04 March, 2009

Pink Eye Stink Eye

Who knows if Jake *really* has pink eye, but his little lid is tender and his eyes are both a bit bloodshot. Allergies are here again so I would normally attribute eye puffiness to that but given the two cases of pink eye in Jake's class, I am guessing it really is conjunctivitis. Lovely.

and so Jake is giving me stink eye for about ten minutes following the administration of eye drops. Since I am giving them every two and a half hours, that's a lot of stink eye for one mom. Oh and it's off and on sheeting rain in the back yard, so outdoor play will be very limited. Yeah he is thrilled with me today. Currently he is staring out the guest bedroom window no doubt trying to figure out a way to unlock the window and zip line it to the trellis so as to scamper down the wisteria and hightail it to the back yard so he can sort the rocks out of the flowerbeds.

Lucy is a bit more enamored with me, having just made a batch of bread for the bread machine AND pizza dough (which will not be ready in time for kiddos lunch, and I am certain this will cause a crisis in less than a quarter of an hour.) Then, against the urge of nearly every fiber in my body to do other wise, I gave her a bowl, a cup of flour, a tablespoon of sugar, another of salt, a half of a lemon and a half cup of water, oh, and an empty spice container. She also has her little pink rolling pin and a mat for rolling out dough. I played "recipe" with her for awhile until she told me she was going to do the rest by herself. She has been happily making her recipe for nearly ten minutes now without a peep (except for her song which goes something like this "I'm making my recipe toDAYYYYYY. I'm making a yummy recipe toDAYYYYYYY").

Jake has had a great week at school, which of course makes me a little distressed. Hmm? Well his aide has not been there this week, and so perhaps it's true that her more punitive versus reward based interaction with Jake is tiring him out and making him less productive in class. I spoke to her a little last week about setting up smaller more attainable goals for Jake. He does not to well with, "I told you back in the classroom thirty minutes ago that you cannot have a cookie if you don't stand in line when we get to the lunchroom..no cookie for you". Smaller goals and rewards that are within maybe a ten minute time period provide an opportunity for him to feel success and reward in the present moment, which is where we want him to be. I want to encourage him to interact and achieve.. not that I am not concerned with overarching behavioral issues, or nurturing the idea of long term reward and pay off, but those concepts are bigger and more vague for a kid like Jake. I don't want him rewarded with a cookie every time he hits a switch. AS strange as it may sound given that I have an entire pantry filled with sweets and treats for bribes, I hate food based reward, having had an eating disorder earlier in my life, and believe food should be most often eaten for nutrition and less often tied to emotion. What I want is for Jake to be praised when he lines up in the classroom for lunch, then reminded to stay in line, and praised again when he makes it to the cafeteria. I know, it's dog training. Most child rearing is really the same as animal training, but you can't kennel your kid.
Anywhoo, Jake has been happier because he is only experiencing action and reward. Janet and I both recently realized that there needs to be a bigger conversation with BB, and his happy, productive little self this week has just reinforced that.
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