It was that terrible hour before bed. The hour where I proclaim all electronics are off limits and my children must use their toys or their imagination or both, oh the horrors.
Brian needed a shower and he begrudgingly entered the bathroom, still on the cusp of being angry over the no-electronics lock-down.
We’ve been working with a visual schedule for some time now to help Brian gain more independence in this self-care routine. It’s generally met with some resistance- more on some days than others. Seeing as he was already angry at me, I knew it would be a quick, but rough, shower.
Each step was met with louder screams. Finally when I told him he had to do the conditioner himself, his little hands reached out slapped me twice on the forearms.
He hit me. My baby boy hit me. His mom. His biggest fan, his cheerleader, his caregiver, the love of his life. He hit me.
Unfortunately, over the past five-or-so weeks we’ve witnessed an increase in aggressive behaviors. Items have been thrown and he has hit his teachers on several occasions. Meltdowns have become louder, longer, and more unsafe. Most often stemming from not being able to finish a routine or ritual.
We’re tracking the behaviors, keeping notes of the antecedents, and are fully aware of all the changes that have recently occurred in his life. And we’re are all holding our breath, hoping it’s just a phase due to all of the changes. Another phase that will just pass along.
Until he hit me.
He’s never hit me. Never, ever, ever. He’s never really hit anyone. Sure, we’ve seen the ebbs and flows of self-injurious behaviors, which are always heartbreaking. But he’s never lashed out at another being.
There has to be a reason for aggressive behaviors to just pop up for the first time ever in his life. There has to be something wrong. He’s not feeling right. He’s not able to communicate. And I can’t figure it out and I can’t help him.
And that is so hard. Mom’s are here to help our kids navigate the world and pick them up when they fall and kiss their boo-boos. It’s so hard, when you feel like your failing because you don’t even know what the boo-boo’s are, let alone fix them and make your child feel better.