Monkeys jumping on the bed
C is a pretty happy kid, or, as we like to say, he’s a pretty happy kid – except when he’s not. He can whine with the best of them, and despite our consistency in not changing an answer once we give it, he still feels the need to push the issue at least a dozen times before completely losing it when the answer remains no. Sometimes I fantasize about sending him off to live with the Duggar house (if you don’t know who they are more power to you) for a week or two for behavior boot camp, but then I remind myself that autism lives at our house. There’s a reason for troubling behavior when it happens. I may not always know what triggers it, but there is most definitely a significant trigger and it’s not just about bad behavior.
This night, C rose to new heights of unhappiness, and it pains me to say that for the first time ever, I was actually afraid of my child. Scared that he would hurt me, I was left fretting about what his teenage years might bring if this is what we’re getting at 8. The multiple tantrums that started shortly after I picked C up from school seemed to only escalate in their severity and, frankly, violence.
If you really knew C, you would be stunned. Aside from the fact that he’s a mere 46 pounds and I am, well, not 46 pounds, it’s uncharacteristic for him to go to this extreme. Fortunately it’s rare and unusual, and probably takes him by surprise as much as it does us. C’s teachers would not believe it was possible that a child who behaves beautifully at school could be such a Jekyll and Hyde at home on occasion. So much so this evening that even Husband, who always thinks we are great parents, said he felt like crying. I know it’s bad when it gets to that point. Actually, it’s never made it to that point before tonight.
We have a plan, though. As C and I snuggled in his bed before lights out, I suggested some things he could do when he gets angry that won’t hurt himself or anyone else. He didn’t want to hit his pillow because he didn’t want to hurt its feelings (and have the now anthropomorphized pillow give him bad dreams). Instead, we decided, when he feels as though he’s about to lose control, he will go into his room and jump on the bed. That’s the plan for the moment, and I think C felt empowered to have a solution that he liked. And hopefully, it will diffuse the situation enough to keep C, and everyone around him, safe.