Last weekend, the kids, a high school friend of mine and I drove down to Maryland. It’s a 3 hour drive for us which isn’t bad at all. My boys are good travelers. They were excited to go see their Aunty Juddles again. Her parents were also there visiting and I am always happy to go see my Jamaican fambily. (Fambily is not a typo but I don’t feel like explaining it to those of you who won’t understand. Sorry)
Anyway, Friday evening was ok. The kids got to bed late but all was well. On Saturday morning they woke up too early for my liking but again, that’s pretty standard. Also, Aunty Juddles did the hard work of preparing milk and entertaining them until I got up 🙂 . We lounged around for a while, then we went to the mall where I got all the things I went there for and we killed time playing with leaves and eating cinnamon pretzel sticks. Aunty Juddles and her parents met up with us and we all went bowling. Ace loved it. I’m sure if I ever suggest it again, he will be all aboard.
*Sidebar – Bowling is more expensive than I would have thought.
Anyway, as I was saying, Ace loved it and once Jay saw that the adults were positioning our fingers in the holes in the balls in a certain way, he decided that he would do so also. It didn’t take him long to learn and off he went.
Jay had a few grumpy moments – mostly when we wouldn’t let him take a turn whenever he wanted or when he got his finger squashed while trying to pick up a ball. But I was able to pretty quickly quiet him down each time and we got through the session.
*Another sidebar – If I had won the game I would for sure be bragging about it but since you haven’t heard me brag, you know what that means. I’m calling for a rematch.
Now here’s the thing … I could wrap up the post here and move on. I could say that we left on Sunday and made it home without getting stuck in any traffic and leave it looking like the weekend was a fun success. Years from now, I could read back on this and think that is exactly how it all went down. It wouldn’t be a lie. But it wouldn’t be the full truth either.
On Saturday night, a few people came over so the kids went to bed later than I was hoping. It was kind of difficult getting them to settle down. I don’t like that. Usually bedtime is my exhale time. I also know that even if they go to bed late, they will wake up early and then be miserable and fighty and complainy and whiney and screamy all day. They had already had a late night on Friday so this would make 2 nights in a row. I was anxious for them to go to dream land. It was well past their bedtime when they finally fell asleep.
Sunday rolled around and yup, even though I tried to keep things calm, the kids were on edge. It was in the air. Ace was extra energetic and not doing a good job of listening and when it was time to leave Jay threw a massive fit. He wanted to keep some toys that don’t belong to him and I told him that he needed to leave them behind.
It was BAD! He cried and screamed and threw himself down on the floor. He’s not a big child, but he’s not a baby anymore. He’s 6 years old and 40 pounds. I had to muscle my way through taking the toys from him and trying to get him out the door without hurting him. In the end, it took myself and my Aunt and my Juddles to get us into the car. There was no way we were going to get him properly dressed so he got placed in the car with no shoes and no jacket. Then he continued to throw a fit about not having on his shoes or his jacket. Once I got them on him and we were on the road, he calmed right down and fell asleep in a sweaty crumble, but man those episodes take a toll. On all of us. No-one likes to see it, even if they are understanding. I don’t like to know that I can’t do anything about whatever he is feeling in that moment and Jay is clearly not feeling his best. He is in distress and it plain sucks.
I tell myself (and others sometimes) that those meltdowns happen because he’s tired or that the weekend was busy or that the bowling was too much with the lights and noise and … just everything. Those reasons may be valid but they don’t make getting through the meltdown any easier.
I can handle the delayed speech and motor skills. I can handle the social awkwardness. I can handle the picky eating. I can handle all the meetings and paperwork. None of those are problems for Jay so I just do what I gotta do. But man, I could totally do without the tantrums. For his sake as well as my own as his mother.
In true Juddles fashion she texted me when we got home to ask how Jay was and to say that the meltdown was not indicative of the overall weekend and it was fun.
She’s a gem that one.
If we never have another weekend (or day, or minute) where meltdowns occur and I can, with full disclosure, end a story and have it be all good, I wouldn’t be sad about it.