Even though our girl is so thrilled and excited with all of the impending holiday festivities, I forgot that this time of year is hard on little M… and on me.
I assumed that because little M has changed and matured, and is so much better at communicating her needs and feelings, that this year might be different and maybe a little easier for her.
And it has…been a little easier, that is. But change is still hard.
And while she doesn’t go into a tailspin that is impossible to recover from, she does still get overstimulated, and the overstimulation fall-out is hard. There is so much anticipation, so much exciting buildup everywhere we go. And there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s great to have that anticipation… I love it.
And excitement is normal. Overstimulation is even normal for kids this age.
But the fallout…the aftermath of changes our girl cannot control, the changes around the house, the interruption of her predictable schedule…all of these things wreak havoc on our little girl.
We started seeing it in little things right after Thanksgiving. She became a bit more rigid in her need for control, and some of that old fake high-pitched laugh started creeping back in.
She had been much more emotional, crying at little changes, and breaking into hysterical sobs when she is corrected about something or told no. She has cried almost every night in her sleep, and that’s the thing that really gets me…the crying in the sleep. It’s so sad, so pitiful, and it tears at my heart.
So, even though I was hoping this year would be different for our girl, even though I was hoping that after two years with us, she wouldn’t have to panic at little changes, but would be able to trust us more, and let go…it seems that we are going to have to figure out a new way to deal.
We know that this time of year is hard for her…we know that the time around her birthday, and the time around August (when we got her) is hard.
What does that mean? I guess it just means that we are aware…not necessarily going to change anything. We aren’t going to not do anything…we do want her to have the fun experiences that this season brings, and the memories from those experiences. But we know that the aftermath is hard, and that she might need a little extra help calming down. We will do extra holding and cuddling, and we will talk and reassure her. In the end, time will pass, and we will get back to our normal schedule. And once again, she will see that we have taken care of everything, including her, and that even though change can be a little stressful, it doesn’t have to be traumatic.
And she will remember that we had fun… and we will all look forward to the next Christmas.