It's amazing, really.
I've often watched other parents with their kids in the store.... oh wait, I don't often watch, I ALWAYS watch other parents with kids in the store or restaurant or park. I watch in envy, awe, bewilderment. Just yesterday, while at Target, I heard a mother tell her son, "no, I told you that we're not here to get toys." And...silence. What? No backtalking, screaming, flailing, etc? Wow. Must be nice. A few days ago in Target (yes, I frequent Target alot), I heard a little one fussing. In my judgemental mind, I was like "ha!" But, then his Mother said, "Stop crying RIGHT now." And, he did. Whoa. If only.
Drew is regulating though...he might not be ready to have that tested at say a restaurant or even Target; but he's trying. His therapists are noticing, Hubby is noticing, and obviously, I am noticing. It's so nice. It's just soooooo nice to not have a screaming child all day long...especially if everything doesn't go exactly as HE has planned. He can be redirected now. He doesn't forget; but he can be redirected and maybe even negotiated with....and believe me, he will be negotiating on his end too.
I'm probably taking advantage of the new skill by pushing his buttons; but I can't help it. I'm talking to him like other parents talk to their kids. "Don't stick your hand down your throat please." Ok, I guess other parents aren't saying that to their kids; but I did and he didn't scream back at me. I can tell him what to do, I can make him wait, I can even say no. Well, I can't outright say no. But, if I do, it's not nearly as bad as it used to be.
He just seems to be "getting" so much more now. I guess regulating comes with that..? I don't want to discredit preschool and gymnastics. I REALLY do think that both of those two activities are pushing his buttons all day long; yet he doesn't act out. DANGIT, so jinxed! At first, I think that he was holding himself together at school and then coming home and letting it all out on me. He's not doing that anymore. I think that him being around the typical kids at preschool is probably doing wonders for his emotional control. Don't get me wrong, we are not tantrum-free. They are just much shorter, less often, and with reason.
And for documentation purposes, the self-regulating came the same time I started supplementing with calcium again. Hmmmmm.