There is an escalation mode. It all starts with screaming. Not necessarily a meltdown. Often it is. Sometimes, it is screeching, loud laughter which culminates in a peak of high-pitched yell for variety.
Not enough? Let’s add in a helping of frustration here and there. Violently striking out by smacking at toys with fists and kicking things. Throwing things across the room is always a good addition for a full trifecta. That’s a good ticket to a time out.
As an added bonus, let’s throw in a sore throat (Gee – do you think? From all the yelling?) and some constipation coupled with refusal to consume anything that might ease that problem. That’s always good for a huge tummy ache. Let’s throw in some worry for a possible physical problem.
The next hour, he’s singing. He’s dancing. Playing quietly by himself. Impressing me by going to the bathroom on his own without me knowing until I hear the toilet flush! He comes out with his shirt caught in his pants, having pulled the pants back up with the undies all bunched up outside the shirt and pants. Quite a talent.
A couple minutes later – again, he begins to sob. Not a loud crying but a soft, whiny tear-filled sob. I’m thinking he might be going through another growth spurt.
Sometimes, he’s simply acting like any neurotypical kid. If he’s hungry, he’s cranky. If he’s constipated and has a tummy ache, he may cry. The differences are greater. First, he can’t communicate that he is hungry. He will simply act out. Second, if it’s a tummy ache, again, he can’t tell me and I’m never sure how bad it is by his behavior. His behavior can be worthy of an Academy Award at times. So, I have to decide whether he is faking or whether I need to pack him up and take him to the doctor
Sometimes, I can figure out what is going on. Sometimes I have no idea what is setting him off and it is much later that I figure it out. So, here I am. Screaming, sobbing, yelling son who has yanked on every nerve fiber in my being.
I’m like a rat in a maze that has touched the wrong electrode too many times. My eye is a little twitchy. My hair is a little battle worn from either standing on end (okay it just feels that way) and being mussed up when I scratch my head in wonderment as to what the “antecedent” was. I stay on edge because I don’t know if the next verbal exchange between my son and I will result in a full force meltdown or laughter. Or whether the laughter will turn to its own meltdown. Slowly, the trigger, whatever it was, recedes, he tires out or it is just over.
Quiet rules again.
All except that little buzz that remains, charging my nervous system. That too, flatlines when I look at his sweet, sleeping face.
Love blankets the fray, blurs the memory and relaxes the nerves. Thank goodness, he’s so cute. I can start over again tomorrow.