It’s Just a Phase

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“Are you enjoying your Pringles?” I ask Declan.

Two blank brown eyes stare out at the wall ahead.

A moment passes.

“Yes,” he replies.

I turn around and head to the kitchen counter behind Declan.  I take a lean and look at the little head that is staring off into space and munching on his snack.

And let out a deep breath.

It was time to decompress.

We had another meltdown.

Just an hour and half earlier Declan was in a rage.  We struggled as a family to get him to the car.  Once he was secured we all got in and locked the doors and began to leave.

Less than a mile away, Declan gave a mighty lurch and grabbed my hair from the back seat.  Once my husband could get him off, he scratched holes in Bobby’s arm, the closest thing to him.  Back from the arm he lurched again and grabbed another handful of my hair.

An hour later – an hour of mean words and hate filled screams, attempts to get out of the car, then out of the house.  Attempts to hit, claw, scratch.  So many tears of rage that could fill buckets – he calmed.

“I feel so sad,” my husband said.

“I just feel bad,” I added, “Numb.”

Thankfully these moments do not happen as often as they did before.  We are in our in between stage – summer school has ended and we are waiting for school to begin again.  When Declan is off schedule, we all have a harder time.

Lately, we have had a meltdown every day.

As I get punched, or as I protect others around him from getting punched.  When he runs out of the car, or the house.  As he struggles with sleep – I must keep reminding myself –

It’s just a phase.

My gentle, loving, Spiderman adoring child is having a hard time.

He needs me right now to help keep him safe.  I love him tons, and I know once we get back on track, he will tell me funny stories.  He will play Spiderman and I will be the bad guy.  We will go places and I will not be worried that he will run off – we will go adventuring for fun.

We are going to do all the things that we love to do.

Just as soon as this phase is over.

 

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28 thoughts on “It’s Just a Phase

  1. Ouch! Robyn, thats so tough but you understand him so well. Hang in there! Here’s to parenting and for those who invest heavily in relationships, against all odds.
    💞Thats love in action!

  2. “This to will pass!” has to be a very annoying comment, sorry. Maybe you should make a count-down calendar where he can cross of the days until school starts? Sort of like a Christmas count down! This way he can actually see when his schedule will return to normal! That is the only thing I can think of.

    1. You’re right – it will pass! I have my eye on my own calendar – maybe I could show it to him and we can start a countdown. Great idea!

  3. It’s heartbreaking to witness and deal with a meltdown. Black eyes, clumps of hair pulled out and bruises heal but I don’t think your heart ever stops aching for the distress your child is feeling and, as a mum, not being able to stop or fix it. Hope this phase is over for you all soon x

    1. It is heartbreaking – my husband and I just feel so empty inside when we finally get through one. And Declan looks so drained. He is so upset during those times. It will pass – thank you! 🙂

  4. It’s so heartbreaking. Not to mention emotionally and physically exhausting! In the middle of it, it’s hard to remember that they’re having a worse time and only acting this way because it’s their only way to express their overwhelming emotions. In the middle, you just wish it would STOP! Ben is back in school but we’re still in transition. Still some bad days. Summer is always the hardest. I’ve been thinking about you and SpiderDeclan everyday. It *will* get better. It always does. Your Happy Dance is just around the corner! Sending love and hugs!!🙏💪💞💖💌💌

    1. I agree – when we get through one my husband and I feel so tired and empty. And Declan looks just drained. And it takes time to step back and recognize the why – the way to express their overwhelming emotions – you are right! Thank you! You’re right – just a few more days! Thank you so much!! 🙂

  5. It sounds tough for everyone at the moment. Changes of routine and the anxiety of there being a big change around the corner all lead to a highly charged time for all. Not long now and things will get better for you all.

    1. You’re right – things will be calmer soon! Just a few more days until we can begin the transition of the new school. And then we will find routine (and peace 🙂 )

    1. I’m concerned about the moods, and puberty – oh my gosh that worries me! I am thinking of your daughter and sending her good thoughts and prayers. Must be tough!

        1. That’s hard – I’m sorry you haven’t Skyped in so long. Yes, I am glad the biting has stopped too!

  6. I read your post aloud to my husband at breakfast this morning. It puts things into perspective for us. Our kids are adults now and we have one 3 year old grandson. As parents we have had some tough lumps and bumps when our kids were teens and young adults. But today I felt we needed a reminder that there are others who are in the trenches fighting the struggles for survival right now. I admire your strength, tenacity and your resiliance. And your capacity to love and to forgive. Declan is fortunate to have you both as parents.

  7. He has an awesome mum who understands him so well she is pushing through.

    Hope you are proud of yourself.

    It’s hard to move on after a meltdown. Andre my son who has ASD had one while out with my sister. I had to pick him up early once he calmed down it was like he didn’t scream them horrible things. Asking questions like nothing happened.

    You got to move on too. Not hold a grudge.

    1. Thank you so much! Yes – there is little awareness here, as well. Declan becomes over sensitized – he was playing in mud when we tried to transition him away and he had a meltdown. When we talked about it later, he kept saying he didn’t do the things we were saying and getting upset again. You’re right!

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