Friday, May 02, 2008
Holy roly poly frijoles. I am so glad this week is over today. I know from past experience that the first week back to school after vacation is usually filled with messy emotional screaming meltdowns. Not just mine, either. (Ba dum chick!) The week was rolling merrily along until yesterday, when Pepper had apparently left the top off of her attitude all night and it curdled right up. A little attitude I can deal with, but this was stinking up the whole house. I ended up snapping and sending her to her room after the 3rd or 4th reprimand, where she proceeded to howl like a banshee and stomp hard enough to shake the ceiling. For a loooooooong time. Like, 30 or 40 minutes. I used to try to nip these infrequent freak-outs in the bud and go in and try to talk to her after 10 minutes or so, but experience has taught me that my presence just escalates her emotions. As long as she's just screaming and howling and stomping, I leave her be. The thing is, I remember feeling like that. I remember being so caught up in the unfairness of it all, the rage, the anger, the sadness, that I wasn't rational. I get, I do, but as the mother, where do you draw the line? When you hear the stomping and the ceiling shakes? When her screaming makes her brother so upset that he starts crying? Peanut was also having a rough day. He'd been crying on the school bus, so when he got off I had to calm him down. The bus driver said, "He got upset when we wouldn't drop him off in the woods." He launched himself off the bus and ran around to the other side of the car, hood up and head down. When I grabbed him to stop him from running off into the woods, he noodled on me, almost cracking his head on the pavement. I picked him up and rested him on the hood of the van, arms around him and rubbing his back firmly. When he calmed down, he spoke in a gruff voice and insisted that his name was Zach, one of the character names he uses on the Nintendo DS Pokemon game he loves. It took a couple minutes of coaxing to get Peanut to come back out, and finally tell me what was going on. It turned out that he had made a May Day basket in school, and as the bus came down the street, he decided that he wanted to be let off and sneak through the trees to surprise me at the bus stop and give me the basket. When the bus driver explained that they couldn't do that, he lost his ever lovin' mind. Earlier in the week, someone was telling me that they knew one of his teacher assistants, and had been talking about Peanut and what a cutie he was. The person I was talking to reported that this aide was saying how smart, how affectionate, how emotional he was. Emotional. Me, my daughter, my son. Emotions running high, easily hurt. High drama, open hearts, easy to love, easily sad. Swamped with emotion, saturated with it, so that you can't even think clearly. I wish I could make it easier for them. I know every parent feels like this, but when I see my kids struggling with their own natures, it kills me. I got through it, and they'll get through it. Every morning, though, when I take my anti-depressant and think of all the energy and tears and time they will waste over the course of their lives? It makes me want to cry.