Hail Mary full of grace, I mutter under my breath as I struggle with my willful child who went from giggles to full on meltdown in record time.
Blessed are thou among women.
I beg, bribe, threaten and even cry with her – all in vain. She wants what she wants and she thinks the only way to get it is to scream. I leave her, half-dressed to finish getting ready and make the third grader’s lunch. Her screams become louder. She has reached the point that she can’t be consoled and I've reached the point that I just don’t care.
That is too harsh. I do care but if I don’t step away I will lose control. Sadly, I can’t make her understand or calm down and until she is ready to receive comfort, I only make her angrier trying to make it better. My heartbreaks every time we do this.
Struggling to bring my half-dressed, screaming, three year old downstairs I leave her on the floor as I go to the back door to explain to my neighbor, who does not speak English very well, that we are okay and she is having a meltdown. Exasperated hand gestures convey this somehow; then again it could be the look of defeat in my eyes.
I am more at ease knowing that my neighbors will come to my aid if there was a crisis and beyond the "I am so embarrassed" stage.
Pray for us sinners.
I sit on the couch, unable to move, let alone think. I send my son to fetch what I have forgotten upstairs. She is still screaming. She wants to go back upstairs to get dressed. She wants to stay home. She wants to wear a Hello Kitty shirt that she does not have in her wardrobe. She. Is. Still. Screaming.
I want her to get dressed and stop screaming. I want to stay home and cuddle while waiting for her brother to come home from school. I want. I want. I want.
Now and at the hour…
I need to stay calm. I need to understand that she has all these emotions and is learning to cope. I need to stand my ground and not cave to her demands because it will stop the screaming. I need to remind myself that this is one moment that I will look back on and laugh and hopefully not with regret.
You can’t reason with a child in the middle of a meltdown any more then you can reason with the tide.
I take comfort that as quickly as her meltdown happens her happy personality appears just as fast. As we headed out the door she had a smile and as she buckled in her “babies” she told knock, knock jokes about poop.
I wonder if that is the plan all along – make them cute so you forget all the grief they just put on you.
Either that or I am living with Sybil.