What Christmas and Chernobyl Have In Common

Meltdowns - that's what they have in common. And you just wouldn't imagine it looking at that darling little boy! But yes indeed, Christmas time does in fact equal CRAZY time my friends! And I don't mean race-around-the-malls or spend-hours-on-amazon shopping crazy. Nor do I mean multiple-family-holiday-parties (where kids are jumping off coffee tables and barfing around the buffet line) and demands-on-time-crazy. I mean my kids go crazy - literally. And per Preston's psychologist, kids with ADHD or other mental disorders struggle with Christmas; count on the month of December exacerbating all of your child's worst nuances, tics, characteristics. Imagine how overwhelmed - as an adult - you feel during the holidays, but that as an adult you have the capabilities to deal with it. We all know our kids are not privy to our years of wisdom and refined coping skills, which paves the way for possibly putting us at the threshold of hell for this most wonderful time of year! It brings to mind Robert Stack (Captain Rex Kramer) in Airplane talking to Ted once the plane has landed and he's just rambling into the radio... "Christmas Ted. What's that mean to you? It's like being kicked in the head with an iron boot." Yep. That says it all.

Okay okay, it isn't totally terrible (just mostly) and I'm seeing the fruits of this tree ripen quickly this year. I honestly don't know what else to attribute Preston's outbursts to. Darling little Preston has once again become extraordinarily volatile. The smallest things are setting him off and his outbursts and meltdowns are lasting upwards of thirty minutes with thrashing, weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth. I don't dare go near the dragon's den while he is blustering flames and smoke; the potential to get burned (or turn into Mama Dragon) is too high. I have started thinking (lovingly) of him as my own little Chernobyl. I would guess that he would rate an 8 or 9 on the International Nuclear Event Scale these days and mandatory evacuations or 30 km radius' to prevent fallout and sickness to neighboring family members is necessary. Sometimes I warn the family with my best computer voice: "Ten seconds to reach minimum safe distance."

Despite my jokes, these are the meltdowns and attitudes and instances that really try my patience and that of the family's. None of us truly understand what is going on in this little fellas mind when his boiler plate explodes and we just have to do our best to not be in his way when it does. I simply escort him to his room to 'work it out' and remind him I love him and I'm there for him when he is able to simmer down. I checked the calendar today and we aren't anywhere near a full moon so I really am thinking that the cogs are being overburdened and there is too much excitement. However, life still goes on and this is what I am going to do to ensure a happier Christmas:

Stay calm.

That's it. I actually think that is the best thing I can do for my family and the only element I have control of. One of my goals this week is to label my actions with the following pre-thought: I CHOOSE. I choose to be calm. I choose to not over-react. I choose to forgive. I choose to be happy. I choose to not let Preston's tantrum throw me. The other thought I have been having is that I am an extraordinarily imperfect person and I need to allow others to be imperfect as well (this has been very helpful when it comes to disagreements with my husband). In being the master of my destiny, I am making a conscious choice in how I act and react and by labeling my thoughts as such, I am more aware of what I need to do better at (say if it ends up that I am choosing to be offended - and most of the time that is so unnecessary and not worth my time and energy). And as far as the rest of my family goes, if I can keep calm I am creating a safer place for them. If I can stay calm, they can feel safe, there is more love.

"People learn best what they are taught with love."
Don Staheli, The Principle of the Thing

Best of luck to you all. I'm choosing to have a peaceful Christmas, whatever that means.



  1. This is an awesome post and made me LOL in the midst of feeling so bad for poor Preston - and everyone else. Your comparison to Christmas and Chernobyl is PERFECT. Says it all. I have had numerous hysterical meltdowns over the years - especially when the kids were younger and I had WAY TOO MUCH going on. The quote from Capt. Rex Kramer never fails to make me burst out laughing..."Christmas? A living hell. Do you know what it's like to be kicked in the head? with an iron boot?" Hilarious! Bless your heart for dealing with this and being able to walk away. I don't know how you do it!! No matter what, just keep loving him and pat yourself on the back. You've sure got an adorable family. Keep breathing. Carve out some quite time for yourself every day. You're amazing!!


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