Last weekend was HORRENDOUS. Definitely the worst weekend we have had. At swimming he acted like, well, like a child with issues, at bike club he was ok, but then the staff at bike club work with emotionally damaged children every day so they know how to manage him. Then after our usual Saturday morning out, came time to have Saturday afternoon at home or at least, home based.Lunch was ok, and Bonzo chose to help me strip his bedroom walls as his first activity. Uncle came up to check out a few things for me, and then went on his merry way. As the door clicked shut, Bonzo’s mood changed. Like the flick of a switch. Welcome Mr Defiant.
We had planned to go to IKEA to get some stuff for his room. First of all food was an issue. I gave him the choice of snack before we left, or snack at IKEA. He chose snack at IKEA. (funny that). Then we had Mr Difficult. My shoes are too tight, my carpet is too rough, my hair is too blonde, my moaning is too ridiculous……..
I crouched to his level and explained, firmly what we were doing. We were going out and he was going to keep calm. As was I. He flicked the switch back, welcome now Mr Falsely Happy.
So, we are in IKEA, and who knows what happens. He knows IKEA, loves IKEA, no issues before, but as I say, come on then let’s go and choose some stuff Mr Stroppy appeared. I carried on my way, normally the best way – Bonzo will just follow. Instead he opened his mouth and screamed. So, having explained to him before we went in that this was fun and I was only taking a happy boy round with me, I told him we were leaving the shop without looking (without looking for new stuff, I was clearly looking where we were going). Oh boy – good job I am strong, as a reasonably muscly 5yr old is quite a challenge to drag out of IKEA – against the flow of happy, smiling couples. Thankfully, after a couple of minutes he decided to sob as he walked.
Well, I then informed him that we had to go to do some food shopping (actually didn’t HAVE to, but I felt the need for wine growing by the minute), and actually, I didn’t want to be at home trapped in a small space with an angry child.
We got home, it was dinner & bed.
Sunday – similar pattern, only it started at 6.30am. My curtains are too long, my bed is too high, I have’t got a drink, why are you still in bed, you haven’t made me breakfast yet, what are we doing today…….
vodka tea made, I braced myself for a day of angst & fury. Slight problem here was we were due to go and have an hours ‘up close with the lions experience’, which was rapidly changing to a ‘I might feed my child to the lions’ experience. (That incidentally is a joke). I told Bonzo that today was the day we would go and see the lions, and whoa, up a gear we went. Tears, screams, tantrums, all over any little thing he could think of.
Again, I got down low and explained to him, that Mummy was off to visit the lions, I would like it to be fun, but if he preferred I would phone Uncle and Bonzo could stay with them and I would take Pickle or Pop instead. Again, he decided to be calm and come along, and once we were in the jeep, he calmed and enjoyed himself. It was great – the highlight for Bonzo? Hearing the bones of a horse leg crunch as a tiger chewed away.
We got home – Mr Contrary returned and the weekend continued.
As did the week. Till Wednesday morning when I think it peaked. Wednesday was the first time he has had a ‘breakdown’ before school. Normally he saves it till after school.
Wednesday he came home for lunch. He was Mr Moanalot, but enjoyed coming home, and went back to school happily.
3.30pm. I am bracing myself for Mr Angry, and out pops Mr Happy. The instant the door opened I could see he was relaxed and happy. He looked at me as he ran to me, he was cheerful and skipped along to the car.The afternoon went just fine. As did Thurday, as did Friday, as has this morning.
Now, don’t get me wrong, he is still awkward, and will be for a long time to come – but then I’m not expecting miracles.
This morning though, I sat with a cup of tea, watching Bonzo perform his Chinese New Year dragon dance (or so I’m led to believe!), and listened to him chat about his visit to a neighbouring school – to celebrate Chinese New Year and share gifts.
Life has returned to our ‘normal’.
My only regret is that I didn’t stand my ground and insist on part-time when he started school in September. But whilst hindsight is a wonderful thing, we have to move forward, and if having him home for lunch makes that much difference to his security, then that is what we’ll do.
So, I am off to wake him from his nap, and head off once more, to get some stuff for his room. This time it might be successful.