My daughter was returned to me last night after visiting with her father. I could hear the screaming before he even opened the car door. She was mad, and it was the kind of mad that only tired and hungry could produce. I took her inside and realized there was going to be no calming her down any time soon. I asked if she had anything to eat, he said that she had a piece of cheese and some toast. I gave her some soy milk, though she wouldn’t drink it. It was apparent nothing was going to go right and what she really needed was sleep. So we got her diaper on and took her upstairs. Once up there, the screaming continued, then, as quickly as it started, she wanted to cuddle with her father and was quiet. I asked her if she needed some time with her dad and if she wanted me to go downstairs (I felt a little silly hovering as I was, and I didn’t seem to be needed). She said yes.
I went downstairs and turned the monitor on, and a few moments later down came her father. He sat down, and I asked, “What was going on!” I told him that she cannot come home like this! That if it continued, she needed to be home earlier so that she can get to bed earlier. He said that it was a misunderstanding. He wanted to drive her through the park as he often does, and asked her if she wanted to do that. She said yes, and once they were there it quickly became apparent she had taken this to mean “Do you want to go TO the park.” She thought she would get to go on the slides. Since she was tired and hungry, as soon as she realized that she wasn’t going on the slides, she just threw a fit. Well, I can understand that, and he did get her calmed down and she slept very well. I also noticed that she hadn’t eaten her lunch at school either. Dangerous combinations, no food, exhaustion, and misunderstanding!