I am drinking the last cup of coffee from the pot. It's been on the burner a little too long, so it has that slightly burnt taste that indicates I should just throw it away. Instead, I'm going to add another Equal, and force it down. That pretty much sums up the day.
Four woke up early and climbed in bed with us. He snuggled for awhile, then went off to the couch for some morning television. I lingered, but he and I had a date with the religious education director at our church. She is a lovely woman, very spiritual, who has made the special-needs children her focus. She is retiring at the end of this year, and she's made it her mission to ensure Four is up to date with his sacraments before she leaves.
Today, Four was not willing to be educated. He was rude, complained about how boring it was, and pretended to be asleep. I was not happy. He was much better at the end of the lesson, and I made sure to let him know I appreciated his effort. I dropped him off at home, and went to Costco to buy the usual: seven gallons of milk, laundry detergent, veggie straws, giant chocolate chip cookies, waffles, green apples, grapes, a couple of chickens, and at least one thing from the clothing section. This week it was socks for Two and Three, to replace the hole-y heeled ones.
When I got back from Costco (I'll wax another time on the rapture of one-stop shopping), Four was in the process of annoying Five. Again. This behavior continued throughout the day, and finally resulted in a complete melt-down at the end of the night, when I forbade him from wrestling with his cousin. The cousin is five, and weighs thirty-five pounds soaking wet. It was a potentially life-threatening situation.
By melt-down, I mean full-on screaming, throwing pillows, "you can't keep me in this room, Missy!", tantrum. He followed me out of his room, down to my bedroom, where he yelled some more about how horrible his life is, and then collapsed in tears.
"I just can't help it," he sobbed.
"I know, sweetie," I said, drying his tears.
I talked about how the anger is his enemy, trying to make his life miserable. I explained how he could defeat it, using calming jitsu-his own invention.
"But it's hard, especially at school, when people say mean things."
"Yes, but you'll win if you don't get upset."
"I'll try," he said, his lids growing heavy.
I kissed him and stroked his hair, and he fell asleep. Anger is exhausting.
I hoped he would stay asleep, but he stumbled out to the kitchen about two hours later and asked for some pizza. He ate, and after dessert, he said, "Thanks for helping me with my anger, Mom."
"You're welcome," I said. "I love you always, no matter what."
The cousins were getting ready to leave, and he went and gave them all a hug good-bye. Unprompted, he apologized to the little guy, for getting angry at him. Then he curled up on the couch, and asked to watch a movie. I started it, and he called for me to come closer to him.
"What do you need, honey?"
"Just a hug and a kiss."
We hugged for a long time.
"My eyes are sore."
"I think you're still a little tired," I told him, praying he would fall asleep again.
"You're probably right."
Later, I got him in his own bed, and we snuggled. Even though he said he wasn't tired, he fell back to sleep.
I am drinking the cup of slightly bitter coffee. It isn't delicious, but it's warm, and sweet. Sometimes, that's all we get. And it's enough to make it through to the next day.