Our two children have been very different in their meltdown behavior. Our firstborn, being that his every need was met from day one, rarely needed to bring out The Meltdown. However, when he did, it was fierce and went on for hours. We knew if his day had been too long or his feedings had been a little off that we would experience the effects of a meltdown, the screaming, wailing, tossing fits. He would wake in the middle of the night and cry, needing to be held, rocked back to sleep in my arms. I shouldn’t even have to tell you that we tried very hard not to miss naps, feedings, that we rarely kept him out too long or let him play too hard. Yes, we were a bit overprotective, of our sleep. Still, there we were in the middle of the night watching helplessly as he relieved himself of his frustrations, vented his day. We knew the cause but not the solution.
The second child does not get the privilege of catering that the first child receives. The second child is whirled around like so much shopping. She got tossed into the car at warp speed, trying to meet play dates and appointments. Often, her feedings were done as I was walking around a park making sure her brother wasn’t getting into any trouble. She had to make due and make due she did, she was a little trooper. She can take what he never could. We’ve done theme parks and water parks and museums for hours on end without her batting an eye. So, when she does get tired and the grumpy her comes out, this is when The Meltdown happens. It is slumped shoulders and tears for no reason and nothing makes her happy. We call her our little drama girl but really she’s great, just so tired. She needs the same things every child needs, her own time.
The Meltdown truly is inevitable. Every child is going to have one eventually. I love that I have great kids. My son has always been easy going and my daughter is feisty. They each have their individual way of dealing with life and handling their environment but at the end of the day, and it usually is at the end of the, if they are tired, hungry, emotionally overspent, then they will fall apart, breakdown, meltdown. The thing is, they know I’m there to pick up their pieces, give them a hug, make it all ok. They know that whatever the need that needs meeting, I am the one that will take care of it and I guess that’s the ultimate sign of parenting. When The Meltdown happens, we need to be there, whether we can fix it or not, at the very least we can sit there and hug, rock back and forth, soothe until it’s over. Because The Meltdown only happens every once in a while but their sweetness, loveliness, beauty, that is there always.