Meltdown Mayhem

So anyone who follows my Twitter feed will know that we’ve been having a problem of late with the Monster having more meltdowns than usual, if that wasn’t obvious from yesterday’s post.  He’s been up several of the preceding nights… and it’s honestly been worse during the day.

Of late, he’s been obsessing about riding in the car.  I don’t know what’s brought it about, but he’s been insisting more and more on getting in the car for a bit, and being taken for a ride before bed.  And then lately, it’s turned into a constant thing – we get out of the car, come inside, and he wants another car ride.

So last night turned into a massive fight to get him to go to bed, which is harder still on my wife because she hates to hear him screaming himself hoarse.  It took probably about 45 minutes of his screaming before he quieted down… during which time, we were hunkered down in the media room to hope that he’d just wear himself out.

(For those who are wondering, the wife spoke to the doctor yesterday and got a recommendation that we don’t leave the iPad in his room, for concerns that it might further disrupt his sleep cycle.  We’re agreeing that the doctor in this case definitely knows better than us, and we’ll see how tonight goes.  On the other hand, we also were given a suggestion by her to up the melatonin to see if it helps, so we’ll cross our fingers.)

toothlessmonsterIt’s the absolute Jekyll-and-Hyde act that is what throws us, honestly.  As we’ve referred to before, everyone who meets the Monster is impressed by what a sweet, compliant child he can be.  He might not be the most verbally communicative, but he definitely makes what he wants clearly known, is capable of playing with other children in some form, and comes across as a delightful child…

But really, few people besides us see the other side of it, and we’re not sure what brings it about.  All we can do is take guesses.

A lot of it, to us, is a guess that he’s having trouble expressing what he wants.  I mean, of late, the requests for things echo his younger brother’s attempts to stave off going to bed – R will ask for almost anything, if it means that he can stay up later.  The Monster still doesn’t have the words to express what he might be wanting – he fills in with random nouns – but a lot of his requests involve things that would keep him from going to bed.

But there’s also the aspect, probably, that he might just not be mentally ready to go to bed, and isn’t understanding why we’re insisting.  (Um, because it’s late and you have to be up in the AM to go to camp, buddy.)  There’s preferred activities to be doing, and even if he is tired, he’d rather be outside, or watching Sesame Street… which might be a very literal interpretation as well.  Save that it’s hard to explain to a child without the language skills that the playground closes at sundown, that we’re not about to go out in the backyard at eight at night to let him run around, that we’re not going to go out for another ride in the car, and that it’s important that he gets his rest.

I genuinely hope that his new school placement helps him get the skills to communicate more what’s on his mind, what’s bothering him, and gives him the tools to avoid these meltdowns.  Preferably before his mother and I go crazy…

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