The other day, Ads's school had what they call a "minimum day". School closes at 12 noon and there are no extended hours or daycare. Which means that instead of the 4 or 5 kids (including Ads) who leave school at noon every day, there are about 60+ kids who get to go home at that time. As prepared as I try to be for any new situation that might affect my sensitive little fellow, I was caught unawares by his reaction. He came out of the classroom at the tail-end of a noisy stream of 3-6 year old kids who instantly started swarming all over the playground, and the sight of this unexpected crowd reduced my poor baby to tears. I think I must have been a little slow that afternoon -- it took me a few seconds to understand why he was upset. He wanted all the children to clear off from the playground and he wanted to have it all to himself!
I have to keep reminding myself that tiny changes to Ads' routine can cause big changes in his mood. I am constantly looking ahead to see whether there is some activity or event that I need to prepare him for. With advance notice, he is good at handling new people or a new activity; otherwise our happy train tends to get derailed pretty rapidly.
Sometimes (when I am not feeling harassed or hard-done-by :)), I get to thinking that being a child must be jolly hard, work. Being the smallest and shortest person in the house. Having to abide by what seem to be arbitrary and senseless rules, laid down by overworked, sometimes cranky parents. Having little or no control and choice on most things. When I keep this in mind, I become much more empathetic towards Ads and I think he responds to that by being more reasonable. Unfortunately, I am not that sensible all the time, which is why I do dumb things, like raising my voice and yelling at Ads "Do NOT shout and scream". Yeah. No wonder he doesn't get it.