Alphonse threw a tantrum last night, complete with hair pulling, hair twisting, and his patented maneuver, “yanking till the roots come *&#@ out.” I should have seen it coming. He’s been having some really bad days lately. He seems more on the edge, more antsy, more unsettled of late.
I think it comes from not having a real rapport with his new teacher. Of course, Teacher J tries hard, but he seems to lack the ability to knock down Alphonse’s walls. I don’t know if time will ease the transition issues (Teacher J replaced Teacher P, Alphonse’s teacher for the last 10 months, only last December) or if it’s some flaw in their relationship that I can’t pin down yet. Let it pass, Lord.
I had to physically restrain Alphonse as he struggled to grab and pull my hair. He’s almost as tall as me, with a longer reach and really strong arms. We struggled for a while, but as soon as I wrapped his arms with a towel, he started to cry- a real heart wrenching cry that made me tear up, even as I struggled not to betray my emotions in front of him. I had to appear under control at all times.
When he started to calm down, I started to talk to him in hushed tones. He would nod or shake his head to answer me.
Does something hurt? No.
Are you angry? Yes.
Are you angry because I said No to you spilling the cooking oil? Yes.
Spilling the oil was wrong. Yes.
I love you. Yes.
Don’t pull my hair. Yes
Touch gently. Yes
Are you calm now? Yes.
I let him go after that. Slowly, he touched my hair tentatively and looked at me, as if waiting for me to react. He kissed me, softly, and I hugged my son, my big boy, my forever-baby.
So this morning, I am nursing some sore spots on my head. I rub them with ice and they don’t feel as tender as they did last night. These are the rough spots of our lives that make the smooth times feel even better. When you know how low your life can actually go, you learn to be grateful for the sunshine that comes after the storm.
Got me some boo-boos; no biggie today. Nothing that a pint of Cherry Garcia can’t make all better.