Saturday, October 9, 2010

A Lovely Day for Horses or Unexplained Tantrums

This picture pretty sums up how Brian felt about his horse show today.

So disappointing because he really, really does love riding the horses. But for some reason, who knows why, that wasn't the case today. As soon as we pulled into Freedom Riders he just started screaming from the back seat.

We went in and he just lost it. He was crying real tears and would not leave my arms. When we tried to put a helmet on he screamed louder than he has for blood draws in the past. For a while, I really didn't think we were going to get him on a horse.

Who knows? It could've started with breakfast. We ate at our favorite breakfast place, The Brass Compass, but it's right across the street from our favorite toy store, Planet Toys. He asked for it several times while we ate (and by ask I mean he repeated "train? train? train?" over and over again) and seemed upset that I said no. But when we left and went straight to the car he was okay.

It could've just been because we didn't go to participate in the second session therefore the last time he was on a horse was sometime in mid-August. Even so though he's never reacted so negatively to the arena even after months of not being on the horses (it's only a seasonal opportunity unfortunately so we don't ride at all during the winter).

It could've been because it wasn't just a lesson- there were people there watching. He was riding with two other students he hadn't rode with before- though he has met them at other places. He was riding a different horse too. Like I said, who knows.

I do know this morning when I told him we were going to see the horses he ran to the closet and come out with his riding boots and a huge smile. So there was a trigger somewhere and I don't think it was the horses themselves.

Most of the ride was him crying and he wouldn't even stay on his horse for all of hte riders to get their ribbons BUT we did get this one really great pass, when it seemed he realized that not only was Mom, Josh, and Corbin there. He scanned the audience and seemed to take in everyone- two grammies, a grandpa, an aunt, his case manager, and his kindergarten teacher. He waved. Then as he started to turn the corner he turned all the way around as if to double-check that he saw correctly. Then he did a small little wave again.

I'm not sure if it was those "high expectations" that I set but it was another emotional day for me. I actually teared up several times while at the riding center. Then I sobbed quietly when we left. Josh was patting my leg, knowing I was upset, even though I thought I was hiding it well behind my paparazzi sunglasses. I tried to explain to him why I was upset but even I wasn't sure. I concluded that it was the fact that I wanted him to be proud of something he's done so well at. I wanted him to be able to show off something he could do. I wanted a moment to be all about Brian and his strengths, but it just seemed like another occasion of focusing on his limitations instead.

To put a smile back on both mine and Brian's face, we did finally make that stop at Planet Toys. I watched him play on their indoor playground: taking turns without prompts, smiling, and laughing and it was all alright in the world once again.


Dani G said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dani G said...

I so get it, heather. I want to hug you so much right now.

ALL of these tantrums would be so much better/easier to handle if we could just figure out what was going on. If they could only tell us, we could do something. And of course, we'd do anything!!! It leaves me feeling so powerless. It sucks.

But, on the bright side, Brian DID feel proud today. He smiled when he saw his "peeps" there and have that little wave. Plus, I know that when you told him he was riding today and he ran for his boots, that your face lit up seeing him so excited. And I know he saw it, too. It's things like that which make him feel proud of himself, too.

You are an awesome mom. And dont even get me started on how awesome Josh sounds!!


Lynn said...

I always think that I should be able to figure out the "antecedents" but sometimes you just can't. With their processing, it could have been something from days before. You just never know. Audrey's not good about hitting those "money shots" when the chips are down. They must pick up on the pressure even when we think we're not putting it out there.