The home-educating family who live round the corner visited yesterday for a few hours. The little 4 year old girl was frightened by Duncan. He got grumpy a few times for various reasons; he was frustrated that he couldn't tie a rope round his big toy car, or he was upset when Thomas got cross with him over a different toy. In his grump, he pushed at me, and hit out at me in front of the visiting children. He also was shouting. Then he pushed the other mum a bit. She wasn't hurt or annoyed. I told him not to push, it hurts. But the little girl was upset and said she didn't like this place. Duncan's outburst was over fast, as it always is. I tried to explain to the girl, but it's hard to know what to say to a child you don't know well. I told her that Duncan can't talk as well as other children, that some things are difficult for him, he's trying hard to learn how to behave properly and I have to keep helping him. I told her that he's not a bad boy even though he does the wrong things sometimes. I don't want her to be frightened. And I know Duncan is trying his best all the time and just hasn't developed the skills to deal with his frustrations in a more appropriate manner. In fact when they arrived, Duncan was happy and went to hug them all and rubbed them all on the head in a show of affection. Her mum was right beside her and no doubt would have taken her home if that's what she really wanted. I think I'll have to talk with the mum about this.
But it just feels like we're all too wound up in this family these past few days. Lady and Thomas have spent loads of time playing together as they always do, but they've been fighting too, getting angry and loud. Duncan just seems to the barometer or the house. If anyone is upset or cross, it affects him and makes him far more likely to have an outburst. He's been more physically rough over the past few days, and it's all because of the atmosphere. If one of the others gets cross with him, he's likely to come straight to me and angrily squeeze my arm or punch at me. It's like he stores the worst of his anger to let off with/at me. Perhaps he feels more secure with me than the others. It's hard to know.
What I do know, is we all have to try to reduce the grumps we're all having, lower the volume a bit, chill out and enjoy each other.
It may sound from this that the past few days have been all bad. Really, we have had loads of fun, it's just that the fuses seem shorter. We're going to visit some other friends now. We've know them for a while and they are well used to all of us and our little ways. I reckon tea and chat is what I need right now.