Owen struggled to go to sleep last night and woke up early this morning. I heard him playing with his tablet before it was even five in the morning. I could hardly focus I was so exhausted. It’s hard to go to sleep immediately when he does at night. I try to catch up on other things I can’t accomplish when he is awake. Plus, it’s my time to decompress. It’s an emotional journey for both of us. The morning went fast but he kept talking about pulling one of his teeth. He struggles with his teeth being loose or when the new ones are coming in. He always says, “pull a tooth.” He feels it all. The morning went pretty quickly and he was mostly in a good mood. He wanted me to call the dentist so I said I would see if she could see us. I thought it looked fine but he had been pulling on it so much I was afraid I was missing something. Luckily they had an opening and I told him we would go. He was thrilled about going. He loves the dentist and couldn’t wait. He asked me every few minutes when we were going. Once it was time to go it all turned into slow motion. I finally got him out the door and we were on our way. It’s almost a twenty-minute car ride. He was very calm, talking about going, and playing on his tablet. That all changed when I did not turn at the light he was expecting me to turn. I told him we were not going by the train depot but he still expects us to go and part of the problem is I’m not the one he usually drives by it with. He generally goes with my mom and I don’t know all the correct turns and rules. When I did not turn he instantly went into a meltdown. My heart sank. I know this is hard on him. I don’t know how else to tell him that we aren’t doing what he expects except to tell him. He doesn’t do well with picture schedules or cards. He’s only now learning to even look at them but he doesn’t want to use them to help with transitions at all. I kept driving to the dentist. I asked him if he wanted to go home or see the dentist. He was calmer. Still on edge but calmer. He wanted to go. We should have stayed in the car. We got into the office and I explained we were in meltdown mode. I sat down with Owen and within a few minutes, they brought us back to the room. The only problem was no one was wearing blue pants. Meltdown number two was in full motion. I’m sure it was just a continuation but I don’t know how you explain meltdowns for two different reasons. Thankfully his dentist completely understood and helped me to distract him. She quickly checked his teeth, explained to me that they looked fine, and that he was probably feeling the moments since he is very sensitive to the feelings. We were in and out of the office in about twenty minutes, they even let us out the back door so we could go straight to our car. As soon as Owen sat back in his seat he was fine. I told him we could go see the train depot on the way home and he told me to turn the other way. He was fine when we got home and had a great rest of his night. The rules and routine are what he clings to. I tried to get him to breathe through it but he was so focused on everything that was wrong he couldn’t push past any of it until the chaos was gone. I try to work through it myself but I don’t always know what’s going to cause the meltdowns or when the rules will take over. Blue pants are a big thing for him right now but he’s been doing better about it, however, he was already to the meltdown so it continued when he couldn’t focus on blue pants. My heart aches that I can’t always help him through it and it is hard on me too because this is my baby and he’s crying. Plus, I don’t know if I should have brought him home or if it was wise to take him in. We go back in a couple of weeks for his regular checkup. I know that when we go again I will plan differently and pray that it helps him through the process. He was asleep in my arms and I cried. I pray for an answer, I pray for patience, and I pray for ways to explain it all to him and myself. I’m thankful for his laughter and how happy his robots made him today. Dance in the rain, smile during the sunset, and find joy in the little things. Smiles to all and donut daze!
I'm Lynn Browder. Owen's Mommy. The best moments in time are when I get to see the smile on his face and that giggle come from his heart.