Earlier today, Choo-choo and I were playing with his motorized train set. It’s all bright and colorful and VERY loud. The trains have a limited amount of phrase and songs, and they run on a loop. I can only hear those things repeat themselves so many times. Not to mention the fact that noise is a huge trigger for me.
So there we were with the trains saying the same things over and over and getting stuck and crashing on the tracks again and again. Choo-choo kept squealing, “Help them, Mommy!” like I’m the designated train fixer even if he was closer. Then he would push them to help, and the gears inside would start grinding.
At one point, I couldn’t figure out which was grinding louder: the gears or my teeth. I had been deep breathing for a while, but I finally needed a break. It was all just too much.
“Mommy needs to walk away,” I told him. Choo-choo happily continued to play as I stepped into the next room. Just a few minutes in there by myself, but still within earshot of my son, helped me tremendously.
My body released its tension. The shaking subsided. My chest no longer hurt. I was able to calm and center myself to a more loving and less frustrated place.
I then rejoined my kid in the living room, where we resumed our playtime with his still loud and annoying mountain train set, only this time I had more fun.
(On a side note, thank you, toy manufacturers, for producing talking/musical toys and not adding any sort of volume control. Sincerely, every parent ever)