Tonight started off like any other night. We had dinner, played, then it was time for bed. I changed Monkey into her pyjamas and we went to the guest room to jump on the bed – all standard normal things. We bathe monkey every other day, so J had started the bath because she was due for one. I said, oh I already changed her into PJ’s…let’s just wait another day.
By this point she had heard the water running in the tub and was eating excited for her bath (she loves bath time). When we started draining the bath, and saying “sorry hunny, not tonight”. What then occurred was a full blown meltdown. Now, toddlers have tantrums all the time but this one was different. My heart broke for her because I realized just how important routine is to her. If she thinks something is about to happen, and that gets disrupted we enter meltdown zone.
It took her almost 30 minutes to fully calm down and all I could do was hold her. We both had tears streaming down our faces, and then finally I started reading a book and she calmed down and we played a little and I put her to bed. A million thoughts went through my head. Before knowing she was in the spectrum I would have let the meltdown happen and I would have not given into it because I didn’t want to reward the behaviour.
Does this mean I cut her some slack? Does his mean every time she has a tantrum I will be giving in because it is difficult for her? Am I going to raise an entitled person if I give in every time? Parenting is hard enough, but parenting a kid on the spectrum has its own challenges. As with everything i guess we have to take it one day at a time.