Paxton had a somewhat baddish day. It included a total hysterical breakdown, kicking, shrieking, teeth chattering, calling for help, full body sweating and crying like an infant, things he hasn't done in many months. It wasn't scary. When it happened it was actually pretty anticipated. He didn't have a nap yesterday and was still tired from it, and was acting completely hyper and violent and out of control all morning. The whole thing with Nik being home all the time has really thrown him off and he's been doing so well with it, just chugging along, but it was bound to create a meltdown at some point.
So there we were on the gymnasium floor during the community center's Thursday Tot Time. He ran out of the gym, out of the building, into a construction zone before a community worker got to him (I was going slow to grab him since he's never done that before and likes to "tease" me by going right outside the door and hiding). Scared the heck out of me, obviously. Put him in time out, tried to talk to him, had to stop myself from crying because when he's like this I just can't reach him. Right before a meltdown he'll make almost no eye contact, and when he's done it's like there's this barrier there. He'll have a huge grin on his face and completely dead eyes, totally blocked from all emotion. He'll just repeat everything I say and he'll randomly slap me or bite. Again, hasn't done that in months. It's... I don't like it. I accept that this will happen every now and then, that it happens during times of great stress when he's becoming vastly overwhelmed, and that while it happens less and less and will probably eventually phase out it's just a fact of life when living with a child who's been through too many upsets and changes and can't comprehend any of it.
After time out I just took him back to the gym and that's when we sat on the floor, while I talked to a friend. I held him tight, saying he needed to be able to be calm and talk to me before I'd let go. That's when the screaming and crying started.
Sometimes I think I should go home when he does this. I know it freaks people out. It looks like I'm squeezing him for no good reason and he's just fighting me off, trying to get away. I can tell you from experience that he DOES NOT want me to let go of him, that he'll fight me hard like he wants me to get off but if I let go he'll grab me and squish in or lie there limp and crying. It's a... a release. He needs to fight something, unlease the pent up emotion, let it all out. At the same time he needs to be grounded, to be hugged tight and have someone whispering "I love you" in his ear while he goes wild for awhile.
Normally he'll calm down and start laughing or talking calmly or look me straight in the eyes, with that bewildered look like he's just come out of a trance, and calmly speak with me. He's always subdued. Always.
Today he fell asleep. No joke. He was EXHAUSTED from not having a nap, always takes him like 2 days to recover from no nap. He loves sleep as much as I do really.
I almost asked another mom to go grab my phone and take a picture. I probably should've. He hasn't slept on me in, well... okay, maybe a month :)
It was peaceful, though. He'd yanked my shirt down (always does) and had his head shoved against my left breast. He was clammy, the result of being coated in sweat and tears. He snored.
I only let him sleep for about 20 minutes. We needed to leave (they needed us out) and he woke up when I moved him. He remained cuddly, and subdued.
Instead of the angry boy of this morning he was calm. He used the restroom (3 days in underpants!) and we went to visit my mom. He wasn't exactly an angel, not even close. Throughout the whole day he was tired and was acting like it. The powernap killed any chance of an after lunch nap even though we tried.
But he was normal again. He looked us in the eyes and really smiled. And he became cuddly again, like he normally is.
It's odd how something like this can affect a small one.
He's so, so pattern oriented. He gets upset when things are out of place, though he normally adjusts quickly. When I move furniture I have to either have him watch me do it or go and tell him before he sees it (then he thinks it's funny). When we ride on a carousel he always remembers what we rode on before and wants us to ride the same things. He is initially upset if we try to sit in different chairs at the table, though relents that we're allowed to move. He's very, very pattern oriented, and if my life had been tossed and turned as much as his I think that's how I'd be too.
So Nik being home all the time, no real separation between weekend and weekday, no real idea of how each day will turn out... I think it's good for him, to teach him that he'll still be okay if things change, and I think he can handle it and that he is actually handling it quite well for how he used to be.
But I can't expect it to be easy. I'm sure there'll be another fit or two in our future, and maybe more when Nik goes back to work. But we'll get through it. As much as he can drive me nuts I'm still very proud of my little boy.
I'm also very happy there's a drop off daycare center down the road that he absolutely loves and that was having a sale on hours today. Oh yeah, less than $2/hr for anytime drop off at a large facility with slides, tvs, computers, a moonwalk, snacks, tons of toys and staff trained in childcare and medical aid, located at my favorite mall and always empty enough that he has at least two adults fawning all over him for an hour or so while I relax with a coffee and scone. I love this city :)
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