A few weeks ago my sensory kiddo (Champ) had an epic meltdown. He’s had meltdowns before which is what lead us to pursue his occupational therapy in the first place, but this one was significant. He was sitting at the dinner table fussing because dinner was a bit late and he was hungry. Normal, and to be expected from any two and a half year old. Then Crash, his twin brother, wandered into the kitchen and happened to walk by Champ’s chair on his way to his own. He was completely minding his own business, didn’t poke at his brother, jeer at his brother, or even acknowledge his brother at all really when Champ literally leapt from his chair and started beating on Crash while screaming at the top of his lungs.
I was at the stove stirring the Mac and cheese, dropped the spoon and jumped over to pull them apart. Crash ended up with a bloody nose and black eye, completely freaking out because Champ jumped on him for no reason. Champ was still flailing and screaming, swinging at me and his sister. I scooped him up and put him in his room to console poor Crash, and Champ went absolutely wild. He was punching at his walls, banging his head on the floor, and nothing I could do would calm him down. Eventually it got so bad I called Hubs who rushed home, Champ’s pediatrician, and his endocrinologist. I wanted to make sure his thyroid levels were stable before we pursued the emotional/behavioral aspect of his behavior toward Crash.
So as soon as Hubs arrived home, Champ and I jumped in the car and headed to the emergency room for a rushed blood work panel. We received the results the next day and much to my relief, Champ’s levels were off balance. He didn’t feel well and didn’t adequately know how to express that aside from a meltdown and lashing out. We adjusted his medication immediately, and saw a vast improvement.
It was still a whirlwind 24hrs between trying to comfort one child while protecting him from another who obviously needed something from me as well. It was the most heartbreaking thing I’ve ever had to do.
I know boys are biologically programmed to be more physical than their female counterparts. It doesn’t matter how you raise them, boys are just physical beings as opposed to emotional beings. Yes they have emotions, and properly learning how to express them vs repressing them is important. And they are still chemically inclined toward physical expression of their emotions. So I expect them to fight with one another. I certainly don’t excuse the behavior, or even allow it but I do expect it to a certain extent.
What happened between Crash and Champ was more than that. It was violent, it was terrifying, and it was heartbreaking all at once. Even thinking back to it now sends shivers down my spine.
Champ’s behavior over all has improved with his weekly therapy appointments. He’s learning how to cope with his senses and expression much better. I think that makes moments like that a few weeks ago even more difficult to watch. Crash is my angel child. He loves everyone with every fiber of his tiny little innocent heart, and quickly forgave Champ for his behavior. Which I was thankful for. I don’t want him to be afraid of his brother, even if he does lash out. I do worry about how this will affect Crash’s boundaries in the future though… but one crisis at a time. We’ll cross that bridge if/when we come to it.