Earlier this month we were finally able to take a family holiday and for the first time ever we spent more than a night away, just the 4 of us! It was such a nice break and really special to be able to spend some quality time together – I didn’t even bring my laptop or diary!
But as is so often the case all the highs were balanced with a few low moments.
Rabbit has been having lots of trouble coping emotionally lately and she had 2 very big tantrums while we were away. One thing I discovered whilst on our little trip away is that when your 5 year old has a huge tantrum people look at you a lot different then they do when its your 2 year old. Little Monkey had her own tantrum leaving Sea World but she wasn’t near as committed to it as Rabbit was when we left Movie world. We had to drag her out of there kicking and screaming.
Movie World is a big day for Rabbit. She loves the parade. She love superheroes. She loves dancing to music. She loves recognising all the characters. But the parade is loud and chaotic when you’re a sensitive little soul. She finds the noise so overwhelming that we spent the parade with my hands clamped over her ears and if I moved them she would cling to me whimpering. And then there is the crowd, the bodies bumping into you or blocking your view. Its all a lot to take for her. Add ‘tired’ into the mix and when she found a Super Girl hat she wanted and I said No (because it had “I chase bad boys” written on it, a hat designed to fit the heads of little girls! – but that is a blog for another day!), it was all just way too much. The other thing with 5 year old tantrums is that we literally couldn’t get her strapped into her car seat! So after hubby carried her kicking and screaming to the car, there we sat, locked in the car, whilst Rabbit screamed and threw herself around until the storm passed and she let me hug her and strap her into her chair and take her back to the hotel to tuck her into bed.
The next one was harder and bigger. After having a sleep over at our friends house for the final night of our holiday she wasn’t ready to go home and so a melt down began. With all of our friends trying to wave us goodbye, we literally couldn’t get her into the car. Eventually (thankfully) our friends went inside and we continued to struggle. After 15 minutes I loosened her car seat straps as far as I could and strapped her in. Thank goodness she is in a 5 point harness! So then we hit the road to drive the 2 hours home and she screamed and tantrumed. She was hungry so we offered her food which she refused. She started throwing things around the car, kicking her little sister. I was in tears, Monkey was in tears, Mr Mixie was lost. Eventually I had to pull over on the side of the motorway, sobbing.
Parenting through these episodes is hard work. Its a constant internal debate. I’m telling myself I should be harder on her or maybe I was too hard, this is my fault or no it isn’t, give her space or hold her tight… I feel completely powerless. Plus seeing your child struggle HURTS! Not being able to hold her close while she struggles, hurts. Feeling like I’m failing at this, that hurts too. Parenting is a hard gig! I am so blessed to have a daughter who is so sensitive. Her sensitivity is a genuine strength which sets her apart. Helping her to navigate this world and keep her sensitivity may be one of the biggest and hardest journeys of my life.