We had a major meltdown from Little Cat (3) in the woods today. We had been talking all morning about going for a walk. We had packed a picnic together. He had been excited and decided to bring his dinosaur backpack to carry the camera in so he could take photographs along the way. We arrived at the forest. He jumped out of the car and ran joyfully up a hill.
We began walking, I was soaking up the bliss of being surrounded by nature.
Then, suddenly, it all went drastically to pot. Little Cat began to cry and scream. “I don’t want to go for a walk! I’m too tired. I want to go home, I can’t do it!!!”
He got himself in such a state we thought he was going to be sick. It was a very out of character reaction from him, though this past few weeks he has been working through some really big emotions so we weren’t taken completely by surprise. There was no apparent trigger, though after a bit of reflection when it had all cooled down I think it was a combination of starting the walk with an uphill slope (all be it a gentle incline) and him knowing that there was a play area nearby which he had secretly been wanting to go on first. But at the time, we were stumped.
We walked on for a bit, we stayed calm and tried to distract him, but all the while he got more and more angry and upset. He could barely talk he was crying so hard. So we stopped, we talked about what we were doing and why. We explained how much Mummy and Daddy needed to have a walk, how we could all do with some fresh air and exercise. We cuddled, and we empathised with him, we asked him what he needed and why he was feeling so sad, yet he was still firm in his wish not to walk.