Back story #1
Dude typically has two speeds.. slow and slower. He walks slowly. He eats slowly. He takes off his shoes slowly. Everything takes forever with him.
Back story #2
Dude has always been mild-mannered. He never threw tantrums or had meltdowns. However, when he hit 15, something changed. 99% of the time, Dude is the definition of mellow, but every once in a while, he has seemingly random and explosive outbursts.
We have gotten to the point where we can normally tell if an outburst is looming. Dude gets tense and shifty. Whatever is distressing him boils and boils. And then, he makes a guttural or shrieky noise, jams his fists into his ears or thighs, and takes off SPRINTING.
Sprinting. Up until 5 years ago, I never saw this kid move faster than a snail’s pace.
I know what you’re thinking. Uhhh this isn’t really funny, Julianne. You’re right. 99.9% of the time it isn’t funny. It’s actually quite terrifying when you’re next to a busy road or in a crowded parking lot. But it’s amazing how location can make a seemingly terrifying situation slightly humorous.
As I’ve mentioned, we vacation at the Jersey Shore every year. Typically, nothing stresses Dude out at the shore. He’s as happy as can be. But one year, he had one of those random outbursts while we were sitting on the beach.
He made his angry noise, jumped up from his beach chair, and took off at full speed down towards the water. On instinct, I started chasing after him. I got about 6 steps when my parents told me to stop. I stopped, shocked, but then realized what they were getting at.
Dude was running directly toward the water (aka there was no immediate danger).
Dude typically only ever goes ankle deep in the ocean.
Dude doesn’t understand waves and how they can knock you over.
Dude got about knee-deep in the water before a wave put him on his rear end. He sat there, sputtering and trying to stand up. I helped him back to our chairs. He was calm again, if not a little in shock from his altercation with the wave.
So yea. My parents let Dude get hit by a wave to teach him the consequences of taking off like a banshee. Some people might think that’s a tad bit mean, but Dude didn’t have any more freak-outs that vacation, so it worked!