Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Well this is new.

   Crazy Tuesdays.  Ryan teaches at a junior college which leaves me shuttling everyone from point A to point B.  I met him at Etienne's football practice, dropped E off, then left to get Molly at her rehearsal.  An hour later, Molly, Zeke and I were taking a walk as Ryan and the other boys arrived home.  A few minutes later, Etienne ran to catch up with us, already in tears.  He is mad.  Apparently, flag football was "good."   We attempted to continue our walk but E was tearful and looking for a fight.  After bullying Zeke and being scolded, he was literally on the sidewalk having a full out temper tantrum.  The 68lb'r was screaming, kicking, punching and sobbing as I struggled to identify our trigger to the meltdown.  I let the other kids move on ahead, sat down on the sidewalk, and wrapped him in a full body hug.  Mostly to smother the screaming and avoid neighbors calling CPS.  We lay on the sidewalk until he could calm himself enough to insert a thumb in the mouth (don't judge, this is our self soothing to get calm), but he still couldn't walk without yelling and crying at me.  Eventually, I just picked him up and carried him the couple blocks home.  Ryan and I turned on some lullaby music, ran a warm bath and stuck him in there alone for a bit.
   Ten minutes of lullaby songs and lavender bath water later, Etienne was able to verbalize that he was really mad at me.  It was one of those moments where I had patience and compassion only by the grace of God because his fit, rage and tears had been off the chart.  But I didn't lose it and I wasn't faking it as I waited for an explanation.
"Mommy, I was mad at you that you didn't stay with me at my football practice.  You weren't with me."
     Throat swelling shut.  Eyes melting.  No words.  I wrapped him up in a towel and a hug.  We stayed that way a few minutes.  When I found words, I told him that maybe we could work on our emotions some more.  That maybe he was feeling afraid that I wasn't with him; and that maybe he felt sad when we were apart.  We made a plan that next time he feels this way, he will give me a hug and tell me that he had missed me.
     This is another big leap forward.  I am conditioned to the ridiculous melt downs and fits.  I understand the reasoning that my son feels abandoned and that he can't comprehend his feelings.  I am a RAD mom; it's how we roll.  What I am not used to is this progress, this stretching of his little heart.  But I am a quick learner.   I will take it.

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