Gabriel has been amazing lately. Cooperative, sweet, thoughtful, doing what he's supposed to do without complaint....I only have to tell him two or three times to do something, or stop doing something, and he complies good-naturedly and without hurling insults or grumbling or threatening. He even said "OK, Mommy!" once yesterday. I'm not sure I've ever heard him say that!
The CDC staff has noticed a huge change in his behavior too. Their description of how good and easy he's been makes me realize how difficult he usually is. "He even cleaned up without objecting and only being told once!!" they told me with delight.
There are a number of things that could contribute to this. School is over and there's just less opportunity to disrupt. At the CDC, he's now with the older group of kids, the "SCEEP"ers (I forget what that stands for), which starts with the 3rd-graders. He's now the youngest in an older group, and it opens up a whole new world for him, and suits him very well.
At home, Dave pulled out an Electronics Learning Lab that Dave got as a thank-you gift from his employer, for teaching a basic electronics introductory lyceum at work. So this was not purchased with kids in mind, and we've had it since Gabriel was a baby. I think Dave had planned to see if Gabriel was interested when he turned 10 or so, but he's very very ready for a more advanced electronics kit.
Not surprisingly, Gabriel is beside himself with this new turn in his life, and he spends most of his time at home stooped over this little "lab," studying the book that came with it, inventing new circuits. He's constantly talking about how gates work and something he's put together, or dogging Dave with questions.
However, the demon that possessed Gabriel has found a new home.
Katrina has been awful lately.
Now, I must clarify: "awful" means awful between long bouts of being adorable and sweet and VERY VERY talkative. My goodness, when she's happy, she's so happy that even Gabriel says to her, "Katrina, could you just STOP TALKING for a few minutes already?!"
But when she's unhappy, she's unhappy for a very very long time, and very loudly. It's very disruptive, no one can talk or think when she's fussing or crying or complaining or repeating again and again "I don't LIKE this day. I don't LIKE this day. I don't LIKE this day. I don't LIKE this day...." Just like her big brother, she is a person of extremes, and she holds onto things for a long time.
Today's tantrum started when I picked her up from preschool, she went to the bathroom, and then I helped her get a paper towel -- but the one I first handed her was a little wet from my fingers. That kicked off a tantrum that lasted well after we were home, over an hour. She somehow broke out of it and shifted into her yakkity-yak mode, which is much more pleasant but just as noisy.
Julian has his seriously obnoxious and rude moments, but he's never been a tantrumer the way Gabriel and Katrina were/are. It's more ongoing and pervasive when Julian gets into a state, rather than a clearly defined tantrum.
Is it ever possible to have all three in a good phase at the same time? Or would we pay for that with all three in a horrible phase at the same time?