learning to navigate the world, j-bear style

Tag: meltdowns

Dr. J-Bear and Mr. Hyde

This is my life with my son right now:

Mornings are mornings. No one likes mornings, according to me. He gets up, he goes through eating his cereal and drinking his milk and we time everything by when Justin Time comes on Sprout. No joke. Sprout, don’t ever change your programming. We do wash up, get the backpack and we’re off to school. There might be some minor fussing about the washing up but it’s become a game now so no huge deal.

He is awesome about going to school. He hops out of the car all happy, we point to some things in the sky (bird! cloud! plane!) and we head into his classroom. He greets everyone happily, does his tasks and bids me farewell. Apparently after I leave, he’s the best boy to ever boy, too. Listens, does as he should, is generally just a peach.

Then he comes home.

What happens between school and home, I don’t know. It’s like I end up with a completely different child. He is angry, grumpy, refusing to listen, refusing to do anything besides tantrum and hit his head on anything. By anything, I mean the floor, the furniture, the brick fireplace, the tile kitchen floor… Can you understand my horror here? It’s a miracle he’s not truly caused himself grievous injury here.

Now, this was starting before he ever got sick so my want to chalk it up to that is kind of wrong. His teachers report nothing different, nor do his therapists. Is it just because home is a safe place to lose his mind that he does so? This all culminated in a 3am massive meltdown tantrum this morning. He was bull that I would not let him tear at my face and rip at my hair as a stim. I moved him away from me gently, told him no, and turned away from him which ended his world.

I’m at a loss. This is tough stuff. I talk him through feelings and through pretty much everything we do. I never stop talking. I am obnoxious. Everything we do, I’m half narrating. I make sure to use simple terms, everything. The only thing I am not using is pictures lately, so maybe we need to improve on that?

I am not saying my son is by any means a demon child, I just don’t understand how I went from my mellow guy to this angry little bear who wants to rip my face off as much as he wants to play with me.

What a Day

The meltdowns, they return.

He hinted at their resurgence this morning when, upon arriving at his new school, he realized that he would not be going out to play on the beautiful play structure they have right beside the preschool classrooms. He was livid at being “forced” to enter the school and visit his classroom to meet his teacher, aides and classmates. One of the aides from the summer classroom happens to be the secretary at his school so seeing her helped.

I would like to thank the brain trust that decided to put a gorgeous, fun, appealing playground structure outside the preschool classrooms at J’s school. The preschoolers are absolutely forbidden to play on it. You must be in kindergarten or older. Let’s ignore that the exact same structure is at every school in our town and he was allowed to play at the one at summer school. I feel pretty awful for the teachers and aides having to explain to all these 3 and 4 year olds that nope, as fun as it looks you must NOT go near it.

Good times.

Anyway back to our story – He came home, had a brief nap and then we were off to therapy. The poor guy, something really does seem to be going on. He was so very spaced out and at one point even bodily moving him did not get his attention to return. I had to wait til he tuned back in to ask him to hop into the car. He continued to be a little spaced out during therapy though he did a good job meeting his new speech therapist.

Then we went to the grocery store.

Big mistake.

He screamed pulling into the parking lot. He screamed getting out of the car. He screamed going into the store. Once we were in the store I stopped with him and our carriage the first place it was safe to do so. I let him stim against the side of the carriage to calm himself but even with timers and transitional warnings, he wasn’t transitioning away from it. He melted down completely. Now, this is not the time to give a stranger unsolicited advice but of course, someone did. I ignored it the sheer stupidity of it, for they had no clue my son wasn’t just being an angry three year old, he was dealing with oh so much more.

I did all I could to stay calm and not cry. I succeeded, mostly. Very close to completely. I got him settled with his iPad once he relented to sitting in the cart and raced like my butt was on fire through shopping.

These are the days that are hard. These are the days I want to tell all the things that make my son struggle to jump off a ledge. I cannot however separate the good from the bad without losing that which is intrinsically J, so I will take the bad with the good and hope people keep their weird advice to themselves more often.

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