Thursday, May 26, 2016

Ups and Downs

This past weekend was a whirlwind of activity. It was recital weekend, two days of crazy busy as the youngers acted and danced their way through the school's production of Frozen.  This was the first year that KC had a real acting part, in addition to his 5 dances.  Lissa had a hip hop number.  It was a weekend filled with costumes and make  up, keeping kids fed and somewhat calm and rested.  It was a weekend where over the course of 2 days many friends and family kindly come out to watch and support my two dancers.

Fiona always comes home to go to the production with me on the last day. (the first day of production I was working back stage)  She has always been excited to do this and as the little kids always went into the Big City for all of her school events, she has enjoyed coming to see them.  After the last performance we also always go out for pizza.

Fi was happy and engaged during the performance and on the way to the pizza place.  However right after we placed our order it all went south. Really fast and quite badly.  She didn't want to get her beverage from the machine so I suggested she just hold onto the cup so she could get it later if she was thirsty.  She refused to sit in the booth with us and sat at an adjacent table, shaking salt all over the table and swishing it around with her fingers.

I tried giving her space.  In the grand scheme of things, I can clean up salt. LOL  I tried engaging her in private conversation after a few minutes--no luck.  Meanwhile I am also trying to keep things positive for the youngers who have looked forward to this and are shocked that big sis is acting this way.  We play some word games together and the food arrives.  I ask Fiona if she wants her pizza at her table or if she wants to come sit with us.  She bolts out of the restaurant.

I go outside to try and get her back inside.  She spewed angry words.  None of it made any sense.  Suddenly she was hating me. Hating the littles.  Wanting staff to get her immediately. (staff is 20 minutes away at best, so that can't happen.) Refusing to come in. Refusing to eat.  I was baffled because in all our years together the one thing Fiona has never done with me is bolt like that.

I felt really nervous because I had to leave the younger kids in the restaurant which was thankfully not crowded, alone while I tried to calm Fi and get her to come back in.  I did get her to walk inside so I could pack up pizza in a box for the kids to eat on the way to take her home.

Fiona cried a bit on the way but I know when she is that upset she can't talk, so I just played some music on the radio and got her back to the house.  Inside she screamed to staff that she wanted to be left alone and took off for her room.

It was a hard ending and not what any of us had expected or hoped for.  I think my calmness kept things from getting worse, but I do know that KC and Lissa were disappointed.  It also has made me table for the moment, going on vacation to NH with Fiona and the youngers.  I can't leave them home because of my wife's work schedule and now I don't trust that Fiona will not melt down 90 minutes from home, leaving me with a volatile young woman to try and stabalize with the two younger kids.  Logistically I am not sure I can keep everyone safe under those circumstances.

The hardest part of all this is that Fiona is still not really able to impart what triggered her anger and meltdown.  I can't fix something--or even plan to avert something--when I don't know what the trigger was.  There was nothing said that anyone argued about, so I have to guess it was something that somehow replayed an old memory that likely had nothing to do with any of us.  But it also marks the third consecutive visit with issues at some level.  Sigh.

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