In terms of meltdowns and the changes that the pandemic brought with it this year. I would say Ethan has been pretty calm. Of course, there have been moments, sometimes daily at the worst points, where meltdowns could easily escalate. I think as Ethan has got older we recognise these times and automatically take steps to calm him down. But then there are times when things are totally beyond our control. The latest meltdown we had to navigate was brought on because of the lack of availability of new shoes!
Why Did We Need New Shoes?
The children haven’t stopped growing during the lockdowns. They have both had rapid growth spurts. Which could possibly be easier to spot as they have had long breaks from attending school and their uniforms haven’t been able to keep up. I knew that the children would need new shoes. Clarks is the place we normally go to buy the children’s shoes. This is because Ethan has been pre-verbal for so long and not able to describe his feelings. I like the shoe fitting service that Clarks offers us. We can book an appointment and Ethan knows what to expect.
The problem is Clarks doesn’t open until the 12th of April. My plan was that with only three weeks of school until the reopening date I would keep everything crossed. Hoping that the children’s shoes wouldn’t hurt their feet during that time. We were doing really well during the first week of school. The children said their shoes weren’t hurting, Little E just said hers were a little bit tight. It was on the Friday of that week that I spotted that Little E had blood on the heel of her tights. Sure enough her shoes had given her a blister.
What Caused The New Shoes Meltdown?
On Mother’s Day instead of our Colchester Park walk or trip to Brightlingsea we headed to ASDA. Our friends had told us that the shoe section has a foot measure there. Which is just what we needed.
We prepared Ethan by talking him through what was going to happen. We would go to ASDA, buy Little E new shoes, and come home. It was our intention to also buy him new shoes but we decided to keep the plan simple as we always find that easier. Bearing in mind that none of us have ventured into ASDA’s for a year. Ethan has only been into Marks and Spencer’s with me briefly to pick up our Christmas dinner. Visiting a superstore was going to be a big thing for our sensory seeker.
It was all going well, shoe sizer located, Little E’s feet measured then all we had to do was find her size of shoes. Unfortunately, we were a bit late for the school shoe party. There were no shoes in her size. Because we couldn’t complete the shoe buying task Ethan’s meltdown started. He was uncontrollably upset.
To ease his upset we said we would go to Sainsbury’s to buy Little E some shoes. I knew we would probably have the same problem but we needed to try to complete the task. Our Sainsbury’s has a Clarks concession inside I was praying for a miracle that would be open. It wasn’t and they also had a lack of shoes available.
Ethan was inconsolable, we said we would get Little E some shoes and we didn’t. I tried to calm him down in the shop. Promising him the chance to choose an Easter egg and a McDonald’s for lunch. It would calm him for a second but the distress of not getting the shoes took over. His cries were getting louder and louder and the only thing Darren could do was remove him from the shop.
Once we got home after abandoning our shoe search and trying to comfort Ethan in the car. Even Little E tried to calm her big brother by holding his hand and telling him we will order her shoes online. We ordered Little E’s new shoes online, paying for next-day delivery so the task would be completed as quickly as possible. Ethan’s meltdown subsided happy with the order placed and the promise of the shoes arriving tomorrow.
It was a very intense moment of our day. Thankfully the completion of the task ended the meltdown and no one got hurt. We haven’t told Ethan he needs new shoes yet. We aim to visit Clarks when they open again in April. Hopefully, it won’t bring on another meltdown.