The Master of Many Meltdowns: No reason. No warning. Just a flipped switch transforming a previously happy four year old boy into a screaming, whining, sobbing pile of snot. Who is likely to act out. Or throw things. And he doesn’t hear a word you say.
I don’t know if it’s continued withdrawal from Iowa.
Or a growth spurt.
Or low blood sugar.
Or a demonic possession.
Whatever the reason, The Tackler had more random meltdowns on Wednesday (and several on Thursday) than I dreamed humanly possible.
I considered myself a fairly experienced mom, at least with the Under Age Five category. I often see a meltdown rolling down the hill like the giant boulder in Raiders of the Lost Ark.
These were a different entity, the likes of which I have rarely seen.
It all began as I picked my two children up from child care at the gym.
Where he was smiles. And happy.
Meltdown #1: Lil Diva held one of the “new” Little People in her hand (versus the old school ones, without appendages). As they buzzed the doors open, she walked out with it.
“Can you take that back to Miss M?” I asked her.
The Tackler stepped in, trying to rip it from her grasp.
Lil Diva got pissed and protested.
“Son, let her do it.”
“NO I HAVE TO DO IT!” Tears streamed down his cheeks as his barely coherent screeches echoed with the “I’m hungry and tired and it’s past my nap time” edge.
Only he gave up naps. Nine months ago.
Meltdown #2-3: He calmed. Briefly. Lil Diva returned the toy. He stood in the waiting area, by the glass doors that block the chaos from the rest of the gym.
Someone opened the door.
Meltdown. Same as before.
“NO I WANTED TO DO IT!”
The parent gave me an apologetic look. The door closed.
His sobs trailed off. Perhaps he only gasped for air.
Another person opened the door.
Meltdown #4: Lil Diva ran off, The Tackler and I falling behind, still at the glass doors as I attempted to calm his hysterics.
“We have to go, sweetie, or baby sister will sneak into the locker room.”
He took off.
“You can’t go in there! It’s for girls only!”
Same meltdown, as he paused in the open hallway leading to the women’s locker room as I sprinted in to grab Lil Diva.
Meltdown #5: I requested he grab a short table in the cafe for us to eat lunch. He instead chose his favorite tall bar stool table.
“We need a shorter table so baby sister can reach.”
“NO WE HAVE TO SIT HERE!”
Meltdown #6: Lil Diva fluttered about, grabbing for protein bars on display as I hurried to procure a high chair. The Tackler left his seat, and went after her.
He grabbed her wrist and dragged her towards the table.
She walked, whining and fussing, but not digging her heels in.
“I need to do that, sweetie. When you pull her like that she gets very upset.”
“NO I NEED TO BRING HER TO THE TABLE!” Only it came out more like “Noweyeneedto bringer to da TAAAABLE!”
Are you seeing a pattern yet?
Meltdown #7-10: I plopped Lil Diva into the high chair and pulled out my culinary masterpieces: PB & J. The Tackler’s sandwich was quartered. Lil Diva in sixths.
This is always the case.
“NO YOU HAVE TO HAVE IT IN FOUR PIECES!”
Quickly followed by.
“SHE CAN’T HAVE A SANDWICH! NEVER AGAIN!”
Rinse. Repeat. Revisit. In between bites of sandwich.
The same meltdown.
Twenty minutes and ten meltdowns.
What. The. Frak.
It was as though he’d regressed a year, to the Age of Naps.
Then he ate.
The meltdowns ceased.
Long enough to leave.
The rest of the day unfolded a bit like this:
Meltdown #11: I fully informed him before the gym Lil Diva would nap in her pack ‘n play in his room (usually she’s in my closet). He was okay with it. I put her down for a nap right after we arrived home? Meltdown.
#12: He tried to choose his post lunch snack, for being a good boy at the gym. I reminded him for the 50th time he was informed AT the gym if he didn’t calm down, there would be no candy.
#13: A repeat of concerns of her sleeping in his room, about ten minutes later.
A brief respite, as he plays alone…
#14: He wanted to hang outside with the cable guy. My backyard is a mosquito playground and I had to stay inside while Lil Diva slept.
The same meltdown as the previous ones, only a bit longer.
#15: Lil Diva woke up mad. Too early. I played Tangled to calm her.
“NO I WANT TO WATCH TOY STORY 2 RIGHT NOW!”
#16: (as Rapunzel cries in the movie) “NO SHE CAN’T CRY! SHE NEEDS HER HAIR BACK RIGHT NOW!”
He’s seen this movie over thirty times. This was no surprise.
#17: Tangled has a continuous play feature. The movie ended, Lil Diva danced to the credits, and the usual “behind the scenes” played afterward. CG arrived home and we paused it.
Same exact meltdown.
#18: The Tackler wants the toy Lil Diva has, and snatches it.
#19: We asked him to put is shoes on so we could go out to dinner. He demanded the movie extras.
#20: He kicked a lunchbox CG tried to distract him with on the floor and was told to go upstairs. He wanted to leave to eat.
#21: An explanation of how he needed shoes. He wanted the movie.
#22: Told to go upstairs again to calm down. He wanted to eat.
“It’s like he’s one step behind of all our suggestions.” My husband said.
#23-26: Repeat aforementioned cycle.
#27: “I WANT TO GO TO SERRANO’S!”
“We are! Calm down.”
#28: A getting out of the car meltdown.
Perfectly fine in the restaurant. Even when told he couldn’t eat any chips until after he finished his dinner.
#29-35ish*: Bath denied, teeth brushed, potty resistance, PJ resistance, bed time resistance.
CG, frustrated and needing to bathe Lil Diva, did a rare trade with me. I read The Tackler a book and tucked him in.
Suddenly, a perfect angel.
Wednesday ended, my mommy cache exhausted. My brain confused.
What the frak, y’all?
Can four year old boys have PMS?
Do they experience “nap time regression” – where after almost a year of skipping naps – they suddenly need them again, but trying to give them one creates an even bigger meltodwn of biblical proportions unless you drive endlessly (or take a road trip) and then they finally sleep?
I’m still dazed. And confused.
And in need of chocolate.
Here’s hoping your Friday is meltdown free…
*The actual number of meltdowns is estimated to the best of my knowledge. I was not present for all, but heard them through the walls. Also? I probably forgot a few instances because they were so… weird and unexpected.
Did you or a child have a “what the frak” moment this week?