After having a tantrum, which started because of several things, but ultimately he was not allowed to go over to a friend’s house with his brother. These fits are only happening now when two or more factors affect his brain, and are spread about every other week. (No “trauma” tantrums!) Brian and I try to engage as little as possible when he is a “5,” or “red” as *little man refers to the top of the 5-point scale. We stay nearby and I remind him that he is in control of his emotions and “when you stop we can ___________.” Or “if you don’t stop, we can not ____________.” Last night was the latter, so I set a crying timer. He did not stop crying during that time, so I calmly told him that we couldn’t do what he wanted. He was able to reason when I asked him a question this time, but was angry with me so each time I attempted to connect with him, he began to cry again. I refreshed his memory that it was ok to be angry with me, but you still have to like me (respect me), and not react in a “level 5.” We also do not discuss the fit until later that night or the next day when he is using his upstairs brain completely. I have mentioned them before, but love, love, love this book and these authors:
He finally reconnected with me after snuggling on the couch, a kiss on the head, after-bath lotion, and a show. *C$ and Dad came in afterwards, and a little humor helped as well. *C$ told *little man, “I know how you feel.”
Though it was Brian’s turn for bedtime, I decided I would accept *little man’s plea only because I wanted to talk to him about his emotions and his brain. After two books, one of them three times, (just as if he has my genes- I did the same thing as a kid) we were able to talk about his fit. I simply reminded him he was too little for playdates, and the reason is because sometimes, his emotions get out of control, just as they did tonight. Some day he will be big enough and won’t cry as easily, especially at someone else’s home.
Afterwards, he brought up a memory of all three of his previous families (but referred to the moms). He asked my feelings towards those families; wow, not what I expected, but think I answered pretty well without avoiding the question like I wanted to.
Then he followed my words with, “I miss her.” (We call her by name; but he decided last night that it was hard to say her name.) I clarified which mom and said, “That’s okay baby, you can miss her.”
He continued with the conversation, though I knew it was probably getting to be a lot for him for one night.
Then he asked, “when can you be my birth mom?”
Wow, um, even harder, how do I answer this? “I can never be your birth mom, but will be your forever mom. I love that she brought you into this world, so Dad and I can have another son.”
He replied with a few more questions, and told me someone else that he missed (that I had never heard of). He also tried to bring up an additional person from his birth family, but he actually began to get physically hot. I turned on his fan, and quickly changed the subject to his Braves Blooper stuffed animal. I did not want shun his feelings or the conversation, but we talk a lot and I knew this conversation would be more productive another night.
After some light conversation about his favorite thing we did at the lake, he brought up his fit again and said it was his “worst thing of the day.”
He told me his bones were shaking and his heart hurt. While it broke my heart, I’m so proud of those words, but I wanted to equate those words to feelings, and again try to get his little brain ready for sleep.
Cue, pour a glass of wine and try to remember the evening so I can be better prepared for the next time.
Love you *little man,
your forever mom