Halloween I came home from the office to change into a costume and grab lunch as everyone and their dog was wearing one at work. I got home and received a call from my 4yo’s school that she was having problems.
I talked to her on the phone a while and the incident seemed to be that she just was not paying any attention, she managed to calm down, I took a shower and started getting dressed to head back into the office and got another call. The teacher was requesting she be removed from the school.
This was the 10th time since she started going to the school someone had to take her out. 26 or 27 calls to calm down, but 10 full on kicked out of school. Almost always the same, gets upset, too loud to handle, no resources for a scream down room, goes on temper tantrum, nothing works.
Picked her up, took my 10th day off since last year just to handle this, got the usual explanation that she had no particular reason for getting angry, told her that unless she came up with a reason her Halloween was cancelled. Took her back home and put her to bed as it was naptime, told her to come up with a reason I was taking off of work or forget about Halloween.
She got up after a several hour nap and told me that the reason she was so angry was because she was on red… this means failing for the day. She didn’t think it was fair. I asked what she’d done to be put on red and nope, she was failing, it was valid. This lead to another outburst.
I texted with the wife a few times, we tried to figure out if there was any way to salvage this because cancelling Halloween wasn’t just sucky for her, we had plans as well. Family costume was David S Pumpkins, two beat boys, and an Hellavator operator. Plus I really didn’t want to lay the hammer down. Seriously, it’s Halloween.
Kim came home, I had to run and get gas for her car. She tried coming up with a solution where the kiddo would be able to trick or treat. It didn’t work. Full volume crying heard from the driveway when I got back. Solution had been offered, not taken.
We decided I would take the baby out trick or treating in non-DSP outfits, got her ready, offered the 4yo yet another chance to salvage the night and once again nope. Chose the cross armed stomping “I don’t want to,” 4yo loss tactic path.
I walked out and took the 2yo through the neighborhood thinking how utterly crappy the day had been. We managed to make it about a block and a half before she started to pass out in her warm monkey outfit (I was a giant banana,) so I decided to hit one more street and come back.
Baby got second wind, we hit a few more houses, and got back expecting the 4yo would once again be throwing a fit. She was not. She’d decided she had been way too tired for the day and just wanted to go to bed. This was after roughly an hour worth of crying, 20 minutes of screaming, two hours attempting to play the cute “it never happened” game. Eating roughly 800 calories more in food for the day than usual.
Another offer was made to salvage the night but she said it was bedtime. Wasn’t going to argue.
Baby cracked open a kitkat and shared one with her. It was cute. I told her now baby had to share her punishment since she was funneling candy to embargoed nations. I was kidding. That was the only sort of laugh I got from her.
I’m still a little at a loss as to what happened. She was being set off by everything, pulled defeat from the jaws of victory at every possible turn. If a solution to her problems was presented along with something that actively made it worse and we told her it would make it worse she chose the worse path.
No, seriously, we explained “this causes you to lose,” she would choose it. No appeal to “dude, it’s candy, can’t you shape up?” worked. I counted around seven opportunities to salvage the night she shot down.
I’d seen some behavior like this before when she was in tantrum mode, but it never lasted more than an hour or two. This was all freaking day starting at 10am and ending when she went to bed at 8pm.
I’d like to think that the week prior of two costume contest wins, trunk or treating multiple places, etc would make up for a cancelled Halloween, but dang. We both feel badly about the way that the day went but dang. This sucked.