Summer so far, aside from being a bit of a wash out, has been interesting!
Hannon, Lily, Harriet and I have made more than a few trips to Houghton House after discovering that it is brilliant for role playing games. The kids have really let loose and played Batman, Avatar and countless other chase games/shooting games/hiding games/mystery games and ghost hunting games. They have played for hours on end in the beautiful surroundings of Central Bedfordshire.
To be honest, I'm a bit worried that the local residents might think we are 'casing the joint' for some big job as we have been there so often, mostly at sunset!
But, wow, to have them voluntarily leaving the house and running around outside regardless of the weather has been magical and it is a nice reminder of why we love the Summer so much.
In other news, Dominik called the police to come to our house. Not so great. No.
He told the dispatch lady that I had 'tried to strangle his face' and that he was being assaulted. Sigh. I am more than willing to confess that yes, I did lunge at him (but that I lunged at him due to tripping over the end of his bed) whilst trying to take away his controller and headset in order to stop him playing a game which was causing him so much anxiety that he could no longer distinguish reality from fiction. Shit.
About half way through the call he realised what he had done and began back-tracking at a remarkable rate, but obviously this was to no avail. The dispatch lady explained to him that she had a duty to send an officer to our house.
Lily went into instant meltdown imaging the worst and fearing that I would be arrested and Dominik was almost suicidal thinking about the potential consequences.
The male officer arrived within ten minutes of Dominik making the call and he was professional, courteous and friendly to us all.
He listened to what we all had to say and took the time to explain to Dominik that what he had actually done was waste police time for what was essentially a fight with his mum over his computer game.
Domink was embarrassed and upset but handled it well overall. I was embarrassed and upset but also grateful at the speedy response and the understanding shown by the officer.
All's well that ends well I guess. I think Dominik would hesitate before doing it again and I do think he learned this lesson. It has always been one of my greatest fears if I'm honest so I'm glad it is out of the way now!
I should add though, that the officer did tell Domink that he should call again if he felt genuinely threatened by anyone (including me).
Ummm, what else? Well, we bought a little tent for our back garden and have had some great fun sleeping out and playing games in it during the rainy days. Hannon has discovered that he can read Harry Potter by himself. Lily has just had her first ever day out without me (or anyone else she is related to) and it went really well overall. She did hide in the toilet on two occasions during the day and she had a massive meltdown once she was home but that is to be expected I think. I'm just so proud of her for wanting to do it and managing to too!
We've already been on our holiday to Scratby as well. That was a beautiful five days away. We did lots of swimming (Lily can now swim on her back) and we went to the beach and Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach too. It all went by without incident but that is mostly because Dominik did not come with us. He chose to stay at home with my mum and the animals.
He told me that whilst we were away he did not have a single meltdown nor did he lose his temper or swear (my mum agreed) and he made a point of telling me that he should have been an only child. Oops.
Dominik just likes to be left alone and he loves the quiet.
I do feel awful when I hear this from him because I just feel so guilty that we can't do more. I obviously cannot make the house silent at all times and I obviously cannot vanish my other children but I wish I could, just for him. I'd make him a giant soundproof bubble if I could.
Although, he is very lucky I guess because he does get so much down time. He does not have to contend with school, shopping trips, visits to relatives, day trips etc etc if he does not want to and I suppose it must be helping.
This week he and I focussed on his self-esteem. He admitted to me that he does not often like himself and that he is completely unsure of how it feels to be truly, intrinsically happy. We talked about dopamine and what it does and we discussed how his computer creates that hormone for him and therefore ensures his 'happiness'.
Dominik knows that he needs to learn how to be happy in himself and without any external stimulation but he also knows that at this time, it is not possible. He knows that he is at increased risk of becoming a lifelong 'addict' in some way and he is conscious that he does not want this for himself.
He is also aware that he missing out on so much, this year particularly. He has missed countless trips to visit good friends and two short breaks. It makes me as sad as it makes him happy.
Together we can work this out. I know we can. But, like most things, it's just going to take a little time, patience and practice.