My 2-year-old son usually gets a solid 2-hour nap every day. Usually, all day, he’s on a full-time sprint trying to keep up with his big sister, he eats like a linebacker and burns up every ounce of carbo he ingests. He’s a pretty high-energy individual.
Well, today, he didn’t get his nap. And anyone who’s had toddlers knows how this can go. For us, it’s usually one of two outcomes – either he nearly passes out over his dinner, or successfully passes out on the floor of the play room when you least expect it – or he’s full-on activate-interlocks-dynatherms-connected-infracells-up-megathrusters-are-go and he has no idea how to stop himself.
Tonight, it was choice (b). After a while of trying to get him interested in bed met with failure, he was just a dispersed nightmare child. You could tell his inner voice was desperately trying to find a way to stop himself, but instead he just found himself going everywhere and nowhere. One minute he was crying about needing to be in bed, the next he had escaped from the bedroom and had rigged a stool on top of a chair to try to extract the Ben & Jerry’s out of the freezer. Then he was trying to do laps in the basement followed by attempting to individually empty all of the bins of his toys out onto his sister.
The poor guy really just reminded me of C-3PO when he had his head grafted onto a battle droid. He had no idea what he was doing, and wanted only for it to stop.
What to do?
Well, same thing that always works – and the magic of it is why I wanted to write a blog post on it. It’s called a Locational Assist, and I never, just NEVER cease to be amazed at how thoroughly and effectively it works.
I took him upstairs and just firmly, calmly pointed out items in the room for him to look at, waiting until he really had, and then acknowledging him when he did so. After 3 minutes of this, he was totally calm. Like utterly back to himself. He sat down next to me, watched me read a book to his sister, and then passed out in his bed. BLAM.
If this was the only time this had happened, I might chalk it up to coincidence. But the same magic has been conjured COUNTLESS times with that Scientology Locational Assist. Kid is running around like a malfunctioning battle mech and nothing you do or say is calming him down? Locational – that’s all you need. Pick him up, get his attention, and start pointing out things. It never seems to take much more than 2-3 minutes before his ability to direct attention is back under his own control enough that he can put himself to bed, or tell you what’s really happening with him.
The more you look at the mechanics of it, the more your realize it’s not magic – but man, after chasing around Captain Destructor and have it all WHOOSH and be handled in 2 minutes — it sure does seem like magic.