This was M at 5.30 yesterday evening:
Happy and excited about the Beavers trip on the ferry. And so it continued. We spent the outward journey on the top deck, gazing out at all the sights and being seriously hyper with her wee friends, most of whom she hasn’t seen for about eight weeks.
On the other side there was time for some play on the small beach (M does like soft sand for running her hands through) before the first surprise of the evening – pizza! Our Leader had pre-arranged this tasty treat and as you can see it was well received:
Then we split into our three groups and set off on surprise no 2, a treasure hunt. I almost always stay with M’s group as this keeps her anxieties to a minimum. The kids were a happy bunch racing from place to place and making sure I ticked off every “treasure” as they spotted it. One or two were tricky but we persevered and completed the list.
An hour passed very quickly and all too soon we were back on the ferry. And then it started to go wrong. This time we were on the lower deck – all open plan as there were no cars on board – but apparently much too noisy for my wee girl. I hadn’t even thought about taking her ear defenders with me as I knew we would be outside. I could possibly have taken her back upstairs (and now with hindsight I wish I had) but I was trying to help keep 18 other hyper and slightly tired children under control and felt I shouldn’t “sneak off”. Huh, next time, bugger it I’m off.
Anyhow, you can probably guess the rest. M tried running off and hiding, she wouldn’t join in with a group photo and she turned into this:
Such a sad contrast from my happy bouncy girl an hour and a half before. Looking at this last picture makes me feel so bad for her. I needed to have thought through what could happen and prevented it. Maybe she would have still been a bit tired but my lack of thought caused her a massive sensory overload.
Back home, melatonin and cuddles got her to sleep, but at 3am the overload tipped her over the edge and there BANG was the payback. Poor wee thing spent the remainder of the night tossing and turning whilst trying to remove my kidneys with her toes and yakking away a whole pile of drivel/thoughts/worries that I struggled to make sense of.
Consequently someone was not very pleasant this morning. Her co-ordination had taken a holiday as well, and I knew that nothing would help except stepping back and leaving her alone. I mentally made a note to call the school if B was going to be late, as I knew without any doubt that rushing would not be an option.
The tactic of simply refusing to get hassled is a good one, but very difficult to implement. However, I was proud of myself for keeping calm even though zombified from lack of sleep and we made it to school just as the bell rang. I popped inside to warn the staff in case a meltdown ensued and made my escape.
After school today was horrific. M was hysterical and I had to be very stern about getting her upstairs and onto her bed where I covered her with her weighted blanket and insisted she stay there. She was sobbing but I could see that she was past needing even cuddles at this point. After 20 minutes it was silent and I even thought she might be asleep so I crept back, She was awake, and very still, and put out her arms for a hug. My girl was back. We had a lovely cuddle and I explained that she hadn’t been naughty but she needed quiet time alone. Then she asked me to go so she could stay there!!
Another 20 minutes and she was ready to rejoin us. She went from the bed to the sofa and curled up watching TV until tea, then very luckily my brother had reached a point in the bathroom build where he said I could use the new bath as long as I made certain there were no splashes (tiles un-grouted and no sealant yet). The new bath is absolutely massive and a soak was just what M needed. She is a water baby and will take any chance she can to bath.
I left a warm cuddly bundle tucked up tonight and I think she might well stay there all night. She’s exhausted and I know I am! How parents of children who only sleep 3 or 4 hours a night manage to stay sane I shall never know. But then that was me a year or so ago. How quickly I forget!