What a relief!!  For the first time in three years, I am seeing a tiny bit of progress with Sebastian!
He is an “alpha”–our most intense, headstrong child.  I’ve never seen anything like it.  And I’m too old and tired to have my hardest child in my mid-40’s!  Its a major struggle.  Daily.
   Well this morning, I was helping one daughter with writing a sympathy card before school.  As we diligently worked on it, Sebastian blasted into the room, shouting commands and questions at me, just being his normal, intense self.
   I looked up calmly and said, “Sebastian, ask me, ‘Mom, are you available?'”  This is what I do with everyone in the house, a lovely little trick we learned from A New Way to Love (relationship enrichment program).  Don’t assume people are available for you to start talking.  Stop, look, and see if they are engaged in something else.  If they might be, ask, “Are you available for me to tell you about my day/about something?” etc.  It’s really very respectful and I love it since, having a husband and six kids, several people are usually talking to me at once.  So, Sebastian has heard this his whole life.  But he’s never been anywhere close to using it.  I mean, he’s the exact opposite.  He pellets comments and commands like he is shooting a machine gun.  
   This morning, I calmly told him, “As me if I am available.”  He walked out of the room.  I kept working on the card.
   Three minutes later, when I was done with the card, he walked back in the room.
   “Mom, are you vail-LE?”
    I looked up blankly, and muttered, “Huh?”  I had no idea what his mumbles meant.
   “Mom, are you VAIL-BLE????”  He asked more emphatically.
    OH MY GOSH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  HE SAID IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!