Week Two — surprises

Monday was a write-off with MLK day — lots of vegging out. Lea dealt really well with the disappointment of a playdate falling thru at the last minute, and had a blast with a good friend ski-joring and playing dress-up. Alas, the fine art of putting stuff away when you’re done playing is still lost on her, so this morning I’m finding wigs, sunglasses and fake fangs everywhere. She can clean that up when we get back from skiing this afternoon.

Little signs of progress: Lea got up this morning at 6:30 with just a single nudge from me. Went straight into prep mode and packed bags etc. while I took Lucky skiing. This is one really key revelation that has come out of DNSN week: while Lea loves sleeping in, she’s even more keen on having the necessary time in the AM to do things her way without stress. Eventually we can hope that she will get better at organizing herself so the morning routine doesn’t have to take an hour-and-a-half, but her simply knowing that she now has that time available has made a huge difference. What’s even better: she seems to realize that if she’s going to get up at 6:30 she really needs to get to bed a little earlier. She’s been markedly better at heading up when it’s time with little or no nudging, even if her brother is still up and doing something “interesting.”

Other signs of progress: no bickering between the two of them over breakfast this morning — they actually talked to one another for a bit. Probably helped that I had time to join them for breakfast for a change… But even better: Lucas put his bowl + spoon in the sink when he was done. That’s par for the course. But then he apparently remembered that we’re now taking things one step further, and he caught himself and put them in the dishwasher. And just as my heart was pounding with excitement, Lea proceeded to put the milk in the fridge, even though she hadn’t even taken it out. It may be hard to fully appreciate what an epic step that was, but realize that in the “I hate my sibling and nothing will ever change that” world we’ve lived in for years, the notion of doing the other’s work — perceived or otherwise — was simply unthinkable. If you didn’t make the mess, you don’t clean it up. And if your brother brought the milk down, then he should be the one to get in trouble if it was left on the kitchen counter. The notion that you might get bonus points — or that you’d simply be seen as a helpful, contributing member of the family — if you did what needed to be done and put the milk away was just nowhere near their radar until now. This gives me real hope, because it’s a sign that there may be a bit of a shift of mindset going on.

Oh, and we were on time again today, they both packed their own lunches, and Lea packed her ski-bag without any prodding. It’s all good…