Fiddledaddy arrived back home late Monday night. Armed with gifts. When we piled into the van to whisk him away from the airport, he produced a nerf football for Emme, Mermaid Squinkies for Cailey (right up there with Silly Bands, and I don’t get the draw of those either), and Jensen scored some Mario figurines. And thank you to everyone who suggested that Toys-R-Us is the place to do our Mario shopping from now on.
Jensen looked up with shining eyes as he ripped open his new set of guys, and asked, “But what did Mommy get?” Mommy replied, “Daddy.”
I have the girls enrolled in Music Camp this week (the divide and conquer method of parenting that I adhere to) so I decided to set up a little date with my boy so that Fiddledaddy could get caught up on work. Since free is good, I opted to take him to see the free showing of Marmaduke at our local stadium seating theater. The plan was to meet my good friend, the mother of Jensen’s betrothed, E, and her identical twin sister, K. As a side note, I am only just now able to tell E and K apart. Jensen has absolutely no idea which one is which, and generally he simply pours his affection out onto the closest twin. If she rebuffs him, he has the wrong sister. He now relies on me to tell him who is who.
So in summary, this was kind of like his first date. In a theatre. But with an entourage.
We arrived early to procure good seating way up high. E and her family had not arrived, so we staked out comfy chairs for all of us. I had purchased a much needed blended coffee drink, and placed it in the cup holder attached to my plush seat. I settled back, ready to enjoy an hour and a half of SITTING. IN AIR CONDITIONING. SLOWLY SIPPING MY COFFEE DRINK. It shouldn’t surprise you that I really could care less what movie was scheduled.
The theater was beginning to fill. Jensen leaned over to me and said in a stage whisper, “It’s time, mom.”
Translated, this meant that we had 20 minutes to kill before the show began, and I brought his Mario DS game in my purse to that he could keep himself occupied. He had been looking forward to this more than the movie.
Maybe even more than the thought of sitting in the dark with E by his side.
He’s only a mortal boy, y’all.
I took a sip from my drink and began to hoist my foot up onto the empty seat in front of me, enjoying ALL THE PEACE. When I heard a startling gasp coming from my right side, followed by a loud and frantic, “OH NO, THE CARTRIDGE IS NOT IN MY DS!” I had completely forgotten that his sister had borrowed it.
Thinking quickly, and trying to avert disaster, I offered him a sip from my caffeinated coffee drink. Which is generally forbidden contraband for a small boy with anxiety issues. Not even the sight of the frothy whipped topping could distract him from his very obvious dismay.
All eyes in the front of the theater we’re beginning to turn in our general direction. I calmly told him that E would soon be there, and they could play together, watch the movie together, and then when we got home, I would let him have 30 whole minutes on his DS.
Nothing doing. He was in full melt down. And drawing an audience.
Let me stop to say a couple of things. Before I had children, I would have been appalled at what I was witnessing, and would have passed much judgment. And a few sneering glances.
This is why I think that God chose to bless me with a boy like Jensen.
I evidently needed to be humbled. And nearly every day of the 6 years that he’s been on this earth, I experience The Humble.
Which may be the driving force behind this little blog.
From the time he was very small, Jensen has dealt with sensory issues. On top of his Atopic Dermatitis. Like that wasn’t enough. If we were in a confined space, such as, say, a grocery store, he would scream at the top of his little lungs, from the time we entered, until we safely passed through the automatic doors.
I became very adept at speed shopping.
It has only been this year that I’ve attempted the movie theatre. But the issue that we’re dealing with now is that he cannot handle when things change. If he has set in his mind that something is going to happen, and something goes awry, he melts down. And not only does the boy speak in ALL CAPS, he yells in ALL CAPS WITH A VERY LARGE FONT SIZE.
It looks horribly like a temper tantrum from a spoiled little boy.
But honestly, that isn’t the issue. Pinky swear. I’d own up to it, believe me.
We’re trying to work on preemptive scenarios, so that we can talk him through things BEFORE they happen, so he’s not caught off guard.
This morning at the theater, I simply gathered up my son, my coffee drink, an empty DS game, and what was left of my pride, and exited as quickly as I could. Calling my friend and telling her that Jensen was standing E up.
In the midst of his fit, Jensen did ask me if he could still play the DS when he got home. I told him no. Whenever he loses his self control, there are consequences. Which is SO HARD, since I know that giving in would bring momentary peace.
But I don’t cave. But sometimes I think about it. So things got much worse before they got better. And better was punctuated with a pitifully tearful apology. Which just rips my heart out. Every. Single. Time.
And no, we haven’t had him evaluated for this issue. But likely we should. I even hesitate to google it, for fear of what conclusion I’ll jump to.
My rose colored glasses, they are pretty.
And to all those moms that I may or may not have passed judgment on in my time before children, I offer my most sincerest apology. When I see you now out in public dealing with all that you’re dealing with, I want to run up and hug you.
But since that would likely get me decked, I’ll offer you a great big cyber hug. Hang in there. You’re not alone.