This morning, it was time for Nathan's summer hair cut. I trim it close in the back and over the ears so that it's easier for him to keep cool. I was having trouble getting the back even, so I decided to ask Dave for his electronic trimmer. Nathan immediately threw a huge tantrum, panicking (I suspect) because we haven't used them before.
This just doesn't strike me as a normal reaction. A kid might be anxious about something he's never used before. I'd expect nervousness but not screaming that he's going to die.
We talked him down and showed him what the trimmer did. Then we had what I would consider a more normal reaction. He was nervous and I needed to go slowly but we got it done.
Last night, he had a similar tantrum when he slipped and fell on the play structure at Cubs. He lay there screaming that he was going to die. I had to pull him off the structure before he would calm down.
That level of reaction isn't typical. It's exhausting never knowing what's going to set him off.
I try to talk to him afterward and help him figure out other ways he could have handled his anxiety but it doesn't seem to be making a difference. It's like he hits panic too quickly for rational thought to have any chance to derail the situation.
Dave and I had talked about getting him some help and had decided we were going to hold off for now. Now I'm wondering if we made the wrong decision.