We were on vacation in Florida last week with 30+ members of our extended family. All the kids get along great and are always busy, busy, busy when they are together.
Later in the week, we had the opportunity to go on a deep sea fishing trip in the Gulf of Mexico. While the weather was warm and sunny, the trip out and back would be cold. The night before, I told the girls they would need to dress in "layers" in the morning. Now, this is not the first time I have used that word to describe how to dress. We snow ski several times a year and layering is essential. However, S could NOT understand what I was trying to say and the downward spiral started.
I explain to he she needs a t-shirt on first, then a long sleeve, then a light jacket then I would find her a heavier coat to put on the top. She also needed to find her hat that Aunt C had given her the night before because that would cover her ears. All I can say is "too much information at once." Arms were flailing, she was muttering to herself, "I have so much to do!", feet were stomping through the house. Finally, I had to have her 6 year old cousin help her. Sigh.
I wonder if we had been going skiing if there would have been a problem. Being in warm Florida didn't really jive with the layering idea even though I told her it was going to be COLD on the boat going out and coming back.
Looking back, there are a few things I could have done that may have helped.
1. Write it down. A list might have been helpful for her at this task. Maybe a list needs to be my "go to" intervention for awhile since her working memory and processing speed seem to cause frustration.
2. Getting her started earlier. I waited until right before bedtime to give instructions. Being in a house with a dozen people trying to get packed and ready for bed created alot of opportunity for distraction.
3. Using the example of skiing and explaining that even though it was warm at the moment, a cold front was expected and it's often cooler on the water anyway.
In the end, she got it all together and we caught over 300 pounds of fish!