Yesterday I thought I was going to spontaneously combust! My chest was tight and felt like someone was palming my lungs, squishing them in an attempt to slam dunk them in the smallest basketball hoop ever. My heart was beating as though I had just gone out for a jog (hahahhahha, cuz that would happen!). I couldn’t get a good breath- do you know that feeling?… Constantly inhaling but it doesn’t feel like the air has anywhere to go or oxygen didn’t come with the breath. Torturous. I would’ve considered a trip to the doc making sure I wasn’t going to keel over or something but I’m an old pro at this stuff. Anxiety, it’s a stupid-head.
Problem is… why now? This crap happens a lot in November so I know to pay attention. If you don’t know me or the November event that changed my life, and you have the curiosity of a cat, you can read about it here or here. November has its reasons for anxiety, February does not.
It’s not November, I didn’t run out for a jog and get chased by a bear along a steep cliff aaaaand… it’s not a heart attack. What could it possibly be? I’ll give you one more guess and here’s a little hint… he’s 3 1/2 😉
Today, yesterday, shoot… this whole week Mr. Munchkin has been a handful. I think his favorite way to grind on our nerves is the slow Pterodactyl screech. It’s loud, it’s long and it’s on repeat. Talk about annoying! Along with that he’s being too rough with his sister and the dog, too fast when coming in for a hug (small human running full speed hurts), too fast with his getaways (ohhh, when I catch that little bugger, grumble grumble), too mouthy with excuses and explanations, and too distracted to figure out what the core issue might be. All around he’s just being too much.
Yesterday I think I hit my breaking point and just couldn’t deal. Many changes have been made with his diet and how we interact with him over the last several months and it has made life easier for all of us. Nobody has slipped him a block or cheese or loaded him up with wheat and we’ve gotten pretty good at distracting, redirecting, and engaging him but I must admit, it is exhausting to be “on” all the time.
I couldn’t keep up for one second more. There wasn’t enough coffee yesterday (unless it came with a side of Xanax). I would’ve been afraid to add caffeine to the already high anxiety level. I guess the circuit board overloaded and I stopped trying to distract/redirect/engage and just dealt with the behavior that was presenting itself by not really dealing. He ate, screamed, ate, jumped, ate, flapped, ate, ran, ate, yelled. I just watched it all transpire completely at a loss. (Pay attention to the common denominator, ate, I’ll come back to that)
All day yesterday I thought it was just me. I thought I was just being overly critical, or my expectations were too high. Maybe I was just being lazy or grumpy or -get this- being a bad Momma TT. Nobody else was around to for me to point fingers at and it’s not like a 3yo with sensory processing issues can hold the blame. Something was going wrong so it must’ve been my fault. It can be so easy to internalize trivial situations.
What kept me going throughout the day were the glimpses of normalcy that we now take for granted. Mr. Munchkin would come up to me and tell me I’m the best Momma TT in the world, he would stand next to me and just hold my hand, tell his sister she was so sweet, giggle uncontrollably, play with his Lego guys, dress up in his “knightly” attire and embark on awesome, heroic tales. In those moments I would feel rejuvenated. I could relish in the profound love and creativity that is under his very confused surface. I would have the emotional strength to try one more tactic to keep him connected. One tactic at a time we would make it through this day. Mommy would come home and all would be well, right? It wasn’t quite that easy.
How did I figure out it wasn’t really my fault? If I was taken out of the equation, the behavior remained the same. Plus, it wasn’t just yesterday, it was the day before, the day before that, middle of the night wake-ups, disastrous bedtimes, over-stimulated trips to the store; you name the situation and there was probably an issue.
So, what is the culprit? Mommy keeps asking me if I’ve given him dairy. I’m like “why the eff would I do that to myself …or him? I know the consequences and I’m not willing to go there. It would be a 3 day punishment for all of us, sooo not worth it! We’ve come to the conclusion that it is a food issue but not an allergy. He’s just hungry! Like SUPER hungry! He’s been eating like a teenager preparing for a marathon! Clearly he’s having a growth spurt and our best guess is that physiologically, his body just isn’t balanced right now.
Coming to that conclusion hasn’t really been that helpful. What? So, we just wait it out? Double up on the vitamins or something? We already have a fairly consistent sensory routine, very low sugar, & are gluten/casein free (there will be a post on that in the future). What else can we possibly do? No, really… I’m asking. If you have ideas that don’t involve locking him in a cage- let me know. He’s too cute for caging!
So now we wait. Now we carry on, one tactic at a time. A little redirection here, some distraction there, lots of hugs and kisses, some more waiting and we’ll get through this. After all, we made it through two years of this being life as usual… not it’s just life sometimes.
Going to refill the coffee cup and add a little Xanax creamer 😉