I’m still in amazement over how different our lives have become the past few days. Although we still handle episodic meltdowns, they occur less frequently and we don’t see quite the duration we used to. Thankfully, he even sleeps more easily than before, but I’m noticing he’s not going to sleep quite as quickly as the first night, so I’m afraid he’s already metabolizing the medication. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that he will continue to sleep peacefully for a while longer, though.
Big Guy had a birthday party yesterday and although Squeaker did not get any presents and not very much attention, he did a phenomenal job handling his own behavior the entire time. We had zero meltdowns during the party, even when he had to wait for his cake and ice cream, which he usually asks us for repeatedly during birthday parties. He didn’t continually ask for his goodie bag and he participated in the party games. He sunk into the background a little during the rest of the party, but I felt pleased in his participation when it came to the games. I also felt overjoyed that I could focus my complete attention on his brother during the entire party without fear of repercussion. Big Guy’s smiles during the day lit up the room. He had a wonderful day, he loved his cake and ice cream, and he enjoyed opening up every one of those presents uninterrupted at his own pace.
After everyone left, we just chilled for a while, but later in the evening, we went for a family walk. That also went really well. Our walks in the past year have left something to be desired, so the ability to go for a long walk as a family without a major
meltdown felt great. We had a brief moment in the middle of the walk where I asked Squeaker to put down a stick and he had a mini meltdown, but he got over it quickly and we moved on. He apologized, I praised him, we did high fives for good choices, and the rest of the walk went beautifully. Big Guy had some troubles with whininess and not wanting to follow directions due to not taking a nap, but we dealt with that easily. The prospect of going on family walks again makes me so happy.
Yes, we feel like a family again. This morning, I woke up to the sound of my children playing. I got out of bed, and Squeaker ran up to me and said, “[Big Guy] gave me a hug and a high five!” Knowing that he’s allowing Squeaker to be affectionate with him again makes me feel even better. Maybe it’s a little soon, but it feels so calm. So peaceful. Could this be real?