We had a rather tough weekend with Henry. He was very up and down, sort of like the weather we've been having here. Sunday morning, he was on an 'up.' He hopped out of bed to help Mike make pancakes, behaved angelically while we ate and cleaned up, and did some house chores. We left for the local Garden Walk with him earning an A performance for the day - truly remarkable.
He hopped out of the car when we arrived, was excellent while we obtained a map and walked to the first batch of houses. He loved going into the backyards of those houses that made that available, to see the flowers and fishy ponds and fountains that abounded. He trespassed a few times at houses that weren't even a part of the Garden Walk, but hey, he's 3. He did well.
Then, things changed. Within a window of approximately two and a half minutes, his behavior went from angels singing on high about how good he was to an absolute atrocity. At about the minute and a half mark, he began to whine. Then he began to walk directly behind me so that he could pull my hair and otherwise cause trouble. Since we could see where all of this was going, and it wasn't anywhere good, we decided to cut the Garden Walk short and head back to the car. The instant Hank realized our intentions, chaos ensued.
"I *NO WANT* to go back to the car!!! I want to go BACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
I managed to drag him along, trying to act as normal as possible, until we were near the car, in the middle of a park. At this point, things become an absolute cataclysm. Henry throws himself on the ground and begins to shriek. I pick him up, and he goes limp. All the while I am attempting to tuck him in and get him to the car, he's screaming. And he's kicking. People are beginning to look at us. When I put him down, instructing him to walk by himself, he screams something unintelligible and refuses to move. Finally, Mike has had enough. He comes over and tosses Henry over his shoulder like a sack of potatoes, and heads for the car. Given his powerless physical position, Hank uses the last weapon in his arsenal, and it's a nasty one:
"NOOOOO!!!!!! *SOMEBODY!!!!!!* SOMEBODY PLEASE HELP ME!!!!!!!!"
Great. I can see the headline tomorrow:
"Child Protective Services Called to Local Garden Walk: Sullen parents currently being questioned."
We get him to the car ASAP, and strap him into his car seat. We close the door. This is a moment every parent dreads. From outside the car, we can see Hank locked into his car seat - head sweaty, limbs flailing, mouth open in a big O of protestation. But we blisfully can't hear anything. However, the instant we open that car door, we will be assailed. And we will continue to be so for the duration of the ride home. Sigh.
After yet another meltdown at home, at which time he had to spend some time in his bedroom upstairs, he calmed down, and was well behaved and contrite for the rest of the day. It was a long, long day.