Attempting to parent a PDA’er is akin to fighting fires in a storm; you may get hurt, what works one moment, is fruitless another – winds change, the flames outsmart you, and then Idris Elba turns up to save the day with a bottle of bubbles in hand.
Day one of our new journey was particularly tricky – anxiety driven, ‘object throwing’ meltdowns, refusal to leave the house, pleading for me to end his life and pathologically demanding in a bid to control everything and find some respite from the internal chaos. I felt particularly ill equipped to help, it was a ‘fighting fires’ day. Thankfully, the embers cooled eventually, the exhaustion set in and he finished the day chilling with a movie and a mate.
I knew I’d have to up my game on Day two; don some serious body armour and dangle a massive carrot (trip to the local Farm park) while camouflaging anything that may appear contrived. He wanted to cycle to the farm park in the rain (Result! Exercise, fresh air and more time outside the house – I love it when our paths align).
The next 5 hours were pure gold dust (aside from a brief, dramatic interlude involving a rushed trip to the vet – another story!). When my darling boy is able to park his challenges for a while, his charismatic, funny, thoughtful and very kind self shines through and I revel in every second of it. I manage some mindfulness and gratefully soak up every ray of it.
Fast forward to the evening when the plan to go to Cubs (which he really enjoys) was threatened by Daddy Dragon’s work commitments, and the unravelling began. In fairness to Daddy Dragon, we’re fiercely protecting his salary as I’ve had to take a sabbatical from work. He’s a military man with a son who resists demands and challenges authority…..life has a wicked sense of humour!
I had no choice but to muddle through (he simply got on his bike and went to cubs) but as we set off on a cub walk along the river, it was heart wrenching to see the relaxed aura from earlier steadily fade to the point where he was placing a make shift gun to his temple and battling between the fight or flight response as we headed back to base.
I managed a minutia of mindfulness as we walked back along the river in the dark: in the grand scheme of things, it had been an amazing day and we’d had more than our quota of triumphs….at which point, I trod steadfast in a massive, fresh cow pat.