Monday, 18 December 2017

Contemplating Snowflakes

Whilst Lily and I were making paper craft snowflakes this evening loads of things occurred that I felt compelled to share!

Firstly, it was unanimous, amoung our little family at least, that the 6 pointed snowflakes looked amazing when compared with the 4 pointed snowflakes.

We asked eachother why and had a nice discussion about nature, Fibonacci numbers, symmetry, tessellation, fractions and probably a couple of other things too! Win, win with a spontaneous and cool Christmas craft!

The snowflakes also brought to light a few other things unrelated to the snowflakes themselves.

Lily found it really hard. Overall. Not just one part. She could not imagine the completed snowflake in her head and even after she had cut one, she had to refold it and study what she had done in order to draw another. She also could not follow a pattern. Whilst she was designing her snowflake, she constantly unfolded and refolded, indicating again that she was unable to imagine what it may look like in the end (when unfolded). She point blank (read - after a huge meltdown), refused to use the second method we found for folding the paper (the one that created the 6 pointed snowflakes) because she thought the first method was easier. And finally, she found the cutting really stressful. She was breathing hard and then holding her breathe. She was groaning and gnarling with frustration. She was terrified she would cut her design too far and ruin it. She did actually do this a couple of times and both were snowflakes were violently screwed up and thrown across the table.

However, she is now happily sat making her snowflakes, her way and she is improving fast! Oh, and they are being stuck all over the house! :-)

During the snowflake making, Dominik came into the kitchen with his office chair, tablet, hat and headphones so that I could do his daily neurodevelopmental exercises. Amazing. I didn't even ask him to come. He wandered in and was ready to get started.

Well, that didn't last long. It really was too good to be true.

Let me explain why I think Dominik then had a huge meltdown (larger than he's experienced in a fair few weeks).

On Wednesday, we're going to see Hamilton in London. I cannot recall if I have ever mentioned his obsession with the musical in this blog, but, it's been there, for probably around 9 months now. He knows all the words to a large chunk of the songs. He has researched it's performers and writer, read parts of the Benjamin Franklin papers, learned some American History, spent hours singing the songs and has generally been very Autistic about it!

It's heavily on his mind and is basically replacing Christmas as his 'event' this year. Everything in his life revolves around 7.30pm Wednesday night. He is excited, terrified, nervous, angry, thankful and anxious all the time.

So, back to the kitchen, the reason he was unable to even start his therapy is because he started talking to me about his sleep pattern. It is all over the place and he has been trying  to 'correct it' (his words, not mine). As he sat on his chair he asked me what I thought he could do to try and ensure he does not feel tired during our evening out to see Hamilton (which is in fact a late afternoon to an early morning in reality) and I answered him.
That was my mistake. He did not actually want to hear my suggestions (turn everything off, have a warm milk, put on the fan for white noise and stay in bed to relax and, hopefully at the very least, help his body understand that it is bed time now), what he wanted was a big hug and some empathy.

Soooooo, mine were not helpful suggestions in the circumstances. They were stupid, useless, a waste of time and obviously not going to work for him (his words). Sigh. He stomped off. Slammed his chair against the kitchen cupboards and slammed his bedroom door for good measure.

I probably should have seen it coming when I noticed that his actions were literally, 'too good to be true' but I didn't. I was worn out from calming and coaching Lily for half an hour. I was brain numb from talking about Fibonacci and geometry. I was excited that Dominik was doing something VOLUNTARILY that I have literally had to beg him to do every. single. day. since September. I missed the clues!

But, here I am now, analyzing what happened and seeing it all more clearly.

I think that's why I write this blog. Having no partner to reflect with means that I have to get the thoughts out somewhere! Ta-da! :-)

Dominik will be ok. I will go downstairs now and give him that hug and tell him that of course he won't feel tired and that of course he WILL NOT fall asleep on Wednesday! And that it is going to be perfect.

Thanks for reading!

N x

PS - Snowflakes also made me think of a friend who lost a loved one this week and send her a little extra prayer. Life is just so precious and fleeting, much like snowflakes themselves, so love each other and be kind. <3

PPS - Lily is writing her first manga! Just giving it a mention because otherwise I will never remember when she wrote it!

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