Wednesday, September 19, 2012
This is the side of Owen I've been having to remind myself of more and more very recently. The sweet boy who joins me at the kitchen table lately for a cup of "coffee" (camomile tea for him) and a chat: "So...how is yoh day, Mommy? Did you go wunnin'?" There are honestly countless sweet and funny little moments to be had with this kid on any given day and I feel so lucky to have him in my life......
....BUT.... Man, he sure is finding his own personal rut in the emerging, dreaded "terrible two's" stage. I will sometimes get him to admit that he is a menace, although he actually says "I'm a hummus", but close enough. I'm not sure if I'm not remembering Zoe at this age very clearly or if she just wasn't as intense but when this little guy loses it he LOSES HIS MIND. He had such a terrible meltdown today (over I have no clue what, really..neither did he I think) that at one point I felt like I needed to restrain him before he hurt himself any further (he had already hit his head on the kitchen table mid-freak out). I also thought at one point that he was choking or that his tongue was swollen or something because he looked like he was struggling to find breath. Poor little dude. Honestly, when it's that bad I don't feel even one ounce of anger towards him because he so clearly has just lost it completely. Like an intense storm barreling through when you least expect it, leaving you running for cover and waiting for it to pass...although I guess it's more like I stay right out and weather it with him. I can't bear to leave the poor guy to fend for himself completely, unless it seems like he just needs a few moments alone. Mostly I just try my best to give him comfort and offer snacks intermittently and eventually something clicks and calms the waters. Today, like many days, it just took completely changing the scene and getting into the car to take Zoe to school. It doesn't happen every day for sure, but when it does...I won't lie, it's a little overwhelming...for both of us! We made it through together though and had some great snuggles in the aftermath so....I did find myself remembering a time when Zoe was this age and I was so baffled by a meltdown that I called my sister Jill to get some validation for how I handled it. The advice she offered stuck with me and I recall it often..she told me not to put pressure on myself to think of the exact right way to handle a meltdown like that in the moment. Just to find a way to get through it and move on. It's so true. There are so many other opportunities to discipline and model (and expect) "appropriate" behavior, but at his age he can only control so much and there are times when it's not about misbehaving and more about losing any control someone that young even has over their emotions in the first place....if you ask me, anyway! I know I'm not perfect and someone out there probably has a different way of handling all of this, but it makes the most sense to me....I do hope I can find ways to help him calm the waters a little sooner than I've been able to, but for now...we got through it today.
Other than that (mixed in with the endless good, fun stuff), we are experiencing less intense, but just as exhausting to deal with behavior such as hair pulling, possessiveness, obsession with initially harmless actions that, over time, end up in the "Chinese Water Torture-esque" category (for him, opening and closing the microwave, "washing his hands" and looking in the fridge for food he doesn't really want), randomly hitting friends in the face with hard plastic toys (so far that only happened once but today he was making me really nervous with a little metal shovel someone left at the playground), eating rocks specifically because I tell him not to (ok, that only happened once too) and throwing large salt shakers out of the car window as we are driving along a busy street (yes, yes only once but the shovel thing, the rock thing and this all happened today, which as you can see was already a big day around here). I'm a little in awe to tell you the truth...and exhausted.