Noah and the Bus
First of all I am overall grateful for the bus that picks Noah up for school every day. It is usually less stressful than the stressful drop off system. Where you are driving your car through a too small parking lot where people are shouting to have the kids jump out of the cars. They need to keep the line moving, but with all the cars and people and they shouting, Noah was stressed every morning, and getting him it the car was a daily problem. The bus is normally fine however, when something snaps in his mind, all bets are off.
Today was one of them mornings; the bus is running late as usual, Noah was exercising with the Wii Fit, and not really eating all of his breakfast when he began to get frustrated with every activity. Because he could not do it, the Wii fit basically is designed to sense your center of balance, and his is always off. So on days that, he is more unbalanced than usual, it is way off, and will result in him not being able to complete the tasks. So this can compound two problems, the problem that he is now frustrated in what he isn’t accomplishing, and the fact that he is unbalanced to begin with, which is the actual cause of his frustration being out of his control.
The unfortunate aspect, in the morning rush, is you don’t see it coming, and frankly a lot of the time you do not see it coming. There can be tells, but on this morning there were few to none, none that I saw at least while getting his bag and lunch packed and getting him ready.
The bus pulls up and is honking, Noah is still trying to complete the obstacle course, and he is stuck on it, he needs to finish it, so telling him you are giving him 20 laptops if he gets on the bus will not matter at this point. So I have to just turn it off. He then starts to run through the house and I have to catch him and get him to the door. He will not put on his jacket, his shoes, or carry his bags. I have to carry all of this and him to the bus; only, it is not possible to carry all of these things at the same time. He takes off and I get his stuff to the bus while he just runs around the yard refusing to go to school.
The aide on the bus can’t help, not allowed to leave the post, why they do not have an additional aide I imagine is due to funding. So this leaves him and me at a standoff in the yard. There is nothing that will get him on the bus, I cannot threaten or bribe. I only can catch, run faster and scoop him up and put him over my shoulder like a sack of potatoes. I do this, and put him on the bus, with no shoes, and no jacket. The jacket fell off in the house, he wants it, but I don’t go get it because all of the kids on the bus are waiting, they have issues too.
It’s a terrible time when it is happening because of the stress, anxiety involved, and the fact there is no patience in the adults involved either. They want Noah on to get to the next stop, they probably deal with this type of stuff all the time, and it is not a daily occurrence here, but it happens enough. But the point being, there is no help, even if you’re asking or pleading, or even just asking for what they think you should do. They have no suggestions, and they do not know what to do.
The most frustrating aspect is there is no currency to work with, in these particular moments. Children generally behave based on consequences of their actions, both good and bad. And when his mind snaps like this, there is no scale, no consequence that is high enough to make him comply. There is nothing that can be taken away or given to make his mind snap out of the fight or flight response. So the only thing that can be done is to physically catch him and put him on the bus. There is no preparation that can help, it is not as if I can decide to take away the exercise or the computer or the games, they are not the problem anyway. And the alternative is to just have him sit and wait for the bus, but having done this in the past, I learned this will only bring more anxiety since the bus does not show up at the same time. And even if it did, there would inevitably be some kid somewhere having a bad day that will delay the bus.
So the only thing I can do is put up with it and accept that some days this will be the case. After it’s over I need to decompress and center myself, and train to just run faster.
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