Anyway, yesterday was the address. For Riley, the change in routine meant lunch and recess time was spent in the classroom, no mid-day swinging/calming. Later in math which itself is often a trigger, a new skill (note taking) was introduced. With note taking, there is pressure to keep up. When Riley feels rushed, the anxiety is unbearable for her. When the teacher asked her a question she didn't know the answer to, she bolted from the classroom and ran down the hall crying. Fight or flight. The meltdown that ensued was a biggie.
On our walk home, we talked about it.
"I didn't want everyone to think I was a baby because I didn't know the answer," she said.
She has no understanding of them perhaps thinking she's a baby for running from the class screaming and crying.
Seth replied, "Didn't you hear Barack? He said askin' questions doesn't mean you're not smart. He said it's part a learnin."
By the time we got home Riley was completely spent. Two hours 'til Tae Kwon Do. We got homework done with some crying. Her, not me. She and Seth chilled in front of Sponge Bob. I let them have a snack on TV trays. She needed to go elsewhere. Bikini Bottom was just the place.
Looking at the clock, I saw we had 20 minutes to get the kids dressed in their uniforms, and out the door if we were going to make it to martial arts by 5:30. We pay a lot of money for therapeutic martial arts. I hate for them to miss it. I looked at Riley's blotchy face staring at the TV, and thought, she's not ready.
Voices of the others, started to heckle me.
"You're wasting your money."
"You're letting her get away with something."
"She has to stick it out."
"You're teaching her to be a quitter."
BACK OFF! I AM THE MOTHER. I DECIDE.
I asked myself, what is best for this child in this moment?
I thought of how beautifully Lydia described the need for recovery time after a hard day.
We skipped martial arts.
Seth and Riley played outside after dinner. By 6:30, she was okay. They were all rough and tumble with big bouncy exercise balls (formerly used for floor time) in the front yard. Riding their scooters up and down the sidewalk. Running joyfully with the neighbor's five year old.
She got to see her rainbow.
Riley and Seth and our little neighbor friend shrieked and jumped for joy! They tossed cut grass clippings into the air in celebration, like confetti. They squealed and danced at the site of the rainbow over our house. Tomorrow is a new day.
"Where you are right now doesn’t have to determine where you’ll end up. No one’s written your destiny for you. Here in America, you write your own destiny. You make your own future."
-President Barack Obama