Mind you: we know the difference between a meltdown/temper-tantrum and a real need. When one of our kids is hurt or has a bad day, we can tell, and we tend to their needs like any good parent would do. But boy oh boy, with a family of our size and scope, the meltdowns are many, and frankly, quite silly, deserving the tap of an iPhone camera. And we have plenty documented.
When you’re constantly fielding complaints such as, “Mommy, she said my face is stupid,” or , “They called me a poopy head and won’t let me play with them,” or “He smiled at me!” you need a release. (And, yes, those are all real reasons our kids have melted down!)
Our youngest son, Sam, and our 6-year old son, Eli, are classic examples of children who melt down over everything, big or small! Sam’s feelings get hurt very easily. The other day I told him, gently, as he was about to pull the opened milk container from the kitchen counter, “Oh buddy, wait a second for daddy to help you.” He lowered his head as if I had just told him Disney World burned down, tears poured from his eyes, and he retreated to the living room where he threw himself on the sofa and sobbed. Yep…iPhone pictures commence!
I’m sure you have some stories that relate. If you do, or if you’ve been frustrated because you’ve tried to put your annoyances over meltdowns into words, I have the solution. Here’s my attempt at documenting, but also classifying, the types of meltdowns you and I may experience with our children. See if I’m on track or not:
First, there’s the “Timeout Meltdown.” This occurs when your child has been busted for anything from slapping his sister (because honestly she probably deserved it) to screaming ‘no’ at you when you say it’s time for dinner. This meltdown is a given because their crime is now public- they’re sitting on a chair in the hallway.
Following that is something I like to call the “Sad Superhero Meltdown.” What I find fascinating about this particular meltdown is that usually the child was extremely happy just seconds before everything in the world did not go their way. The word “no” or “wait” is like Kryptonite!
And then there’s the beloved “I”m NOT Tired Meltdown.” This meltdown can usually be identified by aggressive squirming, high-pitched shrills in response to any word spoken to them, gentle or not, and an abundance of waterworks. I like to think of this one like a summer thunderstorm. There’s a lot of noise and thrashing on the front end, followed by a steady downpour afterwards.
Lets not forget the “Marathon Meltdown.” This is a fun one because the child in meltdown takes off in a full-blown sprint through the house. When you pursue with camera in hand, they kind of resemble a rabbit in a backyard being chased by ravenous dogs: Zig zag, zig zag, zig zag!
One of my personal favorites- the “Everyday Occurrence Meltdown.” This one always catches me by surprise because it’s a meltdown over something that we do every single day: like brushing teeth or bedtime. Up until the moment when it’s time to do these things, everything’s great. We’re playing, we’re having fun, life is good, and then BOOM! Meltdown city. It’s futile to attempt to explain that brushing your teeth helps you to not be toothless, or baths actually keep you from being “that kid” at school.
I can’t end this post by not sharing a humorous, but tender-hearted meltdown. Actually, when we were dealing with it, we were compassionate, but afterwards, we chuckled a little! It’s the “Santa Isn’t Bringing You Any Presents This Year Meltdown.” This was committed by an older sister and not the result of anything we said or did. Not cool! But kind of funny. Our kids are probably going to all be in therapy some day. But it made for good blogging.
How about you? Any favorite meltdowns you’d like to share?