Toby has been finding life hard just lately and as a result he's been having a lot more outbursts and meltowns. He has now bitten his hand so much that he's developing permanent callouses on his thumb and forefinger and I once again have bruises up the back of my arms from where he digs his fingers in and pinches me if I get too close to him during a meltdown. He has been stressed a good deal of the time, retreating into extreme stimming and seeking comfort and security by covering his head most of the time.
This morning we went walking in his most favourite of woods but even there he was 'hiding' under a hat and two hoods and covering his face completely when he found something too hard to deal with - it could be a sudden noise or the appearance of a dog but most often it's something that only Toby knows and the rest of us can only guess at.
It made walking in the woods a very slow activity, it doesn't pay to cover your face when wood walking as you too easily bump into trees!
At home he has taken to wearing his pyjama top twisted up over his head most of the time.
And he's not been taking much interest in anything apart from his lego which he's been biting too much for my liking.
There are no significant changes to everyday life that I can pinpoint so it could be that he's just weary of the winter weather - it is so much harder to keep him occupied when it's cold and wet and he may be missing the trampoline and the carefree feeling of flying that he gets when he's bouncing. Hopefully the arrival of spring will lighten his mood a little.
It's not all been bad though - there have been some positives recently too. Over the winter we've worked hard on 'project socks' and finally he is getting used to wearing socks in the house. To Toby socks have always been something that you put on with your shoes before going out and are most definitely to be taken off and stuffed firmly into the very tip of your shoes when you come back indoors. Seeing Toby wandering around barefoot has always made me feel cold because we have wooden floors which are chilly underfoot in winter, so I'm really glad that he now considers sock wearing a suitable indoor activity!
Next will be 'project pants' which will involve weaning him off of the only two pairs of pants he'll wear at night (as they are now getting too small for him and I can't find the same stripe pattern anywhere) and on to random pants wearing at bedtime. Though I will wait for him to be in a calmer phase before attempting this, tackling it in his current mood would be foolish. Hopefully it won't be too long before a calm patch arrives!