Thursday was rough. We had a doctor's appointment for the boys in the morning, and even though it was a completely non-invasive checkup, it triggered a strong reaction. I can only guess what the boys' experiences with assembly-line doctor's visits were in the past. Let's just say that during this visit a lot of time was spent on the floor.
Thursday after lunch, T was in charge of "quiet time" while I ran some errands. Quiet time involved a lot of jumping on the bed and screaming.
Thursday afternoon we went to the park. It was the first afternoon park visit and there were more kids than in the morning. We were lucky that there was a kid there who really had no sense of boundaries. Even though our kids were reluctant to engage with anyone, this kid was determined to play with us, and eventually they did all play together. It was very cute to see our boys trying out their English phrases as they ran around - "Come on! Let's go! You funny!" Then a bicycle was spotted and the concept of "belonging to someone else" appeared and we got out of there quick before a full-blown meltdown.
Thursday night there was more screaming. It was pretty clear that D needed to go to bed before A. When I finally got D horizontal, I got three notes into the goodnight song and he was out cold.
Friday morning started with a meltdown from A because D got new underwear that was still in the package and we took A's new underwear out of the package. A's meltdowns are completely different and more heartbreaking than D's. D screams and thrashes, but A lies limp and sobs, looking so alone. He does let us comfort him though. Both kids only need about 30 minutes and then they are ready to transition to something else. After reading about other people's six-hour meltdowns, I know we are lucky.
Friday we went to a new park, which the kids really liked. At lunch D was hitting, and when I took him away to the other room he had a big meltdown. But, even in the throes of it, he was yelling almetam! - I won't hit! - so at least he knew why I had removed him. Again, after about 20 minutes he was ready to transition to snuggling and eventually falling asleep with Daddy. A was kind of subdued after that, and he and I snuggled on the couch until he fell asleep too.
Then we all had to get up to go back to the doctor, and this time there were needles involved. But the kids did much better because it was their second visit. Generally they are much more at ease the second time they visit a place.
Still, the stress level was high, so much that Friday afternoon the suggestion that we leave our deck and venture into the backyard was met with utter panic. I am so glad, at least, that the house is our boys' safe place. I can feel their stress level go down as soon as we are safely inside.
Friday night the kids stayed up later, since they had napped, and they finally went to sleep after much jumping on the bed.
Today we really challenged the kids with lots of new experiences, and they did great. First we went to the farmers' market. I asked A if there was a market like that in Burji, and if they had gone there, and he said yes. The farmers' market was pretty crowded though, and A especially started feeling stressed out. Then we went to the park, which was good. After that we took Magano to the vet (more on that later). Then we went to a neighborhood potluck. In the afternoon we went to the library, then to a different park. It was a tiring day for the boys, but they did great. This evening we watched a couple of episodes of Yo, Gaba Gaba before bed, and then they konked out.