Failure to Communicate

It’s been that kind of weekend.

So yesterday, we had a get-together for the wife’s Mommies’ board, and we were then off to a cookout at her sister’s house.  This seemed fairly straight-forward and fun to me – we’d go over to the get-together (where the kids could get into bathing suits and splash around, and have cupcakes) and then zip down the 90 or so minutes to the cookout where they could gorge themselves on hot dogs.  What’s not to like?

Between the two, though, is that pesky 90 minute drive.  The idea was to grab some food en route, feed the kids in the car, let R sleep, and then let the kids play again when we arrived at the cookout.

So a half-hour away from the gathering, on our way to the cookout, R was happily sleeping away in his car seat, and the Monster was making a few minor noises in the backseat that sounded like they were unhappy.  So we offered him the remaining french fries that we had, which he accepted.. and promptly dumped onto the floor in the back seat… and I made the mistake of being stern about the fact that he made a mess.

Mistake, indeed.  Ensue a meltdown, at seventy miles per hour, complete with thrashing legs and a staccato rhythm against the back of the driver’s seat (the wife was driving).

We ended up switching – I’m more able to ignore the kicking since he sits behind me in my car as well, and I’m used to him kicking my seat – and made it the rest of the way… and it easily took an hour or more before he was “normal” again, or at least well behaved enough that we weren’t absolutely humiliated by his shrieking.  The rest of the evening was alright, save for the fact that we had a mini-melt on the way back to the house, which meant R got awakened again…

So today had been going alright as well, until the wife offered to take him out to the playground.  He’s been asking for a ride in the car for a while, and the playground was “fine” with him, until they arrived at the playground and he didn’t want to get out of the car.  They pulled back into the driveway about 15 minutes after they left, with him still screaming and kicking in the back seat, needing to be physically carried into the house.

This is where communication is really a problem – we don’t even know what he really wants, much less what’s triggering these meltdowns…

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