Saturday, January 10, 2009

The meltdown heard 'round the neighborhood

Remember last week when I posted about how Bitty was SOO excited to get back on the computer after vacation, how he was obsessed with playing games on

Well, with school starting back this week, we had to limit his computer time in the evenings and he was NOT happy about it. By "not happy" I mean he went absolutely ballistic, running around screaming and crashing into furniture and people, and throwing himself on the floor to scream some more.

It didn't matter how long he'd already been on the computer, the result was the same when it was time to get off. Since it was dinnertime when we told him it was time to get off and come eat, he ended up missing dinner because he was too upset to eat. The first night we cut him some slack but when it happened again the next night we said enough is enough, no more computer for that little boy for a while.

We had to hide the mouse and actually turn the computer all the way off (just turning the monitor off wasn't enough). I feel bad because when he finally started to settle down one night (translation: completely exhaust himself), he sat there asking, "wekkum to noggin?" and we’d say, "sorry, but no" (a phrase he learned on noggin and has been saying over and over), "the computer is broken." Then he'd start crying this sad little cry, saying, "cuh-puer bwokeh" (computer broken).

The next day, we found out just how loud he'd been screaming when our neighbor told us she'd heard him and wondered if everything was ok. This is our neighbor from across the street! I'm sure she was outside on the front porch at the time because they are out there a lot, but still, we're talking about across. the. street. With our door and windows closed. That's how loud he was. Ugh. Luckily, at least we know them pretty well and they know the boys so they understand, but still. I knew he was loud and I have made jokes before about the whole neighborhood being able to hear our boys, but now I guess it is true.

Anyway, since that second night, Mr. Bitty has been in a better mood at least. He seems to have accepted that the computer is broken, but we can’t go anywhere near it while he’s awake, so we are kind of on computer restriction too... (not that we could get on it before when he was awake either, because he was on it!).

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Rebecca on January 10, 2009 at 3:40 PM said...

I think Julie is on to something over on Celebration of Our Journey with the moon phases - Bug has been freaking out a ton and tonight is the fill never know!

I am wondering if our neighbors hear...yikes!

((HUGS)) Hang in there mom!

Amazing_Grace on January 10, 2009 at 3:45 PM said...

Don't feel bad. I know the neighbors hear me yelling at hubby all the time. :)

Anonymous said...

I have to unplug our monitor because turning off the computer or even the power strip doesn't work. If the monitor is unplugged, well it's just all black. Sigh. I completely understand! And restricted computer time for everyone is tough! I don't know if you've tried it or if it would help, but we use a timer for Daniel. He's very used to it now so when the timer goes off he'll usually turn the computer or TV off on his own. We originally had a Time Timer with the red minutes on it, but that broke and we just use a kitchen timer. We always says, "When the timer goes off it's time to STOP". That works for us...but it's taken awhile to get there. Just a thought. If you don't want unsolicited advice, just ignore me. I'll understand that too! (HUGS!)

Amazing_Grace on January 10, 2009 at 4:31 PM said...

Have you tried Time Timers?

lonestar on January 10, 2009 at 7:21 PM said...

Thanks for the encouragement :)

@Julie - suggestions are always welcome, thanks! I remembered ya'll had dealt with similar issues but couldn't remember how you handled it. The microwave timer works well for us, but the computer is in the other room. I think we'll need to get a timer for the computer. Didn't you also use a puzzle system to have him earn computer time? We should probably try something like that too.

Anonymous said...

As hard as this all was, you sound calm and confident - as you should be. You are excellent parents for helping him work through self-control of his computer-desire.

Dianna on January 11, 2009 at 7:35 AM said...

I think the other suggestions of a timer is a wonderful idea :) If you do that let us know how it goes :)


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I'm a mom of three boys on the autism spectrum, 11-yr-old identical twins and a 7-yr-old. My husband is a SAHD.


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