It’s easy to express, when you’re an adult, that you’re having a bad day.
The Monster, on the other hand, hasn’t quite gotten to that level. While we can infer what’s going on, that he’s having an awful day, we can’t tell what’s wrong or try to talk through what we can do to fix it.
I mean, I know why I had a bad day – I’m dealing with a massive load of work at the office, with a team that’s at half-strength, and feeling very much like I’m not appreciated at the moment in a professional sense. And I can rationalize it to others – I can (and did) tell my manager what I thought of my review, and then I spent a good half hour later venting about the issues once I got home.
On the other hand, the Monster lashes out and misbehaves when he doesn’t have the words to express what’s wrong.
I didn’t think anything in particular was wrong when we got to gymnastics today, enough that I could drop him off with Miss J (his one-on-one there) and walked to and from Starbucks to get myself a drink. When I got back, however, the Monster was in the midst of having a fit, and Miss J informed me that he’d been screaming, flailing about and ‘pinching’ (squeezing with his nails). We’re not sure what set him off – apparently it just started – and then when I couldn’t calm him down myself, we called the lesson to an end and I took him home.
It’s been an on-and-off problem, his suddenly having outbursts of late without anything being apparently wrong, or sudden crying jags without any clear reason for them coming on him. I only wish he had the words to tell us what was going on, or what could make things better…