Max has had a rough set of nights recently. While the seizures have taken a break for a few weeks (and running), the increase in medicine has left him a bit hulkish in his moods, or given him insomnia. When Max does not sleep, he wants an audience. And in this house, that audience tends to be the momma. We read together, we talk, we hold hands. But mostly, Max just jabbers, and I beg him to go to sleep.
Last night, I tried all the tricks I had. I gave him a bath before bed, I turned his fan and ocean waves on. It all seemed to work, as he drifted off by 11:00pm, and I got into my own bed and quickly fell asleep from the exhausting all nighter the night before. He woke me up at about 12:45am. Time to play!!!
I told him he would have to go to sleep, and stay asleep because he had therapy in the morning that he didn't want to miss. I think that just made him more excited. I finally gave in and gave him a half dose of his anti-anxiety/knock'em out medicine. He was still fighting the sandman until I hauled his hefty self up onto my lap and swayed him to sleep. By 2:00am, he was drooling down the front of my shirt, sound asleep. After I pulled out my ninja skills to get out from under him and get him safely situated in his bed, I fell into my own and tried to calm my mind to sleep.
I knew when I started to get Max around this morning that he would definitely not be ready for his favorite therapy of the week, music, because he was so sound asleep, still. We waited to cancel with art therapy, since it was later in the afternoon, and thought he may be awake by then for it.
He did indeed sleep through the hour of music therapy, and started to be more alert by late afternoon for art. He told me a couple of times he wanted to paint again in art, so I think he was looking forward to it.
When the therapist got here and showed him the new slick sticks she brought, his Hulk came out and he threw a big fit. I suggested he might like to paint, and he calmed right down. Oh, the moodiness on my even-keeled boy is so hard to see.
He was happy to take the yellow paint-brush and chose his first color of paint as.....yellow. Of course!
Max had something in mind with this painting, and went for it!
After yellow, he chose purple. Since there wasn't a purple on the water colors, he had to mix red and blue together.
Then he told us he was done.
And folded his hands together.
I asked him if he made it for anyone, and he told me "Nonni." Then I asked if he was giving it to her, and he told me "no my." Then he asked where Nonni was. (He uses 'wear' for 'where' on his talker.)
He asked for more painting and chose green for his next masterpiece. He went a little wild and took the paintbrush off the paper onto his tray.
And covered the paper with glittery green.
He got tired of assistance with stabilizing his arm, and told us about it.
When he was done, he dropped the paintbrush and brought his hands together. He told us to "look at me.", so we stood in admiration of his art piece for a few moments.
His next piece was with the paint blotters, and he needed more assistance from me on this one, so I didn't get photos of his progress, just his finished piece.
He told us it was a book. I asked him if it was Curious George, and he said "no." I asked him if it was his Batman book, and he gave me a crooked smile. I don't know...it looks like the man in the yellow hat to me....but must be Batman.
He was getting more and more agitated by the time it got to his final picture. He was sweating a lot and acting very upset. We kept pausing and asking is he was done. He continued to tell me more, and like, so we kept on. The last painting he wanted to paint, and wanted red. Lots of red.
He chose blue for part of it, then asked for a pen. His therapist gave him the red slick stick and he covered a lot of the picture with it. At the end I asked him about this painting and he told me he was frustrated. And felt sick. And felt good. A bit of a mixed message, but I think the after effects of the medicine were probably making him feel all those things, and he was just ready to be done.
The whole point of this therapy for Max, is simply to express himself. Each one of the paintings today was so different. And show so much of his moods. He's all over the place some days. Sometimes within an hour swinging from happy, to sad, to indifferent, to mad.
I think I'm going to have to come up with a way for him to do more of the painting independently, so he can get his feeling out on paper when the mood strikes him.