I posted yesterday to write about how well our to-the-minute planning had worked yesterday in overcoming some of the meltdowns that Saturdays usually bring. Saturdays are always difficult, so planning lots of activities, with little time between left Mini no time to get bored, and no time to meltdown.
However, in retrospect, it also left little time for his to process emotions, and kept him hyper to an extent as he moved from activity to activity.
You know I've talked about those good days...and how those good days are always followed by a bad day?? Guess what!
Today, I was so frightened of my own son; I felt that we didn't deserve each other. I don't deserve to feel the way I have today, neither do the NC and Dollop. And neither does Mini, none of this is his fault - he never asked for the trauma in his life, he never asked to be neglected, he never asked to move from birth family, to foster carer, to adoptive family, and he never asked for Dollop to be born (which is the root cause of some of his aggression), but at times he feels so controlling and the choices he makes are his own, although of course they’re fuelled by emotions that he can’t control and doesn’t understand.
At dinnertime Mini didn’t want to come to the table, when he did, he wouldn’t stay there, so his dinner was put in the kitchen whilst the rest of us ate, until he was ready. He eventually sat at the table, but when he was asked if he was ready for his dinner he said he didn’t know. When I helped myself to more from the dish in the table, Mini tried to attack me with a fork because he felt it should be his. When the fork was removed, he grabbed daddy’s knife instead…I know I gasped out loud and flinched because this is a new low. I’ll add that Mini still watches CBeebies and Nick Jr. He doesn’t know who Ben 10 is, he doesn’t watch anything that is not age appropriate (except perhaps, gentler episodes of Dr.Who, that are screened by us beforehand). He can’t work the DS yet, and only plays Wii Sports and Wii Music; he’s just not interested, so this behaviour hasn’t come from TV or video games.
Anyway eventually, dinner is eaten, nanna and grandad phone after a week away and speak with Mini, the getting changed into PJ’s process is not an easy one but I shan’t dwell on that…
Tooth brushing brings more problems – Mini wanted help but when it was given he point blank refused to brush his teeth. Then next second he wanted help again, and again when help was given he stopped and clamped his mouth shut. This went on three times, then a consequence was given – if Mini did not want to brush his teeth, then the NC would take Dollop to bed and help when he returned instead, giving Mini time to think about what choice he was going to make. Of course this sparked another meltdown, a big one because Daddy followed through and did something other than pander to Mini’s constantly changing mind.
Whilst the NC settled Dollop, I tried to comfort and calm Mini. First with cuddles, but the flailing limbs and well-aimed punches made that impossible. Then words, but he couldn’t hear them over the screaming. So finally, with tickling. This worked, and he didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. I managed to divert his attention by suggesting a quick round of his favourite board game – and ignored the fact that we’re half hour late for bedtime by now.
So the game begins, Mini’s doing well, mummy not so well. Then Mini made a mistake and the tiredness and feelings took over. Mini didn’t want to play anymore. He’d had enough of this stupid game. OK I say, I’ll put it away. Big mistake. Mini of course didn’t want me to take it away, he wanted me to fix his mistake, wanted me to let him win, however, he wouldn’t sit down, wouldn’t reset the pieces, and so the consequence was not playing, and I packed it away.
Mini clamped himself to my legs as I tried to walk to the shelf where the game lives. Mini clawed at my free leg, scratched my feet. He dropped off, and then punched my bottom as hard as he could. Then he took a run-up and head-butted my legs. Mini then slapped and slapped my legs, and then tried to grab at and pinch my arms. I didn’t dare get a chair out to stand on (as I normally would to reach the shelf) for fear that he would attempt to push me off or pull it out from under me. I flinched every time he raised a hand; he was in a manic state.
I managed to pop the game high enough for Mini not to grab at it, and then grabbed him in a bear hug, trying again to sooth him, cuddle him, calm him. He collapsed into me and wailed. Stirred, slapped me a bit, and then collapsed again in a sobbing heap.
My son cannot control his frightening feelings, he cannot calm himself, but tonight despite the violence, he collapsed with me and allowed himself to be cuddled, held and soothed. This may not sound like a breakthrough, but actually to me, it is. He let me sooth him. He let me take some of those awful, scary, angry emotions away….I’m hurting inside and out, and I have frightening feelings of my own, but I soothed my son, and he finally went up to bed calm, relaxed and chilled.
I won’t mention the tantrum when daddy got him upstairs, but he is asleep. For now, that’s enough.