I observe this trend every year with myself, my husband and now my daughter. To avoid this, we try to control our holiday activities and environments we enter this time of year. By doing this, we hope to avoid melt downs and discomfort.
Despite our efforts, we aren’t always successful. In fact, an outing this week DEFINITELY left a LOT of room for improvement.
We were at Vidler’s. If you have never been there, it is an adorable 5 & 10 Shop in the heart of East Aurora. The store, a maze of unique goods, is always a must hit while Christmas shopping as it has one-of-a-kind gifts for those hard to buy for people. And to be honest, it is just really fun to browse around.
Knowing that it can be crazy in there, we planned our trip early in the day during the middle of the week with hopes of avoiding crowds. The store, when busy, can be hard to navigate… and with a toddler, my husband and I wanted to limit our stress. And our planning paid off, we found the store to be relatively quiet. SUCCESS!
To further set ourselves up for success, upon entering the store our first stop was the popcorn machine. For ten cents, YES ten cents, we picked up a bag of popcorn for my daughter (and husband) to nibble on as we meandered the store. Having a distraction, something to focus on, helps when the energy of a space becomes overwhelming.
And this trick worked as my family wandered aisle by aisle, room by room of the labyrinth that is Vidler’s. Anytime either my husband or I felt her begin to become unfocused or energetically overwhelmed, we immediately offered her popcorn and reminded her to hold my hand which she did as she happily gobbled down popcorn.
The tricks worked like a charm! We made our way throughout the ENTIRE first floor without incident. At that point, we agreed we should skip the downstairs as we didn’t want to push our luck and headed toward one of the registers to purchase our finds. Baby Girl, however, was not ready to go. She eyed the stairs and started straight towards them.
My husband and I eyed each other with a lot of hesitancy. The downstairs is more cramped than the upstairs. More cramped means not only will it be harder to navigate with more items for little hands to grab for, but the number of items could be overstimulating and energetically the it doesn’t flow as nice. Recipe for disaster. But, because she was doing so well and she was determined to see the downstairs, we relented thinking… eh, what the heck.
We should have listened to our instinct. As soon as we got downstairs, she became more and more distracted. The vast number of gadgets and goods WAS overstimulating. The popcorn trick was no longer working.
Then, the telltale sign we are minutes from a meltdown occurred. My daughter started pointing at people and stating, “Ghost.” Almost everyone we passed, she stopped and would say, “Hi Ghost.”
Why is this a sign? Young children live with one foot on the physical plane and one foot in the spiritual realm. A protective bubble cast over them protects them from outside energies, including spirit. When that diminishes and they become ungrounded, they have a hard time distinguishing between those energies that exist in this realm and those in the spiritual. Hence her acknowledgement of the “ghosts.” Fortunately, as a medium, I can check in to see what she is seeing.
Seeing that she is now having a hard time protecting herself, I knew it was time to go.
But the strong-willed toddler she is, she didn’t want to. After trying to coax her up the stairs, we scooped her and kicking and screaming brought her up the stairs.
Needing to check out, as we approached the register we put her down. She took that opportunity to bolt towards the stairs. Having longer legs, I was able to cut her off at a pass.
Knowing she was beat, she crumbled crying to the floor. There she laid. Getting out her frustration… and more importantly, grounding herself.
Worried someone would step on her, I stood over her and attempted to soothe her. Telling her it was “ok to be frustrated” and to “take a deep breath” – which she did – and to “let that frustration into the ground.” Most people gave sympathetic looks, a few rolled their eyes as to say why are you letting your child behave that way. But within a couple minutes, she was calm. The tears had stopped. She had refocused herself. And, she was giving me a hug.
Without further ado, my husband marched her out to the car. I paid for our goods. We were on our way.
Her situation isn’t that different than many we all face. To avoid those meltdowns, if you are intuitive, plan ahead and avoid the crowds. If a situation does get the better of you, take that time to let go of your frustrations. I don’t encourage you to lay on the floor and scream like my daughter did, but if it means stomping your feet or walking away to take a deep breath, do it. Once you are grounded and centered, come back to the situation that frustrated you… not to stay, but to leave. I encourage you to not overstay your comfort zone. We sometimes stay at a party too long because we are having a good time, but too much of a good thing isn’t always good. Like my daughter who was loved shopping, but was overwhelmed by it all.
Take care of you. Take care of your energy. And, enjoy your holidays!