Overstimulated? Throw an Egg.
This evening while Ember was doing her chores, which is just feeding the cats and dogs, Cocoa was barking as per usual. Cocoa gets very excited at dinner time and the world has to know it. All of a sudden Ember started yelling at her to be quiet. When she walked into the living room she was crying.
I asked her what was wrong? I asked her why Cocoa barking was making her so angry today since she does it every night. She looked at me, tears in her eyes, she covered her ears and said, “because I already have too much noise in my ears and she keeps barking and its making it worse.”
My girl was overstimulated.
Children get overstimulated and need a break, too
If you have ever had the pleasurable experience of overstimulation, you know what this feels like. Sometimes you feel like your brain shuts off. Sometimes you are overcome with rage, anxiety, panic and a general sense of overwhelm. As an adult, we can understand what is happening and remove ourselves from the situation to calm down. Children don’t always have that same luck.
Ember has ADHD pretty bad. Controlled with medication for the most part. I know I know, I’m a terrible mom.
Without the medication she can barely have a full conversation with you without getting distracted and running out. She is a mile a minute without her medicine. At 8-years-old, she understands that she needs her medicine to focus.
We’d been noticing her struggles changing as she grows and gets older. She’s 8 now and is dealing with all the things girls at that age deal with and sometimes it gets overwhelming for her. She’s coming home from school after bad days where she feels like she can’t do anything right or kids have made fun of her because she isn’t the best at reading.
She told me not long ago that she felt like she was too skinny because a boy on the bus told her she was ugly because you can see the veins in her forehead. At 8-years-old she has a lot to process and overcome.
As a Mom, I am struggling to figure out a way to let her relieve her stresses and just relax. How do I teach her to take some deep breaths and try to let go of the tension in her body when I, myself, struggle to do the same?
A Simple Solution: throw an egg
Out of no where, Leslie tells me, “lets go throw eggs at the fridge.” Of course I was HORRIFIED because I had just scrubbed the fridge and the rest of the kitchen, this morning. My mind was overwhelmed with the thought of that mess. Why would we throw eggs at anything? Why deliberately make that mess? What is the purpose?
She asks me, “why not? I’ll clean it up after.”
I couldn’t respond. I had no reason to say no. I could not come up with one good reason that we couldn’t throw eggs at the fridge. And so we did.
When we called our sad little overstimulated girl into the kitchen and asked her if she wanted to throw an egg at the fridge, she immediately said yes like she had been planning for this day her entire life. So we handed her an egg and she hummed that fresh yard egg right into our stainless steel refrigerator.
I could see the overwhelm and stress leave her sweet little body. Her face went from sad and defeated to the biggest smile we had seen all day. She laughed out loud and was just immediately relieved. Her troubles were forgotten and her mind distracted from all the negatives she was replaying over and over.
Then we had ice cream for dinner and the woes of the day were forgotten. All thanks to an egg.
So, the next time you are overstimulated or overwhelmed, just get up, grab an egg and throw it at something. Because we are adults and we make the rules. The only consequence is having to clean it afterwards. That’s it. As an added bonus to this, your dogs will get a tasty treat. They love raw egg.
Sometimes all we need to do to distract ourselves from the troubles we are facing in the moment is to break a harmless rule and release some tension by throwing an egg at something.
This also served as a nice reminder to her that even though breaking a rule to do something fun and harmless may seem okay, we still have to deal with the consequences after. Which, in this instance, was cleaning it all up.
I encourage you, friends, the next time you are feeling overwhelmed and overstimulated, throw an egg at your fridge. You won’t regret it.