At some point last night, one of our dear children learned that it was possible to mess with the heating settings and therefore make Mama and Daddy wake up gasping for air thinking we had to be in the Savanna somewhere. While struggling to find the controls to save me from certain asphyxiation (okay, a touch dramatic. But it was HOT, folks) Ryan heard one of us and woke up. I don't know how long or how many times we begged him to go back to bed, stop drumming, blah blah blah... but I know we didn't get much sleep.
|Innocent? Mama's lil' culprit? Hmm...|
This morning in the hotel wasn't too interesting. A lot of little fires to put out, pretty normal mommy stuff. Ryan decided that swimming wasn't going to be the thing to ask for a thousand times today, for which I was grateful. I won't say he didn't ask, and I won't say he didn't have a whiney fit over not getting to go at least once today... but those little whiney times weren't the low-light of our day.
|Watching people, buses, and the water in the pool... Ryan's favorite thing to do in the hotel.|
When Daddy got back from his first clinic, after a bit of a parental planning session, we decided to strike out to the convention center and check out the exhibits. Armed with the double stroller, enough juice boxes and snacks for the kids, and Ryan's new iPod Shuffle with his favorite stuff, we headed out. We managed to walk by some elevators, with him thankfully just noting the color. "That's the grey elevator!" "That's the white elevator!" You get the gist. We even got to see some people we love and got to visit for about 20 or 30 minutes in the same spot! Then Ryan decided he was thirsty.
"How do we ask for what we want?"
"WATER! WATER! WATER!"
Eventually he chilled a bit, and went with his Daddy to get a bottle of water. Convention center, convenience-priced water. Ah well. If it calms him down, if it's what he needs.
We went on to the elementary music kind-of supply store, thinking we'd like to get him some new mallets, and maybe something cool for the littles. First meltdown. He wanted to put his water down and just watch it as people walked by. Sounds like no big deal, but there were people trying to look at stuff right where he wanted to be! So meltdown number one ensued and passed within about five or ten. Psscht. We got this.
Around the corner, and he FROZE. Escalators. Oh holy cow. Escalators. The most amazing thing ever invented. But I really needed him to keep going, and I thought surely I could convince him that buying new mallets was a great idea. Nothing doing. He managed to pull it together long enough to get to the booth that had mallets, then, in a fit of normalcy, I walked about four feet to say hello to someone... literally, just hello and I-gotta-stay-over-there-but-how-are-you, and Ryan manages to start banging on the WRONG thing with the right mallet. Uh-oh. Then, when he wouldn't give them to me or listen to reason, I had to pull them out of his hands (not paying the fifty bucks for that nice Orff instrument.... wish I could, lady, but no) and that was the end. We stopped, we talked, we hugged, we gave proprioceptive input, tried everything we could think. Time to go.
And go we did. With my hands on his shoulders, pressing him on, the whole way to the hotel. I had planned on walking back by myself with the kids so Eric could go on to his next clinic, but seriously, the kid was so upside-down and inside-out he couldn't be trusted not to flop in the street while we crossed, or even jerk away and bolt into traffic. So we walked. And we walked. Longest. Trip. Ever. Screaming, beating his head, beating his chest, crying, with this horrible red-faced, pouted lip look that just rips your heart out.
He didn't understand. He was truly so upset and confused that he didn't know what to do.
We made it back to the hotel, with the help of the best Daddy ever, who missed his next clinic. Within fifteen or so minutes, give or take... he was fine. Happily jumpy-stimmy on everything, no big deal. We had some lunch, then I told him he could have iPad if he laid down to rest, and he did.
But the greatest things all day happened in those thirty or so minutes. As Ryan was still upset, I watched my daughter walk up to her brother, who was all-but swinging at her, and say in the sweetest voice you can imagine, "It's okay, Ryan. Calm down, sweetie." Over and over. She brought him juice, she tried several things. Richie tried too, bringing him his favorite iPad app mate. Maybe he saw, though, because it was within a few minutes of this that he calmed.
Then I go to watch this during naptime. Richie, very awake, curled up to Ryan as he played iPad. Richie slept for his whole nap this way, and Ryan stayed there. He had a few little echolalic outbursts, but he stayed there with his little brother.
So again, I go to bed grateful. Thrilled that I get to see such shameless love and adoration in my own children. Thrilled to be Ryan's and Richie's and Maelynn's Mom. And lest I forget... all the mommies and kids who have to go through this... we're praying for you, too. It's so hard, but they are so worth it.
Thanks be to God.