I had another funny food craving yesterday, being hit with a sudden need to eat salad with beans and corn, and pizza. Bob had a brilliant idea to bring along my desired salad and meet me at the pizza schmizza window downtown. We could have a picnic in the square!
The new Director Park is a few steps closer and has tables, so we went over there. Simon did pretty well through dinner, he ate, he only got out of his seat a few times, taking off after a pigeon, and he came back within a reasonable amount of time after we told him to. The trouble started when he wanted to get in the fountain. His swim stuff wasn't in his bag, and the extra clothes in there were dirty. I told him he could get wet, but he didn't have dry clothes. He probably didn't truly understand, and waded in.
Simon was already tired. It was downtown around 5, so it was loud and busy. He had used a lot of his emotional and physical energy to hold it together during dinner. I should have expected it, made him sit with his headphones to give him a break before he went in, taken him out of sight of the water to explain how to act in the fountain. But I'd just gotten done with a busy day of work. I was tired and warm and distracted by the crowds myself. So we just helped him out of his shirt and shoes and sent him in.
Within minutes he had splashed at a kid and a parent. Bob waded over to tell him to stop. He did it again. And again. I walked over to remind not to, but he wouldn't come near me. I was still in work clothes, so I had to send Bob in after him. He carried Simon out dripping and angry.
We sat him down and tried to tell him he had to stop, or we'd leave, but we didn't get the words out. Simon screamed. Screamed as loud and long and high as his little body would let him. And then he did it again. and again. There's nothing to do but wait it out when he does that. If you speak, he screams more, if you touch him, he screams more and lashes out. It was only four shrieks in the midst of a loud and busy downtown square, but if felt like the world stopped and those screams were all that existed. I try not to be embarrassed, if other people think we're bad parents of have an undisciplined child, so be it. They don't know us and I'll probably never see them again.
We carted him off and got him in the car, and he was calm for the drive home. My own senses had me on the verge of self-destructing at that point, my emotions raw, and everything in me had run dry. It was mild, as far as meltdowns go, but it took everything I had left.
I should have expected it. He was tired, this was out of the ordinary, a break in the routine. He didn't have the proper clothes with him, and wet khaki shorts feel bad on anyone. We're new to this though, and even seasoned parents will make mistakes sometimes. And now it's more clear than before, 'fun' things will not be fun if Simon isn't up to handling it. Sometimes it's not obvious before hand how he'll handle something, but this - this I should have expected. We won't be able to do everything we want, or everything that a family with typical kids can do. It makes me sad sometimes, angry at others, and even though I know it could be much harder, it doesn't help in the moment when our son is being hauled away from something we all really wanted to do.