The twinnies especially are noticeably more irritable, craving the routine that comes with school days. It doesn't matter that our days are the same thing over and over again. It doesn't matter that bed time, dinner, bath, nap time, lunch, snack, and play time all happen at the same time every day. They crave more structure. The slightest thing will set off a meltdown that will last not minutes, not hours, but the entire day... and into the night. And, sometimes, more than one day. This can be caused by something as minimal as stopping for a snow cone on a hot day instead of going directly from lunch to nap. Or, on another day, a snow cone is a great idea, but going to the market to pick up something for dinner was the worst choice I could have made. Or, even worse.. staying home all day because I didn't want to cause upset. But because we didn't go out... they're.. upset!
When all the monsterlettes have a complete come apart at once, it can get to be a little too much for the Momma to cope with ,too. This is what my mother used to call "The Screaming MeeMees". I don't know why. That's just what they were called, and that's what I call them now. There is no dealing with a child who is having a screaming meemee. It just has to run it's course. Now. We all know that I'm not good with waiting. I don't care what it is. Waiting in lines, waiting for a package in the mail, waiting for Christmas morning, waiting for screaming meemees to stop. I just can't do it. I must be missing the genetic inclination to leave things alone. And so, I invariably don't wait it out, but instead try to calm which ever monster is beyond calming, and invariably... make it worse.
I cannot stand to see my children cry. I cannot stand to know that they are so over stimulated they cannot calm down and regroup. I cannot stand to watch #6 cover his ears and rock and scream and cry until he wears himself out. It feels abusive to me, to just stand there and do nothing when my monsterlette is so upset. It feels like I should know what to do, like I should know how to see the meltdowns coming. Sometimes I can see it coming, and sometimes I can prevent it. But most times I can't. And I can't stop myself from trying to calm and soothe and "make better".
Where are the answers? Where is the manual? Where is the how- to guide? Can it be found on Wikipedia? At this point, I'd be happy with a nice, thick, obnoxiously yellow "Idiot's Guide to Parenting". Someone, somewhere, please tell me I'm not the only one....
Images in this post by Google, quickmeme.com, and gregdutoitblog.com, respectively.