Friday, December 3, 2010

The Countdown Continues

We give gifts on St. Nicholas Day, Dec. 6, instead of Christmas. Once that's over, the rest of Advent is much more peaceful. You can read the whole story of how we arrived at this plan here. So we've just got to make it through the weekend. About Dec. 1, Goldilocks was yelling at Mama Bear, convinced she was holding out on him:
"You're never going to let me have any presents!"
"You just have to wait for St. Nicholas Day."
"Christmas is already here, and you still have my presents! You stole them! I'm going to take you to court!"

She finally persuaded him that St. Nicholas Day was six days away. He's been much calmer, almost his ornery old self. This morning, he announced,
"St. Nicholas Day is six days away."
"No, it's only four days away."
"You told me it was six days away. You told me that five minutes ago!"

Sigh. He's always been a little vague on time concepts, but that one is new. Anything that happened in the past was always "yesterday". Anything we ask him to stop momentarily he can never do, "never, ever again". Anything happening in the future, whether goof or bad, whether five minutes or ten years from now, is a source of great anxiety. He can't relax until all predictions, plans, and expectations are filled. And he lives almost entirely in the future. He doesn't care what's happening now, he wants to know what's happening next, and after that, even though knowing only increases his anxiety.

When he was seven, and his cousin was four, she announced to Nana, "I know what's wrong with GL."
"What?" Nana asked.
"His calm down button is broken."
Not one of the many professionals he has seen has offered a better description.

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3 Comments:

Blogger JoyMama said...

A broken calm-down button -- that's an awesome description.

Your switch to St. Nicholas Day gift-giving sounds like a stroke of genius, even if it doesn't solve the broken button itself!

December 4, 2010 at 6:00 AM  
Blogger Arby said...

I have to ditto Joy Mama on all counts!

December 6, 2010 at 8:42 AM  
OpenID lynnes said...

Christmas is proving difficult for us this year, too. We actively involved G in the christmas shopping for the first time and he became very anxious that he had presents but didn't know what they were. He's forgotten it for now and we're putting off getting a christmas tree as long as possible because we're worried it'll trigger the anxiety again.

December 8, 2010 at 8:49 AM  

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