Yep, it was indeed terrible. Big brudder started off with a meltdown. And for those of you familiar with a true anxiety induced meltdown, you know once one hits, they come fast and furious. For those if you unfamiliar with a true meltdown and confuse a tantrum and a meltdown, I'll explain the difference. A tantrum comes about when a child is not getting his or her way. I want that new toy, tears, stomping, etc ensue. There can be some doozies as far as tantrums go, but their root is not in anxiety, over stimulation, etc. A meltdown is the result of a child (or sometimes an overtired mother) having too much (stimulation, anxiety, etc) to the point his body and mind and spirit are at it's breaking point. Sometimes a tantrum and a meltdown look the same. A tantrum doesn't cause long term (sometimes hours long) clusters. A meltdown can and often does. Once a kiddo reaches that point he or she may be able to bring himself back, but every time he becomes upset even slightly from that point forward a new meltdown begins. This is why I say cluster. Kind of like migraines can come in clusters so can meltdowns. I digress...
We had one of those days. Big brudder did really well during opening ceremonies, so when they said they were going to take the kids to take a big group photo, I stayed put and let him go with his coaches. Here's my thinking on this. A. I was in the same park B. He has been doing so well at school as of late. C. Sometimes, I tend to micromanage him, causing us both great frustration. D. Oh, his coaches have got this. (Hindsight, points a, b, c and d are totally invalid on this day. I should have reverted to rule 1. Don't push your luck). Meltdown one occurred because of the photo. Something about being scared of the photographer ( more likely the 165 kids trying to get lined up and their parents micromanaging. ;-) ). Meltdown two comes when someone tells him they have to do an equipment check on him. To be fair, big brudder doesn't like strangers. It's not that he doesn't like them, it's that he may not remember you till his met you a thousand times and even then if you are not in the context he knows you in, he won't know who the hell you are. So, that's two strikes and the game hasn't even started. :-(. Mini meltdowns every five minutes until the last period of the game.
So after the game, I told him that if he needed to not play anymore, if it wasn't good for him, he didn't have to come back. (Mother of the year moment here, I was hoping he would want to quit. Don't judge me!). He says to me, "No, mama. Every time is going to get easier and better."
Well damn it. Somehow, this kid that had MAJOR meltdowns for nearly two hours has more emotional maturity than his thirty-something year old mother. At the time I didn't praise him. I should have. Right Then. Right There. After thinking on it, I told him how proud I was of him. That so many kids would just quit because it's hard, but you just can't keep him down.
I should also say how wonderful, patient and kind his coaches and teammates are. I KNOW it's not easy or fun for them. I appreciate them so very much. And the wee one. He is sch a sweet, protective and awesome brother. During the meltdowns that I'm kind of thankful I didn't witness because honestly I couldn't control them anyway and they send me to the brink, the wee one helped his brother through. I couldn't be more proud of him.
So the day that was doomed from the start is actually a success. Isn't it weird how that works?!? We all survived with minimal lasting emotional scars, my kid isn't a quitter even if I wish at times he were, my other kid is the type of kid who will help his brudder out. Distance equals a new perspective. I like this one better.