Dealing with Meltdowns

Woke up this morning to a barely-three-year-old having a meltdown.

It was not the usual “no, no, no, I don’t want you” when he clearly knows what he wants (or not).

He was crying and screaming for no reason. Although, I suspect it was because my Mom went off for a health check this morning and that sense of abandonment arose (again). My dad could not calm him down, except to carry him gently in his arms.

It was a huge accomplishment for me, that I successfully managed to get him to come to his senses! I looked him straight in his eyes and asked him a million questions. Irrelevant questions, to put it simply. “What do you want, Oliver?” “Do you want a whale? Blue whale? Humpback whale? Whale shark?” The list went on and he paused his crying to think.

Dad was happy, and gave me the “now we’re getting somewhere” look, and whispered to me in Mandarin “the dinosaurs with the super long names.”

“Do you want a Triceratops?”

“A Tyrannosaurus rex?”

“What do you want, Oliver?”

He stopped and thought for a long time, totally spaced out.

Such peace and calm overtook the space!

The thought-space went on a long time and he probably forgot why he had the meltdown, or even the fact that he was in the middle of a meltdown.

“I want to go coffeeshop.”

So we went .. and of course, he was looking for my Mom. He went to ask her group of friends, “where’s ah-Ma?”

Ah well. Such a dramatic morning. Just an hour and I was already heaving a huge sigh of relief being able to get to work.

To all Moms in this world, and to the dads pulling their weights as well, you guys are amazing. Just being able to close each day with remnants of sanity is something worth being very very proud of. Good job, you.

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