Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Mood Swing

The last 36 hours or so have been full of one of the most maddening, frustrating, disturbing parts of Ryan's behavior.  Full throttle, from one end of the happiness spectrum straight to the other in a fraction of a second.

One minute, he's screaming, crying, hitting his head, full meltdown mode.  Then someone hits the giggly-wiggly switch and BOOM.   He is flailing all over, acting half-crocked, giggling and laughing maniacally.

I've often wondered if we were just being unreasonable.  This can't be happening, right?  Surely we just have a low tolerance for this or something.  But tonight, for maybe the first time, wiggly-giggly, happy to sad Ryan showed himself to our speech therapist at home.  I mean, how can someone get angry over a child giggling?  But there's something different about this.

I really don't think he can help it.  On the flipside, I'm not good at handling it, either.

As I type, he's giggling and falling all over the living room.  He's flopping around like a noodle, unable to stop laughing.  As much as I hate to admit it, it's creepy.  It freaks me out.  It stresses me out.  I don't know what to do with this behavior!  Honestly, he really can't help it.  He'll try to hold his mouth.  Then the giggles spill over the top and out around the sides until he's at it again.

Last night, it was during bathtime mostly.  At completely inappropriate times he just lost it.  Every time I told him to stop doing something, he lost it.  The whole time I helped the kids pick up their toys, he was rolling on the floor or the couch.  If I asked him to please get to work with us, even with a specific task ("please put the car in the ottoman") he laughed harder.  If I got more stern with him, he either laughed harder or fell apart into screaming, hitting, sobbing tears.

When Eric finally got home last night, I fell into his shoulder face first.  I just wanted to rest. I needed to be snuggled and told that it'll be okay.  Which, of course, he did.

This morning, it was on all over again.  Richie and Maelynn were up at six when their usual awake time is seven or after, and Ryan was up at around seven.  The littles at least agreed to lay in my bed and let me get a little done and some coffee down until about 6:30.  They weren't asleep, but that's okay.

Ryan's usual morning is breakfast, get dressed, shoes on, then if there's time before my 7:45 toothbrush alarm goes off, he can have drumsticks or play with trains.  These days, he prefers his drumsticks or mallets.  Usually, a reminder of "eat your breakfast or no drumsticks" works.  He's always fed something he'll eat in the morning.  No sense in tanking the whole school day.

This morning was different.

If he wasn't giggly-wiggling, he was demanding something through his teeth, hitting his head HARD with his fist.  In case you haven't been around very long, no we don't give him or the other kids what they want for throwing a fit.

So heart-wrenching to see him in this state.  NO idea what to do, except stay calm myself.  And that's not at all easy.

But having someone see it... and even admit that it's happening... is freeing in a way.  It's not just me.  It's not just an inability to decipher my own son's minimal communication.  It's not some grand mother-failure on my part.

It's just hard to deal with.  And sometimes, that's what I need to hear.

At my kitchen table, sitting in the middle of a storm of giggly-wiggly then melty-downy, a professional tells me I'm not crazy.

And she's a blessing.

After another evening of fighting for everything, I'm ready to crash.  Did I mention that Richie and Maelynn didn't nap?  Yeah.  They were peachy at dinner as you can imagine.

Some might call today a loss.  Or a loss except for some specific parts, like all the time I spent in preparation for bible study Thursday with Maelynn at my side, pretending to do her bible study too.

That may be the only productive or beautiful part of my day, but... wait...

Romans 8:28 says that all of it works together for my good.  No need to worry about a wasted day.  No need to worry about what didn't get done.  Yes, try to improve on tomorrow, but leave today where it is.  Learn from it, but enjoy new mercies in the morning.

I can't see how in the world Ryan's behavior works to anyone's good.  But just because I can't see it doesn't mean it isn't true.  If I could take it away I would.  But I can't.

So I'm going to go to bed, resting my head on my pillow and my heart on God's sovereign love and providence.

Aw, man... that is, right after I make the bed. The sheets are still in the dryer.  *sigh*

Good thing the world doesn't hang on this Mama.  Thanks be to God for keeping it spinning.


  1. What did the speech therapist have to say about what he was doing? That's got to be tough. I would feel a little disturbed by that, too. Hang in there! Praying you have the right wisdom to approach the situation...

  2. She didn't say too much about the behavior itself, but encouraged and affirmed how we handled it. There is so much stuff that you wish you had a handbook for, you know?

  3. Yes, absolutely! Sometimes it can make a difference just to have someone confirm what you are seeing and tell you you're not crazy!


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