Today, Simon is about five feet tall, a fact I can attest to because, if I’m barefoot and he’s wearing flip flops, he can look me directly in the eye.
Today, Simon went to his second to last day of the 6th grade, an “early release” day that meant he got home at little after 12:15 instead of 3:30.
Today, Simon had a few massive meltdowns.
Now, I kind of expected that last one. The end of the school year and days on different schedules always make things harder on Simon. But today, he got off the bus happy and told me it was “good.”
It didn’t last.
The first meltdown happened when he realized that while today was his birthday, and while he was having a Chuck E Cheese birthday party on Sunday, we were not actually going to Chuck E Cheese today.
I tried all my usual bag of tricks to calm him down. Nothing helped.
I thought about a quote that I’d seen on Facebook earlier – the question of whether or not this was a hill worth dying on. Was this really the battle I wanted to fight? Was it worth it?
I was just going to go with it.
We went to see the rat. We even walked in while Chuck E Cheese was standing at the front, having just done his song and dance (literally), so Simon got to high five him.
Everything was right with the world again.
If Simon had been thinking it was a normal day, then he’d been home long enough that Dad should have been home waiting for us by then. Of course, it was early release, so it wasn’t even close to time.
Thus begun the half hour of full-lunged screaming and crying. Right into my ears. Right in my face.
We went through the weighted blanket. Singing. Tickling. Writing out what was going on. All the usual fixes. None lasted longer than one or two minutes.
Until I asked if he wanted to go outside on the swings and wait for Dad there.
Simon was semi-calmed down. Not super loud screaming anymore. But still lots of repetition. I’m not sure what the neighbors thought of my obvious inability to produce Dad on demand, but after a while, he enjoyed the swing set enough to calm down. Mostly.
And once Dad got home, things definitely calmed down.
Now, I’m not trying to make this sound like it was a horrible, no good, awful day.
Simon had a great time a Chuck E Cheese. He picked out Dora the Explorer cupcakes that he wanted to share with our friends’ kids. He opened presents, including a last-minute emergency gift (long story, possibly coming later) of a ukulele, two “magic pen” books, and two super soft, heavy stars that are meant as sensory toys. He loved the gifts, and laid on the floor with the stars on his back while he colored in one of the books. It was a good day, in the end, with just a rough patch in the afternoon.
But what a rough patch.
My head still hurts.
So maybe don’t think it was a bad day. But I do still have a headache from all the screaming, and I wouldn’t say no to a Starbucks card or two. 🙂