Lately, I pretty much forget that Simon has extra stuff going on. Then, we have moments like tonight and I am reminded that we are doing "parenting plus".
He's been on a kick the last few days where about half the time he's talking, he's declaring, with great emphasis, and triggered by nothing apparent, "I'm ma-yad!" "I'm ang-a-ry!" I'm frus-trated!". We ask and ask, "Why are you angry? What happened? Are you angry about x,y,z?" He won't answer and looks even more mad that you're asking him about it. So we try a new tactic- "Yeah, I hear that you're mad" and nod sympathetically. Sometimes no matter what we do, it spins him into a fury.
This, as you can imagine, is somewhat maddening. Almost more so now that he's pretty reliable about communicating needs and wants. Bopping along and then hitting a pothole like this makes one a little...mental.
On our evening walk, our dog was a total jerkface and went bezerko on another dog. Laura got caught in the crossfire and was really pissed about it. (Rightfully so, I might add. I was pissed too Our dog can be a total asshole). About 30 minutes after we got home, Simon said, apropos of nothing, "Mommy is mad".
I decided to take the opportunity to work on answering direct questions. "Why is Mommy mad, Simon?" , I asked him. "Buffalo dancer!" he replied. I sighed and coached him every single step of the way to get him to say, "Mommy is mad because Roxie hurt her". As soon as I got the whole thing out (coaching practically every word, I tried to get him to do a quick repeat to cement the process. Total popcorn. "Roxie burped" "Roxie farted" "Roxie is a drummer" "Chicken dancer!" with his charming little impish smile on his face like it was a game.
I am not clear if he can't remember what happened, he can't figure out the process of pulling out the information to answer the question or if he's just fucking with me. Whatever the cause, I felt like this:
I was so mad I wanted to scream like a wild beast and throw something. Instead, I took a deep breath and tried to wipe the disappointed/irritated look off my face. It's so hard to know we may never know the answer to what the heck goes on in his brain. We're making progress toward more typical communication but I still find it so frustrating. And a little terrifying. I don't have any faith that if anyone hurts him or does something creepy that he'll be able to communicate about it. I don't generally walk through the world afraid of stuff like this, but he's out in the world more on his own and it's something I think about every once in a while. Ugh.
On a better note, Simon's Duncle Mike (Donor Uncle) and Auntie Virginia and his brother Daniel and sister Emily came up for a visit yesterday. We keep intending to get together every quarter, but we average more like twice a year. It's always sweet, but this time felt a little different.
Simon and his brother (who is 19) just went off by themselves and did brother things like this:
Then he played brother/sister games with Emily.
He got some good Duncle drumming time:
And we all got the thing this only child of an only child of an only child wants for her only child.
I am more grateful every year that we chose to build our family the way we did. Thank you, Universe or whatever you want to call it, for putting Mike and Virginia and Daniel and Emily (and Ari, who wasn't there) in our paths.
We have created a more lovely family than I ever could have imagined.