Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Bowled over by Clifford the Big Red Dog

So okay, today after lunch and some outside play, Kylie asked to watch some TV. Lately I have been saying no, because trying to pull her away from that box is never let's just get rid of it :) Anyhow, I said yes and put on PBS, where Clifford the Big Red Dog was on.

Apparently the one character, T-Bone (yellow dog) was scared of loud noises, and he called himself a scaredy cat and hid inside his dog house. He was embarrassed by being afraid of something. I was amazed by the encouraging words that were Cleo and Clifford said to T-Bone.

-It's okay to be scared of something, even if it's for no good reason.
-It's okay even if others don't understand.
-We're all scared of something.

Clifford's Big Idea:

Believe in Yourself

It's important to try new things, because that's how you learn.

It was all too fitting as it followed up a morning field trip for Kylie's school. Bowling!

She was so excited to know that her dadda was going to be there, and hello, it was bowling! We have been a handful of times and she has had a great time. I was going to link to when we went bowling the beginning of the year, but I just realized that I haven't posted that yet...oops.

She brought Dora with her today.

When Kylie sees friends or familiar people out and about, she totally shuts down and won't talk, and will often hide. This was the case once everyone arrived, and she realized all the practice and talk at school for bowling was coming to life...that she was expected to play and do these things with everyone there. Lots of screams, lots of saying she wanted to go home and that she didn't want to do it. My heart was going straight in the gutter watching all of this unfold.

It was her turn to go up, and since we know she can do it, she loves it, that we needed to work with her to show her that she can do it with friends around. Matt carried her up there, kicking and screaming...just hysterical really. She tried to wrap herself around him and hang on for dear life, but dadda did great and at trying to pry her off of him and get her to do something. I know it sounds so cruel to do when she is like this, but we have to, and it hurts, but she needs it. She needs to see that she is safe and she can have fun, and that others may watch, friends can be out with her in other places.

In the moments that Matt was trying to detach Kylie from him, her para walked up and said that she needed to get Kylie out of this (out of that state of fear), she told us to just go back and she was doing this. She took Kylie and kicking and screaming all the while, they did it together. She screamed and was hysterical still, and then she let Kylie come to us. Kylie still had one shot to go, and Matt and I did it with her...the result was the same. But we did it, and we kept pushing.

The faces of her classmates moms were filled with sympathy for Kylie and us. It was tough, because they know and they are just really supportive and chatted with me. The one mom told me it was like flashbacks from her older daughter...she said it was the exact same thing. It was almost comforting to know someone else has been through something so similar, yet so difficult. We can do this though...we have to.

Her teacher told me that we could decide how long we were going to stay. I was not sure how much longer that would be. It was just continuous. She would run away to the arcade area that was right next to our lane....for her escape, and it would start again when it was her turn.

Matt had a great idea, we went and saw a high school girl from our church in her soccer game last night, so he used that to help get Kylie to play. He asked her if she wanted to kick the ball down the bowling. She was still oppositional but she was easing up a bit. The next round she calmed down and that contd more and more.

She even started to play, with no assistance...

...the way we know she can

I sat aside and got to take in the whole picture and watch Matt work with Kylie. The experience we had today is often the kind we have when we try to go places and try new things, or see people we know and Kylie has no escape. I was glad that Matt got to see what I do so often...I always tell him, but he got to live it out even more. It is so hard, to do, and to repeatedly go through and work through.

Kylie and her friends having a snack...her para, and teacher are just behind the kids. She loves them both so much, and so do we!

On our way home and thereafter, Kylie talked about how she was sad and didn't want to play but then she had fun. So we talked about how we don't need to be sad when our friends are around and we can have fun with them.

After lunch, and some outside play, I thought it was just fine to let Kylie watch some TV and I was so glad I did. That big red dog, had some great things for both of us to hear. One thing I struggle with is seeing how tough these social things are for hurts me to see her that way, and then to have to keep pushing her through it, and seeing how others often view her and us. But you know what, Clifford and his friend Cleo said it best:

It's okay even if others don't understand.


Rochelle said...

So sorry the bowling adventure didn't turn out great today. But, I have faith that each time you guys stretch her a little bit in these difficult situations is helping her adjust to them.
Praying for all of you, I know it is hard as a mama to have to watch your child be uncomfortable in any situation. Hugs and hang in there. She has come SO far!

MJStump said...

It was tough to say the least..sadly most new experiences go this way or anytime attention is put on her.

Makes me worry for the days she is in the school system and is called upon and expected to perform.

We just need to keep coaching and cheering her on.


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