We have two types of meltdowns in this house now:
Emotional meltdowns - with lots of tears - are exhausting and upsetting for both of us, but they bring out my protective mothering instincts, and I cope with them reasonably well. And afterwards we can hug and it's all okay again.
Angry meltdowns - a different matter. They touch a nerve deep inside, my response to them is something primal: I want to stop the meltdown. Or shout and scream, or run away. None of which are recommended.
I remind myself of the watch-wher in my other favourite book, Dragonflight by Anne McCaffrey, as we both attempt to do the complete reverse of what comes naturally. Because, as well as his Mum, I have to be his friend, the one person he can trust, the one who will never let him down.
Unlike the watch-wher the effort involved in trying to achieve does not kill me! But at some point later, the tidal wave of feelings and emotions that are dammed up as I cope with the meltdown cannot be held back any longer and I go to pieces.... Anger scares me. And my son tells me that he doesn't want to be angry either. So why can't we prevent it? Why does it keep happening?
But then this morning at 6, I pulled back the curtains to see a clear blue sky, and when my son got up at 8, it seemed that the storm was easing. He left this morning clean, fed and on time, and had a good day in school. I can't think of a better reason to be cheerful!