To most people who meet D he is a quite, polite little lad. I am pleased this is how he is seen, as I think it would knock his already low self-esteem if he thought people saw his darker side. This he usually keeps for at home, where he is safe to let it out.
Recently he has started slipping into his dark place much easier than usual. There is obviously something he is trying to work through but getting him to open up can be harder than prizing open an oyster who doesn’t want to give up its pearl.
About a week ago, I was putting him to bed. As I have spoken about previously, he likes to be held before he sleeps. It comforts him, and without it, he would be in and out of bed like a yo-yo, we’ve experimented to see and he just doesn’t want to be alone. It’s not a big deal, if it means he gets to sleep properly. This particular night, he was tossing and turning, just not able to find his comfy spot for settling. When this has happened before we shut our eyes, and describe our happy place, while slowing our breathing (if I told him to count sheep he would be up all night seeing how high he could count to). I would describe sitting on a beautiful beach, relaxing, enjoying the sunshine. His happy place usually starts off calmly but usually deteriorates into some form of destruction, as everything does with him. However this night, he said he didn’t have a happy place any more. I didn’t really pay too much heed to it at the time, just assuming he was tired, but with the deterioration in his current behaviour, I do wonder if that was the start of it.
This week so far has been a nightmare with him.
On Monday he was a real sleepy head, who I eventually managed to wake up about 7.30am. He wasnt impressed, and so he refused to get ready for school, because he only wanted to wear the shoes that M was wearing. I eventually got him into some other trainers, and with a lot of screaming got him out the house. He is never the best walker, but he was SO slow I had to send M on with the people we walk with, otherwise I could see M getting frustrated with D and all hell breaking loose on the way up the road. We made it in time for the second bell, so no harm was done. He was all jolly and happy coming out of school, but the mood changed dramatically and we had a very fractious evening.
Yesterday morning, again I had to wake him. Then, he didn’t want to get dressed. I told him I don’t think his teacher would want to see him in his PJ’s trying to make light of it, but in hind sight, not the best move, because at this point he was never going to school again! Sometimes the only way to deal with him is to be physical. I therefore made him sit down, while I dressed him like I did when he was a toddler, only difference then was it was much easier. I then packed his bag, put his shoes on him, and got him out the door. The walk up the road wasnt as bad as the day before but still painful. After school was Jazzercise, so he was able to let off some steam, but walking home after, he decided the world owed him a living, and he had a major paddy, for no really reason. This continued on and off right up until bedtime.
This morning, Hubby is working from home. The boys will often get up early with him, as he lets them play on the games machine before school, something I say no to! D however didn’t wake until gone 7am, so straight away he was angry when he realised he had missed his extra Daddy time. He then screamed at me full volume because I made him clean his teeth properly, he was in and out of the bathroom in literally 10 seconds, so didn’t like being returned to do it properly, with me supervising. Once again, I had to dress him and do his bag. We were late leaving the house, so Hubby went on with M while I coaxed and bribed D to move. We were still outside the school grounds when we heard the first bell, and even that didn’t speed him up. Luckily the teacher wasnt out too sharp and he got to his line just after second bell.
I have tried talking to him to see if he knows why he feels so angry at the moment, but he isn’t good at describing his thoughts and feelings, and just screams nothing at me. My conclusion is it is because of the imminent changes at school. He might not be the most confident child, but he respects his teacher, he has known her for a couple of years, as she was in the nursery before becoming his P1 teacher. I wonder if the thought of moving on is beginning to play on his mind. There is so much talk of who their teachers will be, it would be impossible for it not to make him wonder. He loves to learn and he takes in so much of the world around him. I just wonder if being so open and honest with him about the end of term has been the right track. For M we need to talk about things an age before they happen otherwise he can’t cope with the change. M already knows he is keeping the same teacher next year which is good as he will at last get the bond with authority he has lacked. Maybe D can’t understand why M gets to keep his teacher and he doesn’t. I am only assuming this to be a part of it, I don’t know, I might be completely off track, but it seems a logical conclusion.
I just have to take a deep breath when he tells me he hates me and is never going to speak to me again (although the house would be much quieter). I know he is just letting off steam, and he doesn’t actually mean it, but it still hurts when your child says things like that to you, and it is difficult to bite your tongue and not sink into a scream matching with him. I have had to walk away from him a couple of times this week as I need my mind straight to deal with his!
The joys of my cuddly, quiet, little man, when he lets Aspie Boy loose.