Butterfly at the Conservatory we went to last summer
Spring is in the air. The sun is shining, the grass is growing, flowers are blossoming and butterflies have made their appearance again. You may remember that we had a couple of big meltdowns last summer (Unexpected Sensory Meltdown and Meltdown of Epic Proportions) when Angel had encounters with butterflies and a moth. I was kind of hoping that would be it. Silly me, of course it wasn’t.
Big Kid and Angel were playing in the backyard this afternoon. I was sitting out on the deck enjoying the sunshine. Angel decided she wanted to come back to the deck, but she saw a butterfly in her path. She wanted me to come and scare it away so that she could get to the deck without going near it. I reminded her that butterflies won’t hurt her and that it would fly away. Big Kid tried to coax Angel to come to her and I gently reminded her that her sister did not like butterflies so that she’d stop pressuring her and making her more anxious. Angel took a chance when the butterfly moved and made a beeline for the deck. She stopped and ran the other way when she thought the butterfly was coming for her, but then it turned off and she came running to me for squishes.
I asked her why she was afraid of butterflies and she said that the butterfly was going to bite her. We had a little chat about what butterflies eat. I reminded her that they only like nectar and since she’s a little girl, and not a flower, she was safe. That seemed to help her to calm down a bit and all was well for a little while. Until her sister supposedly told her that butterflies are poisonous (which Big Kid of course denies). Why is it that kids will believe stupid things other kids tell them, but they won’t believe when their parents tell the truth? If I find out that Big Kid did in fact share this information with her sister, there will be a lecture of a lifetime coming to her.
After dinner, the girls went back outside and that’s when it really happened. She was already slightly amped up about the butterfly and then Angel got hurt. She got a splinter in her hand and I knew it was partially anxiety coming out when she started freaking out about blood. She had a tiny scrape that wasn’t bleeding, and she was screaming. Here’s the thing about Angel. This kid has a high pain threshold. She will fall down, and get back up saying “I’m OK” before you realize what happened. This splinter was another matter all together. She freaked out when I tried to look at it. She wouldn’t let me touch her hand, insisting that I was hurting it. I sent her to Daddy because sometimes he can get through to her, but she wouldn’t let him look either. I ended up cradling her on my lap with both of my hands meeting on her back so that she could see that I was not trying to touch her ouchie. Big Kid brought one of her favourite stuffies for Angel to cuddle while she calmed down.
We let her be for a bit, but the splinter had to come out. Daddy had to hold her hand and get the splinter out while Angel was yelling at him to let go and stop it. Her voice was louder and deeper, one of her tells for anxiety. She was pulling on Daddy’s arm with her free hand, so I had to hold her arm back so Daddy could take care of it. Then she insisted on a bandage. Daddy took her up to wash her hand and that freaked her out even more. Once she had the bandage on, she was back to being my sweet little girl. I joke that Big Kid is a drama queen, but tonight, Angel took the crown. It really boggles my mind that she can be so rough and tough most of the time, but a little splinter makes her come undone.
I’m not hoping that there are not many butterflies around this summer because I think it will be her undoing. By the way, did I mention that Angel’s school’s mascot is a Monarch Butterfly? I really hope they don’t decide to hatch butterflies in the classroom this year. I’ll have to mention this to her teacher to prepare her. Angel’s previous teacher new about her issues with butterflies, but she was a temporary teacher while Angel’s teacher was on maternity leave. This really wasn’t something I thought I’d ever have to mention to a teacher.