What IS A Meltdown?
“A meltdown is a tantrum, reports MSNBC, plain and simple: “Depending upon your child’s personality, nature, and style of communicating the outburst can range from simple whining, crying and fussing to a full-fledged fall-to-the-floor, head-banging-free-for-all. Meltdowns don’t just happen at times of transition, like returning to school from spring break. They happen when you ask your kid to turn off the t.v. tell them it’s bed time or they can’t have a certain toy in the store. But how do you deal with them?…”
When I read this I was like, “hell yeah it is“, but what do I do when the meltdown reaches a cacophony of sound and makes my ears bleed, or when the stomping from upstairs shakes my chandelier in the kitchen. Yeah, fix that one will ya?
So today was an exceptional day for a display of Autistic behavior. Because I have ASD X 3 in my household, it gets a little sticky in here. the meltdown went as such;
As I followed the growls and the ‘Charlie Brownesque’ “Uggghhhs!!!” I realized I was on the trail of a very angry little girl who seemed to be in full, pre-meltdown mode.
I walked through the playroom and followed the sounds of destruction, as toys crashed into boxes, onto the cemented garage floor, or onto each other. Bop it Smash, ringing out pleading for someone, anyone to twist it, pull it, smash it (I preferred to do the last, with a bat). I peeked around the garage door that stood ajar, dim light glowing eerily just beneath the doorway.
ME: OMG! What are you doing in the garage and why are all the seasonal toys pulled out?”
“Mom, can you please tell Zai-Zai to give me back my girl legos, he took all mine and I want my girl legos back!”
Me: “Ok, and where are they now?”
“Upstairs in your room, Bubba has them!”
By this time, I am completely baffled, why oh why is this kid o’ mine down here tearing this room apart, if the toys have already been rescued?
Me: “So, can you tell me why you’re rummaging in the garage, and you do know you have to clean up every single toy you pulled out, right?”
“Yeah, I know. I was going to!”
Me:” Ok, I’ll leave you to it.” It’s gotta be therapy. She is taking it out on the toys; at least, and not on her brother.
As I walk a bit further into the kitchen, there stands Zai-Zai, his flat affect expression and tone in full force.
“She’s a liar! I hate her so much because all she does is lie!”
Me: “Well, we don’t hate in this house, and definitely don’t call each other liars, if you’d like to tell me your side, please, by all means.”
“Ugh!” Now he get’s a little peturbed with me and raises his voice, speaking sharply and concisely, as if i am stupid, “She told me I could play with them, but then she said no and she lies so much!!!! You never listen to me, it’s not fair!”
Me: “Well, where are the legos now?”
“Mine or her girl legos?”
Me: (still not sure what warrants a girl lego over a boy lego), “The girl legos.”
“Bubba has ‘em upstairs in your room,” Zai-Zai storms off and slams his door proceeding to sing Michael Jackson as loudly as he can, like everyday after school, and before dinner.
So, I trudge up the stairs and knock on my door, yes, I knock on my door, as it is closed.
“Come in!” a cheerful voice says. Bubba is sprawled out in my floor, Spike and Hara on opposite ends of their semi-circle, legos in the middle.
Me: “Girl legos I presume?” Bubba nod, holding up the pink legos and the wheels, a lone lego character with curly brown hair and a skirt. “Oh I see.”
“Now they’re playing with them?!!!! Ughhhhhh!!!!!” Mei-Mei’s voice shreeks as she enters.”I’m gonna play with the Duplos!” But they aren’t girl legos!” She storms out before we can answer, “It’s not fair!!!!” SLAM!!!! The door resounds down the hall.
“I was gonna ask her to play,” Hara states nonchalantly.
I sit in my arm chair and slump down in the comfort.
“MOM!!!!” I can’t get in my room, and I don’t have legos, I’m bored and Romeme won’t let me play the XBox!” C. Skye is at my neck. “I never get to do anything! I just want to be able to play sometimes too, or be in my room, or something!”
I calmly get out of my chair and sit him in it firmly by the shoulder, I turn him toward my computer and click on MINECRAFT. He clams and starts to build, and build and build some more. Everyone is in their respective spots, and most of the kids in this house are playing with legos.
Now, I’m ready to have my meltdown, or would that be a breakdown? This was a mild day, thank goodness.