Buddy Has a Meltdown

Buddy has been doing so well in school and with the calming words that I forgot how bad a full-blown meltdown can be.

Today is an odd day for us. Usually, I pick up my oldest son and then race back home to be there when Buddy gets off the bus. On Thursdays, my oldest son has science club, so I get Buddy, then pick up my oldest, then we all go to the library for book club. Today, though, my husband (he works overnight) decided to go into work early — very early. Buddy dozed off on the way to get my oldest child, and my husband was driving. Instead of going to the library, he decided to come straight home. He hopped out of the car and went to take a shower, leaving me with the kids.

I roused Buddy first, knowing he’d need time to adjust. I woke up Lily, who had also dozed off. She made some noise, which made Buddy fuss. I brought her in the house, telling Buddy I’d be back for him. I removed her shoes and set her down, then went back for Buddy.

I told Buddy it was time to get in the house. He blinked at me, confused. “No home. Library.”

“I’m sorry, Buddy. No library today.”

“I don’t want home! I want library!” He curled up into himself.

“Buddy, I need to talk to you. No library. I am sorry.”

“Pick me up?”

“No. You’re too heavy. You can walk.”

After much coaxing, I finally got him out of the van. When I slid the door shut, though, he started crying. “I don’t want home!” Nothing I said or did got him into the house. Thunder threatened rain, of which I knew he was terrified. I scooped him up (ow, my back!) and brought him into the house. He started screaming immediately and fought to leave.

“Let me out! I don’t want home! I want library!”

I had to lean against the door with everything I had. When he realized he couldn’t leave, he went into destruction mode. He ran into the living room and started throwing everything he could touch, breaking DVDs and a Lincoln Log track. I tried to pull things from him, but he ran for the door again. Knowing he couldn’t stand wet socks, I removed his shoes and put them out of his reach. He ran into Lily’s room and began slamming one of her toys in the door. I grabbed the toy, and he went for her books, which he’s shredded before. I picked him up and put him on the couch, the safest place I have. He began punching and kicking at me. When I backed off, he scratched at his face and hands, leaving a slice down his thumb and marks on his face. I grabbed his wrists; he tried to headbutt me. In the end, I had to sit behind him, hugging him to me while he screamed it out.

What people don’t understand is that when he hits this mode, there is no reasoning with him. He can’t hear me. He’s not there. The only thing you can do is, as I say, “wait for him to come back.”

I don’t know how long it took (it seemed like half an hour at least. My husband finished his shower and started getting dressed for work), but every muscle I have hurts. I sprained my right shoulder and pulled a muscle in my side. One moment, he was screaming, the next, he suddenly blinked, looked at me, and said, “I’m sorry.” He gave me a hug and snuggled with me for awhile, while we both took a breather. He apologized to Lily, cleaned up the mess he made, and then went on like he usually would had we just gotten home.

Life is never boring.

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