Ive talked about meltdowns before but just to make sure you fully understand and get it I thought I’d be a bit more descriptive so here goes mainly because tonight has been shit and difficult.
This would be a typical visit to the shopping centre and I cough unexpectedly for example while he’s pre-meltstrual.
Stage 1 – Pre-meltstrual
This is bit where Reilly is just starting to show signs he’s not happy. He becomes disinterested in EVERYTHING and growls at me and others.
Must be watched carefully for knocking things of shelves can’t afford to start bartering over breakages got to move fast.
Stage 2 – Can’t touch this
As if by magic he turns into a slippery little eel and its near impossible to keep hold of his hand, hood, arm, trousers etc. For his own safety obviously you must hang on like a rodeo cowboy, he will run in front of cars, people, get on a bus (this has happened) and I usually drop bags, money, bank cards etc in the process. My temperature raises by a couple of degrees and I need to get my coat off. I have said in my head FFS a few times already.
Stage 3 – Puppet on a string
Trying to transport a child from A – B when their legs aren’t working is hard. Especially now you’ve added your coat to the list of things you are carrying. It’s like someones put a Tom and Jerry magnet in his pocket and its attracted to the floor.
I take this opportunity for a breather and stand over him like the Colossus of Rhodes. It’s at this point I will notice the first stream of tutters, judgmental bastards who’ve never done anything wrong in their lives nor have their kids or grandkids. Angels. They sweep past watching you over their shoulder while discussing with their friend how shit you must be as a mother. Up yours.
Stage 4 – Shaddap your face
Reilly can’t talk as you know but I bet he could smash a glass with his wailing – like a banshee. Red faced, snotty and sweaty still on the floor. Queue more admiring glances from passers by with the odd ‘smack his arse” comment just audible above the racket. These people sometimes get shown the middle finger or quite simply told to fuck off or I will smack you. I’m usually on the verge of a panic attack by this point.
Stage 5 – I can’t stand up for falling down
Ive accepted that we cannot stand here all day, i’ve mastered my bitch face and i’m moving him out of there by any means necessary. Over the shoulder would be good but he’s getting too heavy. So I stand him up, he crumples back to the floor making sure he hurts his knees and hands in the process and we do this until we get outside, up and down like a little angry frog. People should know at this point that catching my glance will equal Medusa’s stare and they’d be wise to jog on.
Sometimes at this point I will clock someone who knows, someone who’s been there and they give me that understanding Deidre Barlow face and it lifts my spirits momentarily. Enough to get to a place to regain some composure and carry on with our day.
This meltdown cannot be bought off with a new toy, an ice cream or a trip to Disneyland Paris. It can last upto an hour and they are exhausting for us both. There is no negotiating and I do not know if my cough feels like nails across a blackboard or thorns sticking in his ears. It’s tragic and stressful, it’s really really stressful and I hate it. I hate myself for losing my cool with him (not always but I am human) I do not hate myself for swearing at Judge Judys, to avoid my wrath don’t stare at us, don’t comment, don’t judge. It’s hard enough.
Get me a taxi or a diazepam or preferably both and I’ll be forever grateful.