So the first appt with the counselor is not until March 13th, and it's only with Chad and I. I had emailed her all Gav's medical/school history hoping to get it out of the way and dive right in since we have to wait so long for an appt, but it's not the case.
In the mean time I call periodically to see if there are cancellations that I can get in earlier.
Things seem to be better - although the weekend that pushed me over the edge was so bad that anything is better in comparison.
I did discover that he was not doing a good job eating all his lunch. Now, I don't overpack his lunch. I pack exactly the amount I believe he should eat to fuel him until after school - that way he eats it all, therefore he eats a variety, and doesn't just eat a whole lot of one thing he favors.
I have some tricks to knowing what he eats (and therefore what gets thrown away if it doesn't come home in his lunch bag). Last week a clean spoon still in the baggie came home. A non-messy baggy means no yogurt was consumer. There was no yogurt in his bag, so it got thrown away. Couple issues - not eating this 190 cal yogurt was almost half his calories! Not to mention the wastefulness of throwing an unopened yogurt away. AE ain't cheap (unless I stock up when it is).
Another trick is putting him main meal in a thermos. A sandwich can be tossed. He's not quite sneaky enough to think to dump his thermos out before putting it back in his bag. Heck, half the time he forgets to put the lid on.
They only get 20 minutes for lunch. And they have lunch before recess. I wonder if they had recess first, got all the chatting with friends out of the way, and were hungry and worn out when they came in, if they would do a better job eating? Ahhh....if only I ruled the world, right?
The kid has been eating a lot lately, and he has been doing a good job of telling us when he is hungry and identifying a healthy and appropriate snack, and he has been doing a good job drinking water without us having to tell him. This all helps prevents the over all grumps. Keeping the over all grumps at bay makes for a much more pleasant Gavin.
Still flying off the handle a bit when Sam messes with him. At this point, I'm going to say it's a learned habit. I mean, he is perfectly happy and playing one minute, then he just flips. Some things we are working on (and I would appreciate everyone that is at our hous/we are at your house to help as well):
Jumping in and defending Gav when Sam starts to mess with him. I believe we've fallen into the trap of Gavin is older and can defend himself. Sam is in that really naughty 3 yr old negative attention seeking phase. Gav lashes out at Sam, we are all over it. But if Sam lashes out at Gavin, we expect him to defend himself. How does that make him feel? Probably not great. So we are working on defending Gav as soon as Sam starts with him, so he knows we are sticking up for him as well, and that he doesn't need to escalate into screaming and fighting back.
Not letting Sam get in his room or his stuff. Gavin is allowed to be in his room with his door locked to play on his own, and his door is kept closed otherwise. We moved the car buckets that Sam likes to take cars from into the living room, so he has no excuse to get into Gavin's room. I asked Gavin first, of course, trying to respect his stuff/space, and he no longer really plays with that stuff so it was fine.
Alone time. When studying for a test the other night, I laid in my bedroom with Gavin going through the study guide. Sam woke from his nap and starting crying for me from the living room (Chad was in there but he wanted me). As hard as it was, I ignored the crying and gave Gavin my undivided attention until we were done with the studying. I could tell it was good for him, at the end he asked me if I would make some notes on the paper about one particularly confusing section (capital vs capitol) for him to study one last time in the morning.
Lastly, we are working on keeping our voices calm, and not using any attacking words/questions towards him (example, things like "what is wrong with you?") when he is freaking out. It's not like he's going to get into a conversation about what is bothering him in that moment anyway. The focus in the middle of tantrum is just to calm down, take a deep breath, tell him to let us deal with Sam (if that's the impetus).
We really did have a pretty great weekend. Friday night the boys were good, Saturday morning was a little crazy, but the rest of the weekend was pretty smooth as I recall. Baby steps.