All children get tired after school but for my eldest, this has a huge impact.
I took the children to get a treat from the bakery. They ate their snacks and I used a wipe on the children’s hands and faces. Then without thinking, I wiped some sugar from my eldest’s jumper. He hates getting wet. Alongside being tired…this was too much…and he had a meltdown.
He screamed, cried, hit me in frustration and began to take his top off, in the middle of the street.
I watched the other parents walking by with their children. People were staring, as usual, and the rest were just going about their business, popping into shops, jumping into cars or walking home…with such effortlessness.
It took me almost an hour and a half to walk home…when usually it takes no longer than 25 minutes.
Tonight a family member said they wish I didn’t worry so much what other people thought and this struck a chord. I reflected on this and realised that it isn’t so much that I am worried what other people think, it’s the fact I am so exhausted from the daily struggles and battles I face. I adore my children, but for a brief moment, I watched the other families and felt slightly envious. I would love to be able to pop to the park with the children or even just walk home without all the dramas that unfold from a plethora of triggers I can’t control.
I think control is one of my frustrations. I can’t control what people think or how my children behave. I feel utterly helpless. The snapshot people see of my children ‘misbehaving’ is of course going to make people form opinions about my parenting. I feel this is unjustified and wish they could see beyond the snapshot to see just what I juggle and what a good job I do, and how loved and happy the children are the rest of the time. But sadly, this is not possible.
This morning my youngest had a meltdown because we couldn’t walk home the way we normally do. This lasted a long time and resulted in him removing all of his clothes and weeing on the carpet. He has had a few behavioural differences since he was very young, but now they are becoming more prominent. Ah, the magical age of two and a half to three, just like my eldest. However, they both experience very different behaviours and difficulties.
It probably sounds like I accept and tolerate this behaviour…but I really don’t. However, during meltdowns there is very little you can do ‘in the moment’.
My youngest presents as angry. Everything seems to annoy and upset him. But when he snaps out of it, he is just the loveliest soul. I am still learning about strategies to use with him, as the things I have in place for his brother are not working.
My eldest is going through ASD/SPD diagnosis. We are also looking into Tourettes and Dyspraxia. He also meets criteria of ADHD,
My youngest is being assessed for behavioural difficulties. He certainly has some SPD issues but these are different to his brother. His behaviours seem to be related to ADHD or ODD.
I’m so mentally, physically and emotionally drained right now.