I have gotten pretty good at predicting what will trigger a meltdown, and at analyzing what, in fact, actually did cause a meltdown. There are times, like today, when I have no flippin’ clue what the hell happened.
I made a dentist appointment for The Boy. I prepped him for weeks, and even made an appointment for me right before his, that was supposed to be quick, the way they made it sound. I cannot make appointments during school or ESY, because if he misses school, I hear about it for years. That’s not an exaggeration. He must not miss school. And I had tried twice to make this appointment before I was actually able to make it, due to the wonky office schedule.
We arrived, everything was OK. I had my consult, and then my cleaning, which took about an hour. During this time, The Boy was a little nervous, but OK because they let him wander around and be comfortable, which I really appreciate. And then, near the end of my appointment, he just freaked. Something to do with the clock striking three, and we had been there for “hours”, and couldn’t we make time go backwards? Inconsolable crying, tears, sobbing. And it just wouldn’t stop – he was out of reach. We had to reschedule his appointment for a much more inconvenient time, right at back-to-school time. Ugh.
Is an hour a long time? I suppose, but he is usually pretty good about this kind of thing. Should we have done his appointment first? Probably not, because the freak out would have happened whilst I was in the chair being scraped and polished within an inch of my life, and then what? And why all the references to time?? Here’s a theory: I think sometimes he convinces himself of things that will happen and deadlines that will be met (in this case, we would be done by 2:45pm), and with that lack of “theory of mind,” he thinks everyone knows his thoughts. And we don’t. And when things don’t happen the way he has envisioned, and the deadlines are not met, his world falls apart a bit.
But I can’t predict that, and I can’t prepare for that. So sometimes I get blindsided.
An hour later, and he is finally calming down, but resolved to find a remote control that can make appointments go quicker, and can make time go backwards. You and me both, kid. You and me both.