This looks like a fun-filled fabulous photo, right? WRONG! A picture only captures a split second, a moment in time, and whilst this split-second appears to capture two smiling, happy children, let me just fill you in on the thirty minutes prior to this photo being taken…
Last week we had a series of rather impressive thunderstorms, one of which our daughter heard the faint onset of whilst out on a walk with her Dad, brother, and our basset. It was the tiniest rumble of thunder, yet E’s rather sudden and extreme response was to quite literally force her way into her Dad’s T-shirt, all whilst screaming and crying to get home.
Thankfully they made it home prior to the downpour and before the real thunder began rolling in… yet the damage seems to have been done…Last week’s thunderstorm seems to have scared E somewhat as she has since been nervous to even step outside. Even getting her to play out in the garden has wreaked havoc recently, it’s just not like her!
Having eventually persuaded and convinced our little lady to join us for a beach walk yesterday all hell broke loose…
Prior to reading this, I’ll pre-warn you that I couldn’t care less whether you wish to cast judgment upon my actions as a parent. I will ALWAYS put my children first and I do my very best for them and my family, even if that means being ever so slightly cruel to be kind then so be it…
From the moment that the car door shut and we began walking towards the sand, E transformed from a kind, caring, polite little princess into some sort of possessed demon. She began kicking, screaming and pulling us back towards the car… it wasn’t pretty and it was OH SO PUBLIC.
I highly suspect that anyone watching on may have worried that a child was being abducted as we held her tight as she kicked, screamed, and protested against our plans for a beach walk. I was slightly worried social services may be in touch but I wasn’t letting go as she could have run off and being hit by a car, it was quite literally a battle of wills.
Having weighed up the idea of returning to the car or battling against our little ladies’ sudden and irrational fears, I decided the latter would be more beneficial in the long run. I knew it wouldn’t be easy, but when is anything ever easy in my life?!
It was at this point that J started becoming rather stressed as he too was worried that his little sister may runoff despite our efforts to hold her back. It took all my strength to hold onto and prevent E from running and during my efforts I was rewarded with a face full of sand and a deep kick in the shin…lovely!
Having watched all the commotion, J was now sobbing his heart out on the beach. This wasn’t fair on our little man and so I asked him to walk with the dog down to the dunes and to wait for his Dad.
To ensure E wasn’t about to go haring off in a blind panic (which she had now attempted with both Paul and I) I continued to hold E on the sand whilst endlessly reassuring her that there was no thunder. E meanwhile continued to kick and to cry all whilst rambling repetitively with her hands held tightly over her ears.
This isn’t like our little lady whatsoever and having experienced numerous ASD meltdowns over the years, I knew exactly what I was dealing with so decided to do what I do best and to ride it out…we weren’t going home, we were facing this head-on right there, right then.
I’ll admit that deep down I felt pretty teary myself – I’ve got a fair amount of stuff going on at present with my Dad being terminally ill, my recent job loss, various emergency hospital visits over the past week and the whole homeschooling and lockdown scenario, so as you can imagine a meltdown on top of the aforementioned was a million miles from what I needed.
All I’d wanted was for us all to enjoy a relaxing walk on the shore but it wasn’t to be. Taking matters into my own hands, I sent Paul, J, and the dog into the sand dunes for some family fun whilst I
dragged coaxed my rambling, kicking, screaming girl along the shore and up the ramp to the bench where I held her tight on my knee.
Having taken away E’s audience, she eventually calmed down, caught her breath, and then began sobbing her heart out- this was the moment that I knew the meltdown had ended. E’s body relaxed, her tears flowed and from there we were able to make some headway…
We sat, we cuddled, we talked, we listened to the faint rumbling sound (which was the vibration from the trucks and cars on the road) and I eventually convinced E that there was no thunder and even if it were to thunder she would be completely safe in our care.
At this point, both E and I felt pretty tired from the tirade of emotions and I considered going home. However, I felt that both E and J needed to spend some time having fun together in the dunes and take home happy memories rather than feelings of upset or fear.
J very kindly took E into the dunes for a run around whilst Paul and I watched on cautiously. I felt completely and utterly drained by this point, yet took the time to snap a happy, smiley picture for our little lady to look back upon.
Having already had one child diagnosed with Aspergers (ASD), I know fine well how long the process takes and in reality, I know that a high functioning child such as J (or E) isn’t likely to get a whole heap of support as they learn to manage their emotions as they mature. I’m rather dubious as to whether I should push for a diagnosis at this point, I’m not really sure it’ll be worth our efforts, though I’ll certainly mention it to the GP.
At the end of the day, I know what I’m doing as I’ve been there and I’ve worn the t-shirt many times over. I know fine well that with time things usually get better as the child matures. I’m also aware that ‘giving in’ isn’t an option, so we WILL be going back to the beach as often as we can over the next week or two to show E how to fight rather than flight her fears.
Talk about an ordinary moment – there just aren’t all that many when it comes to my life at present!
If I’m not rushing back and forth caring for my Dad, I’m either chatting by text or phone to my Mum or some consultant or Doctor or whoever else regarding poor Dad’s realm of issues, either that or I’m calling or following an ambulance in yet another emergency… it’s crap, there is no other way to describe it.
If I am lucky enough to be at home, then I’m usually sat worrying that the phones about to ring or I’m busy planning and printing work for the kids, that or I’m teaching them both.
Once the kids finish their schoolwork each day they will then play, yet somehow I end up spending at least an hour after they’ve been playing picking random things up whilst wondering why it is that my children and the dog seem to spread their belongings all over the house and never seem to be the ones to tidy up.
I moan now but I’ll miss the kids and the chaos when they eventually return back to normality and back to school or work in Paul’s case. I’ve no idea what I’ll be doing by then, it’ll be quiet and probably quite lonely I imagine.
As for the recent ‘career catastrophe’, I’ve spent some time applying for financial support which I’m yet to hear back upon and I have browsed for several jobs but due to current circumstances and my current predicament, it’s pretty pointless.
Nothing is normal right now, there are no ‘ordinary moments’ and our little ‘beach battle’ shall we call it was just another straw to add to this old camels back.
Thanks for reading. I look forward to catching up with your #TheOrdinaryMoments posts either through your own posts or comments upon this post.