I took J to local library today to explore the kids area. J (usually) loves books so thought it would be great idea. We got there and there was a craft activity. J went to the table so I thought ‘ok we’ll give it a go’. I paid our £1 and J then ran off as he spotted computers.
I knew this was a problem as it’s one of J’s ‘triggers’…buttons and cause and effect. He wanted to play with it but it wasn’t really toddler friendly. So took him back to craft table and he helped get the lollisticks for the activity. But within 30 seconds he was off again to the computers. I managed to get him out of a mini-tantrum by finding the bead trail and a George book.
This lasted a few minutes then he went back to craft table so i gave him crayons to colour in. He wanted to run off with all the crayons (not a good idea for 1 yr old to have crayons in a room full of books). So brought him back to table.
Cue full on meltdown. He pulled my hair, head butted the floor and screamed top of his lungs. I tried all the usual techniques-calm counting, controlled hug and signing to him but nope nothing worked.
So I put him in the buggy and we left. The worst part was the looks from people. The staff member was less than helpful. At no point during the craft did she try to engage with J or seem particularly ‘child friendly’ and during the meltdown she looked at me with the look of horror/disgust (I did explain J’s difficulties…then thinking ‘why should I have to?’)
Looking back, I think J wanted to tell me something. He wanted to go on computers and press the buttons and couldn’t understand why he wasn’t allowed. But he couldn’t communicate it to me and I tried my best to communicate to him. But today was a fail. An embarrassing, loud fail.