Friday, 21 December 2018

Re-Entry...a Rough Ride

After 11 nights away, re-entry into Riley World has been a little ummm…rough the past couple of days.

We usually only go away for 4 nights; 7 nights top. Unless it’s away to visit family or the occasional 10-day trip for special occasions. When I first told Riley, that we would be away for 11 nights, he was not impressed. His immediate response was “THAT’S TOO MANY!”  He eventually came around but in hindsight…I guess it was too many. Especially at this time of year.

The “ready to go home” scripting started around day 6.

“I DO have to STAY on vacation! I am NOT going home on December 18th! I have x more nights to STAY on vacation.”

Oh...let me just add in here that on day 4, I had decided we would take an overnighter to Disneyland and Universal to break up our trip because Riley loves to see the Disney characters and his "girls" (from Despicable Me). Let's just say it was much more stressful than I had anticipated. And really...I'm not new here. I'll fill you in on the details in another post. 

So as soon as the wheels hit the tarmac…“It’s good to be home! Is it good to be home?  Yes it’s good to be home again!!”

He was so anxious to get home that he did NOT even want to stop at McDonald’s on the way home. As soon as we walked in the door…

FIRST…hat, jacket, shoes off THEN update visual schedule which
basically meant removing any and all PCS related to "vacation".

Next…unpack the suitcases. ALL the suitcases!

I remembered the last time he ummmm…helped me unpack so I was right behind him. Or so I thought. He had already emptied his suitcase and was just getting started looking for the rest of his things in the other suitcases when I walked in. I found the rest of his stuff and was ready to go about my business when I realized he was standing in the doorway just looking at me.

“Where’s my underwear?”

After a frantic couple of minutes, I realized he had already put all his clean underwear (which were in his suitcase) in the laundry. Trying to explain to him that we did not forget his underwear and the underwear he put in his laundry were, in fact, clean underwear and his dirty underwear were the ones in the plastic bags wasn’t going to fly with him. Nope. No way. Cue “mini”-meltdown. 

I say “mini” because as Riley has matured, so has his ability to cope with his stressors and express/communicate his feelings. Still…seeing him SO upset and trying so, SO hard to hold it together is hard. Really hard.

When Riley hits that point of no return…there is no reasoning that is going to happen. Talking “at” him (and that’s what it would be) is pointless. I have to let him try and “de-escalate” on his own as long as he is not causing harm to himself. So he yelled, he screamed, he slapped his hands against the walls, he pulled at his hair, he cried. But then…he let me hold him. After a short time, he calmed enough that he was ready to go occupy himself on his laptop. For a while, he was loud. Very loud. But in a way that we knew he was just releasing his emotions. 

Oh and just to clarify, it was NOT just the underwear that brought these behaviours on. That (the underwear) was, what is referred to as the "trigger" or in more user-friendly terms..."the last straw" of 11 days away from home. 

Thankfully by the next morning he was happy and excited to go on an outing with his group of friends.

And then……

The following day, there was a huge wind storm and our power was out for 7-1/2 hours!!! 

I’m going to stop here.

I’m starting to hyperventilate and it’s too early for a festive beverage.

The only saving grace…the power was on at the bowling alley for Riley’s Christmas Fun Night and his weeks and weeks and weeks of talking about..."On December 20th I'll see Santa at the bowling alley and what will he say to me? he'll say 'what's your name big fella?' and I'll say 'Riley Tucker' then he'll ask me what do I want for Christmas? and I'll say stuffies of Jenny and Charlie and Dory and Nemo, a new DVD player Sylvania with the new remote, Hotel Transylvania 1, 2 and 3 summer vacation 3 movie dvd collection, the Land Before Time 14 complete collection. That's what I want for." came true. Hallelujah. 

Reciting his list to Santa

The moral of this post…compromise on the number of nights we go away. Riley prefers 4-7 nights; this time it was 11.  Next time I’ll go with 10.