At home, it's a battle without end to keep her from destroying the house. The worst time for me is the time between when we get home from school and when Tony gets home, especially days the boys aren't here. That's about 2 hours, from 3-5. Last night, it felt like 200 hours or 2000. Janey had several goals. She wanted to get the Febreeze down from the top of the fridge and spray it around, she wanted to have some pepperoni, she wanted to run water in the bathroom sink until it overflowed, she wanted to throw crackers on the ground. Literally every time I was more than a few feet from her, she did something toward her goals---pushed a chair over to try to climb and get the Febreeze, worked on figuring out how to open our new fridge belt to look for pepperoni (which we were out of), run to the bathroom and turn on the water full blast, ask me for crackers, promise to eat them nicely, then toss them everywhere, and when told to pick them up, pretend to pick them up while actually stomping on all of them. I was at my wit's end.
And I truly don't know what to do to stop all this. I go down my list of ideas. Time out is useless, although I still try it. Yelling does less than no good. I try to "identify the antecedent" which is the behavioral approach, and it's pretty easy to identify---she wants what she wants. It's often a sensory thing, and I try hard to give her alternatives. The house is full of sensory toys, at one point yesterday I gave her a bath to let her play with water, she is always welcome to play outside in the wading pool, we have spray bottles with water I let her use in the kitchen or bathroom---but she doesn't accept substitutes. She doesn't care if I don't want her doing what she is doing. That makes little to no difference to her.
And taking her places, like playgrounds or splash parks, is terrifying. She does not stay with me. She runs, and I am increasingly unable to run as fast as she can. I have asthma, and I am 46 and not in Olympic shape. She is almost 8 and very, very strong and athletic. I can't pick her up any more.
I feel like I'm writing this post too often. But it's all that's on my mind lately. I do hope this stage passes. Meanwhile, I have a month to fill up. Somehow.