Today was a busy day. There were a few errands to run and my son is recovering from an allergic reaction that affected his mood, behavior, and health. He had no closing of the throat or breathing issues, but it still had quite an impact on him. At any rate, I knew the day might be a challenge for him so I stayed as flexible as I could while still completing our tasks.
Our first errand went well. The second errand was okay, though he did have a slight meltdown when his container of items (at the "healthy food" store) was a bit heavy. I suggested another basket which eh tried, then decided still was not enough. Then we purchased a coconut milk smoothie from the store at checkout time. Everyone needs a treat plus this treat was delicious and counted as a snack! Yum!
We headed toward the regular grocery store to complete our grocery shopping. E told me he needed the bathroom so our first stop at the store was the family bathroom. We both took our turns and began to wash hands when something triggered him, not sure what, and he began to scream and tear off his clothing. He screamed "NO!" More times than I can count as I looked at him and tried to sum up the situation. Every coping skill we tried calmed him for a moment, then he was triggered again. Every. Time. Over. And. Over. I could go into more detail, but he went back and forth so quickly that it is difficult to remember every last detail.
There I am in (thankfully so we weren't as in the way as we otherwise may have been) the family bathroom with a naked child screaming as he stares at the wall. He did eventually calm after some talking, sitting, hugging, and patience. I could feel my stress level rising so I chose to text a friend, take a few breathes, then readdress my son's behavior. It was not a short progression from triggered and screaming to calm, though.
We decided to go home and nap, then try our last errand tomorrow. We could go back this evening, but why push it? Clearly he needs a break and I could use one, too. We have some food in the house so there is no emergency there.
There are a great many families that deal with this type of issue daily. They cannot always head home when a child is triggered. They cannot always calm the situation. Not everyone has a back up friend to text, call, or babysit. Not everyone has community of support. I am thankful for my son just as I am thankful for my daughters. I am thankful for my friends, husband, and neighbors. We are fortunate to not only choose peace in parenting, but also to have people could who will step in if we need help whether it is cleaning, babysitting, or a quick chat to help distract from or calm a situation.