Things have been up and down, up and down, and up and down around here the past few weeks. Days where every.single.little.thing would lead to piercing screams. He wasn’t dry when he pulled on his underwear after his shower! The toothpaste is icky! He made a mistake on an addition problem! He wrote a 9 backwards! He didn’t have a napkin at dinner! His spoon was the wrong size! His sock had a hole! The van came 1 minute early! The van was late! His cousin was sick and couldn’t play! He couldn’t sound out a word! The dog jumped on him! The yogurt had lumps in it! His tower fell over! The helicopter was out of battery power! I wouldn’t let him have a cookie before breakfast!
Screaming. The screaming just about does me in. I have a set of ear plugs in the car, in the kitchen, and upstairs at my desk.
Then there are days when things are smooth, and we breathe a little easier. Times when the Roc entertains himself constructing a castle in his bedroom, or turning his bed into a pirate ship, or drawing, and his newest activity: making cards.
I was upstairs at my computer while the Roc was at his drawing table. He told me he wanted to make me a card and I couldn’t look until he was done. I could hear him talking to himself. Saying letters as he wrote inside the card. Then he yelled up to me, “Mommy?! How do you spell nice?” and I slowly yelled back the letters, as clearly as I could over our distance.
“Nice? N – I – C- E.”
“Mommy? How do you spell a lot?”
“It’s two words. A and then the word LOT. L – O – T.”
I could hear him as he wrote, slowly saying the letters as he copied down what I had told him. I smiled to myself.
“Mommy? How do you spell love?”
“L – O – V – E”
“Oh yeah, I forgot! Like on the valentines.”
“Mommy? How do you spell best?”
“B – E – S – T”
Soon the Roc was at my desk, cards in hand.
“Dear Mom You are a good mom I love you you are the gest mom”
Take note, I’m not the best mom, I’m the gest mom.
These cards are still on my desk. A visual reminder of how the Roc really feels about me. Which is especially nice after bedtime battles during which I feel like the worst mom, at the end of my rope, yelling even though I promised myself I would stay calm through the storm. They also take me back to when I wondered if he would ever be able to hold a writing utensil to form letters, if he would ever express himself with words, if he would tell me he loved me.