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Too much of a good thing is still too much

It's Halloween.

Or it's Christmas.

Or it's a birthday party - your child's or their best friend's.

There's sweets, games, friends, music, there is a mountain of great things, that your child just loves.

And then there's the inevitable - either somewhere in the middle of it all, or after, or the next morning, your child has a meltdown and it's just so hard for all.

So we say "it's all the sugar they ate"

After all, it was such great fun, wasn't it?

Yes, it was fun.

There were all kinds of good things.

And perhaps it was just too much - too much of a good thing is still too much for our nervous systems to process in real time.


Part of the fun is not knowing what is going to happen - will the next house be ready for Halloween guests? Will the music stop when the parcel gets to me in "pass the parcel"? Will there be food I like? Will the presents be what I'd asked for?

Part of the fun is in waiting, not knowing, finding out, moving on.

And it also brings with it continuous tensing and releasing. Waiting, holding on and letting go. Holding our breath and then breathing out.

It's a lot.

social interaction

Part of the fun is that Christmas dinners are filled with people we don't spend our day to day with, our special people. Halloween means meeting friends in the streets and talking to all of our neighbours in one evening.

Part of the fun is the continuous laughter, conversation, new faces, new faces.

And it brings with it a lot of figuring out how to behave, what to say, when to say it. Figuring out why when we said something someone frowned. Figuring out who we want to talk to, who feels safe right now, if it's ok to move away for a while.

It's a lot.

sensory load

Part of the fun is how different it all feels - streets are light up, and loud. Christmas dinner is filled with many voices in one room, carols being played or sung. Lights on the Christmas tree. Happy birthday songs, the smell of candles being blown out, clapping and cheering. Clothes that maybe feel not 100% comfortable.

Part of the fun is how different everything looks, smells, tastes, sounds.

And it brings with it a lot of work for our senses. For some of us it's o in the moment, but afterwards feels hard. For some of us sounds are too loud, for others clothes are too itchy. And there is no way of turning it off, immediately, right there and then.

It's a lot.

I love celebrations, togetherness, conversations, laughter. I love special occasions.

And I know that they're a lot.

May we hold our children gently through all these moments, so they know we get that too much of a good thing can still be too much. Sugar or no sugar.

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