So after many weeks of really good sleep, last night was ROUGH. In fact, M woke up around 11pm having a BIG meltdown. This was like the meltdowns he used to have as a young toddler in which he wants everything and nothing at the same time. Except now he has words. It sounded like high pitched screaming combined with phrases like, “gimme some spaaaaace!”, “don’t leave me!”, “I need my Bubbie (blanket)!”, “I don’t like Bubbie!”, “I need agua!”, “I don’t like agua!”, etc. and those phrases are spoken in rapid fire succession. It is nonsensical and I feel helpless for how to help him.
My mathematician side needs/likes to categorize meltdowns. I pretty much use the same scale as hurricane categorizations. This one was a category 4, but mostly because of the length – 2 hours ish. It was only a 3 in severity. We’ve never had a category 5, I am saving that for a really special situation. Plus, then I can still say, “it could be worse.”
The scary thing was that we aren’t even in hurricane season. I mean we’ve had a little rain here and there and an occasional afternoon thunderstorm and definitely some overall cloudy days. This caught us totally off guard. I should have seen this coming, and from what I can guess is the cause, it was my fault. There was really just too much change this week. A special event at school. I was away this past weekend. And the icing on the cake: we went out on Wednesday night and left the kids with a babysitter. They had a great time with the sitter but M was slightly off schedule. Yesterday (Thursday), he was in a very rough mood, literally running into walls, me and M2 just to blow off a little steam. He gets this look on his face and I know it’s in everyone’s best interest to stay out of his way. That’s pretty much what I did last night. I didn’t work very hard to help him release the tension in a productive way. I cooked a meal for dinner that was a gamble whether he would eat or not. I lost. I should have probably had him do some sensory work. It’s easy to think back and give a list of “should haves.” He went to bed hungry, irritable and overly tired. 3 hours later, he was up screaming and totally dyregulated.
I did try some new methods for helping to bring M out of the meltdown. I had some success with this. One of the techniques I learned at Dr. Chasnoff’s seminar a few weeks ago was to ask questions that activate the other parts of the brain during that “fight or flight” meltdown phase. It definitely seemed to help. I think I need to keep practicing this technique because a few of the questions that I asked seemed to send him reeling but overall successful.
I am thankful that this doesn’t happen as often as it did in the past and I am hopeful that we all get a good night’s rest tonight.