This is a picture of SuperBoy last Monday in Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World Resort.
No, he didn’t fall and hurt himself.
Amidst screaming, ranting and yelling while I directed him to a less people laden location, SuperBoy threw himself on the ground in one grand finale meltdown.
I struggled with posting this picture, which I snapped to show him in our post-meltdown breakdown. I don’t ever want to embarrass my child, but a picture is worth a thousand words, right?
Tired, hot and dealing with a dad who was also tired and hot…. I had been waiting for this meltdown to occur. I was prepared. I had a plan of action. I knew I would carry out our normal melt down protocol right there in the middle of Disney …. so that SuperBoy would continue to learn how to bring himself out of these situations…and so that he would know that even in the most magical of places…. I will not tolerate that behavior.
It was harder than I thought.
I felt sorry for him. The kids really had been holding up amazingly well. This was day SIX …and the first sign of major meltdown. I thought we would see it by day TWO. This was not a melt down brought on by selfish desires, it was pure over stimulation on ten different levels.
I was embarrassed. Horrified, actually. Part of his melt down routine is to yell and scream about how I’m hurting him when I place my hand on his arm to remove him from a situation. He stayed true to form and screamed and yelled, loudly, in Hollywood Studios, that I was hurting him and to “Please just LET. ME. GO!”
The most awful part of this whole situation?
The judgmental looks and scoffs I got from the parents around me. Parents who apparently have angels for children, or are only on day ONE of their trip. When I removed SuperBoy from the Muppet 3-D attraction I took him to what was the most remote area I could find in the immediate vicinity. One mother sitting across the street from us (reading a book while her baby apparently slept in the stroller) shot me a dirty look, huffed and puffed and then moved up the street and complained to the strangers around her about “some parents”.
The older couple that had been sitting next to her did not move, watching us without even pretending to look away, shook their heads and whispered to each other.
When I see other parents suffering the trials of a child melting down I either give them the silent, knowing and supportive nod … or I inwardly smile and breathe a sigh of relief because it was them….and not me. Most of the time I do both.
Part of my strategy for addressing these melt downs is to simply be in his space, but to be silent. I let him scream and yell and fuss….until he can pull himself together. We’ve tried talking, we’ve tried rationalizing. He’s old enough to know those words by heart … he needs to be able to soothe himself. When he is ready I will hold, rock, hug and kiss the daylights out of him …but not until he has calmed himself down.
As I sat on the curb waiting for him to pull it together a mom walked up and looked at me with disdain (I really don’t think I’m exaggerating)…then went to SuperBoy and asked him if everything was okay…if he needed help. (?!) He looked at her, very confused, then continued on his tirade. I looked her squarely in the face and said “He is over stimulated, overly tired and having a temper tantrum. He’s six, he’ll get over it.”
I half expected someone to call the authorities on me.
After half an hour (yes, half an hour) SuperBoy pulled himself together. We went on with our day and enjoyed the rest of Hollywood Studios.
During his meltdown I was encouraged greatly by the support I received on Twitter from my fellow Disney Social Media Moms parents…. reminding me that Disney World is the meltdown capital of the world (for kids AND grownups!). It also served to remind me, yet again what a great group of people I had the opportunity to meet and spend time with during this phenomenal event.
I’m sitting in my closet hiding from my kids. It is a really nice closet. SuperDad custom built it for me this year for my birthday. It’s even clean right now because we are trying to sell our house and we HAVE to keep it clean.
When I woke up this morning SuperBoy walked out of his room and announced that he had made his bed as soon as he climbed out. What a great thing! While I was in the shower…SuperBoy made me a fruit salad (bananas and oranges) so I could start my day “hellfy”. How very thoughtful! When I was getting dressed…SuperBoy asked if he could play Wii and I said “No, we are getting ready to go to your doctor’s appointment.” He lost it.
I feel like the place I have the least control over my children is at the Doctor’s Office. Every time I think, “Surely, this time will be better than the last!” I take healthy snacks (although I did grab juice boxes this morning instead of their cups because I was out of time…. felt the guilt creep up on me as they ask “How much juice does he get a day?”)…I have the big kids pick out something to take along to keep themselves busy; usually their Leap Frog Tag Readers. We are prepared, right?
And each time, it goes horribly wrong; worse than the last time.
Today was SuperBoy’s 5 year checkup. My baby turned FIVE last week … the shock has not worn off. We went to the appointment…I’m always a little guilty about the pride I harbor for these appointments…my chance to show off “MY little kid can do ALL of that and MORE” …. something along those lines. They don’t really care. Every mom thinks their child is gifted.
Let me sidetrack for a moment:
SuperBoy is unique. I know, I know. I’m his mom. But I am constantly impressed by his abilities when it comes to art, to his vast curiosity and ability to retain the knowledge he finds. His concentration levels when learning are better than my own. He can write very well. At preschool they start him on his art project always in the first group so that when his attention to detail causes him to take more time than most…he has time to finish.
So I’m back to my sinful pride and heading into the doctor’s office; a few minutes late (aren’t I always?) and only a few hellacious tantrums behind us before this 9am appointment.
SuperBoy gets his books out in the waiting room but we are instantly called back. I tell him we can pick up the books and put them away properly when we reach the room… he melts down in front of everyone. Red-faced and glowering I get him back to the exam room.
From there it only goes downhill. SuperBoy will answer none of their questions. “Can you put your arms above your head?” Blank Stare.
“Do you think you eat good food?” Blank Stare.
“Did you just have a birthday? How old are you?” Blank Stare.
You get the idea. I will NOT be showing off my talented, gifted, wonderful child today.
During the appointment I couldn’t get SuperBoy to take off his clothes. SuperGirl would not leave hers on. SuperBaby was climbing on chairs and trying to fly falling off.
SuperGirl was singing at the top of her lungs, SuperBoy wouldn’t say a word. SuperBaby was laughing hysterically.
Time to read the eye chart: SuperBoy couldn’t/wouldn’t read a line. Wouldn’t tell anybody what the letters were.
SuperGirl is taking her clothes off again.
SuperBaby found the banana bread we had been snacking on and emptied it all over the floor…after he crumbled it up.
SuperBoy won’t pee in the cup.
A nurse comes in to watch the littles while I take SuperBoy to the bathroom to deal with the pee. SuperGirl freaks out and loses it…throwing herself at me screaming…even after I explained I was just taking her brother to the bathroom. SuperBaby follows suit.
SuperBoy hides under the table when he hears he has to have shots.
These are just the big ticket items. The entire visit consists of them jumping, spinning, yelling, arguing and other general chaos.
I did not raise my voice.
I gave precise directions.
I did not fall to empty threats…I reminded them there would be consequences that I would decide later when we weren’t trying to do something else.
I did everything I could to salvage any possibility that the people in that office might think I wasn’t a loony, disorganized, failure of a mother.
I don’t think it worked.
SuperBoy got his shots. Three. Two in one arm, one in another. He was miserable. He screamed all the way to the car…and home.
I hugged him and cuddled him.
He has a giant white and red blister at the back of his throat which would explain his not wanting to eat breakfast and his most recent complaint of a headache…. SuperGirl’s eyes are starting to droop and I realize her behavior is the same as when she is completely exhausted… I assume they are both getting sick.
I’m pretty glad I didn’t yell.
When we get home I put them on the couch and headed for the closet, where I am now. SuperBaby stopped me along the way with his third super stinky horrible poopy diaper of the day. When I picked him up, I sighed. He grabbed my face with his two chubby little hands and turned my face to his. He planted one very wet, soggy and sincere kiss straight on my face…then offered me a hug as well.
So here I sit in my closet…trying for a little bit of quiet … hoping for a little bit of strength…to get up and start this day all over again.Read More