Al and I have been reminiscing about "the good old days," aka last year. Please note subtle sarcasm.
As we remember how hard it was in the beginning, how it got easier in some ways, but stayed very difficult in others, we can see how far we've all come. All of us. Physically, emotionally, psychologically. We are all doing better. I think I only started feeling normal-ish after 9 months, and can look at things more objectively after a full year. I've always been a late bloomer, and a bit slow.
Anyway, today H. had his first meltdown in a while. It's nothing compared to a year ago, but it made me and Alex all misty-eyed. I could kind of see it coming. H. has always had a difficult time with transitions, especially transitions from something really, really fun to anything else. The end of fun. All kids have difficulty saying goodbye at a party, going home, etc. H. has a doubly hard time, AND he doesn't seem to react to sweets, particularly chocolate well. I've been mapping his recent meltdowns, and they all come after a party with chocolate. He's been to parties without chocolate, and he does not have the same reaction. The same defiance, the same stubborn refusal to leave, even though every other kid has left, party is over, lights off, crickets chirping, you get the drift.
It was definitely a bit deja-vu, what with the dissociative, glassy stare, non-responding, and the screaming. The way it was different was that it lasted a much shorter time, we were able to talk about it afterwards, and he rebounded much more quickly. And we rebounded more quickly, too.
I don't ever forget that H. has difficulty with leave-takings -- but things had been improving steadily, so a tiny regression sort of took us by surprise. If little things can trigger emotions in me, imagine how saying goodbye to one's beloved cousins could trigger, even subconsciously, the biggest leave-taking of his life.
Some may think we read too much into it, but the patterns I've been tracking are pretty consistent.
I spent some time reminding H. that his family in Ethiopia know me and Daddy, and that they want us to take care of him. They want us to make sure he rests enough, that he eats well, and well, listens to us. That he has two families, and right now, we are the ones who make rules for him, and keep him safe and healthy. He looked quite interested at this, though lately he hasn't wanted to talk about them.
We'll see! He has another birthday party to attend this weekend, so I'll check back and let you know how we all fare. I may be over-protective, but I am very tempted to bring our own "cake" so I won't have to play Russian Roulette with the chocolate. I know, you all think I'm crazy, but I'm just trying to keep my mind open to any elements that can help our guy feel good.
Next post: I'll be wearing a mimiboo exclusive hat! Very stylish, very cute.