Thursday, November 11, 2010

In Which Elijah has a Temper Tantrum in a Store - and That's a Good Thing

The other day Elijah and I went to our closest food co-op; it's the best place to buy fun allergy-safe items for Elijah.

The little dude was sitting in the cart when I showed him what I was buying him - some animal cookies.

When I put it in the cart basket behind him, he freaked out.  He wanted some of those animal cookies and he wanted them NOW.  We walked to the next aisle and I showed him the coconut milk I was buying him. Anything I picked up, he wanted. Mac n' "chreese" - he wanted it. Cereal - he wanted it. Coconut yogurt - he wanted it.  These were things I was already buying him - the point is that he saw that I was holding food and he wanted to eat it. Why, oh why, was I showing him things and then not feeding them to him?

He started screaming and crying and biting himself. The biting himself part isn't so great, but the part about being upset that I wouldn't give those things to him? AWESOME.

I know this is a common occurrence for most parents - the whole tug of war in stores over what's going to be purchased and kids having temper tantrums over the things on the shelves.  It's probably very annoying (and legitimately so). But, for us, this whole acting up over something Elijah sees is pretty amazing.

You have to understand that for the past three years Elijah hasn't always shown awareness of his surroundings.  The reason for this is multifaceted, of course. Recently, however, I feel like he is taking in more of his surroundings.  He's noticing things he never noticed before. Being able to recognize and see familiar packaging in a store is a pretty amazing feat for a little guy who just so happens to have Cortical Visual Impairment.  For a kid with CVI, it's hard to filter out all of the clutter. It's not that he can't see, it's that sometimes seeing is just so overwhelming.

He's also noticing what we're eating or drinking and is no longer content with what's on his plate.  He has the whole, "I'll have what she's having" mentality. He's noticing the world around him more.

So when my kid has a temper tantrum over a snack in my hand in the store, I get kind of excited. He doesn't know it, of course. I try to get him to calm down, but inside I'm glowing.  So if you see a crazy lady at the store smirking while her kid his trying to bang his head on the cart while biting his hand, it just might be me. Hi!

Next up, I hoping for a temper tantrum over something that he notices on the shelf instead of in my hand.  Yep, I hoping for more temper tantrums (preferably the-non-hand-biting kind, please), because behind all of the screaming is a pretty amazing accomplishment.


Unknown said...

I love reading your blog, Lisa. It is always amazing to see how far Elijah has come, and how strong you all are as a family. As far as the temper tantrums go, yes, they are annoying. But I also realize that they are a normal part of a child growing up. And the fact that you can see the bright side, that's pretty inspiring :)

Kathy said...

Elijah, You are pretty amazing. It's hard to understand why you can't have the food that Mom is showing you. Besides, you are probably hungry. Lisa, you are pretty amazing yourself - an amazing mom. Love you....Mumsie

Erin said...

YAY! It is really exciting when they start being more aware of their surroundings! We are straight pumped that Ethan has started being willing to pee in the toilet. He doesn't seem to care when he does or doesn't do it (meaning he is just as happy going in his diaper) but he's not screaming and running away, so we are happy!!

Anonymous said...

Wow! And wow! Judy&Steve p.s. Congrats on the Blog deserve that and more.

Haley's Mom said...

It is encouraging. He is letting you know how he feels. That is progress. I remember the biting - that was awful, I hope he "grows out of that." I stopped worrying what people in stores thought of me and of Haley a long time ago. It is weird how things that would make other parents upset make us smile.

Murzelmom said...

I am such an "other parent" although I have my unacknowleged special needs of my own.

I will be less upset and will smile more about my typical daughter's temper tantrums because I am reading your blogs.

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