Sunday, February 19, 2006

Sunday Lagniappe

Adam did a little decorating in the master bedroom over the weekend. Here he poses in front of his mural.

Adam had a busy weekend at home, going to all the usual places and doing all the usual things. I may have been too ambitious for him today. After he ran around petting dogs and watching fish at PetSmart, we went to Target to get more crayons. He pitched a fit in the checkout line, so I tried bribing him with a Sprite from the cooler in the line. No, that didn't do it, hmmm, oh, yeah, he wants a Sierra Mist from that particular cooler three aisles down. That worked, and I have no idea where that drink preference came from. We went to the mall and started playing with the tiny carousel there. Some nice grandma put her kid on the carousel, and the trouble started. The woman must have reminded Adam of someone, because he ran off of the carousel and charged at her, as if to push her away. Evidently, Adam had her confused with someone who simply isn't supposed to be in the Slidell/Northshore Mall part of his life. I grabbed him, but he persisted. The woman tried hiding behind a pole, but it didn't satisfy Adam. She was concerned about having upset him; if it had been me, I would have thought that Adam's dad was an idiot. Adam then slapped a girl on the arm, so I said, "that's it; we're out of here!" I picked Adam up, and started down the mall.

I was sick for part of the week, and yesterday was pretty bad. That left me weak and slow to respond. Adam lurched out of my arms in front of one of the stores, and landed on his back. Fortunately, he lurched as I was trying to get him off of the floor, so he didn't have far to go. A well-meaning mall cop came over and tried to help out, but really didn't understand the situation. Then the kid from the sunglass kiosk came over and said that he used to have out-of-control tantrums when he was younger. He gently placed Adam in a basket hold as I kept Adam from harming anybody. You don't hear me complaining about today's teenagers, though I could have lived without the kid asking whether Adam had been evaluated. A lady at the pretzel store who knows us by sight just handed us a pretzel and a lemonade when Adam wandered across the mall into that store, then she refused to let me pay for it. I felt like Blanche duBois, relying on the kindness of strangers. Adam finally got settled down enough to deal with things, but we were there for another hour before he was ready to leave. Even then, I had to pick him up and carry him around the exterior of the mall to get to the car.

This was the one bad part of a pretty good weekend with Adam, but it was very, very bad. It's the first time I've really felt like I couldn't control one of my kids. I've been warned about this, but I chose to ignore those warnings. I've always been able to whisk Adam or Toby out to the car and calm them by driving away from whatever is provoking them. This time, I was just too damn tired and weak. Sigh.

I got a call out of the clear blue sky from the old local LDS bishop tonight. He and his family moved to Houston a few years ago, and we weren't especially close, even though we worked together in church affairs. He said they were just talking about Slidell and wondered "how they're doing." I told him what's up with us and the kids, and asked about his kids (great kids, btw), but the whole time I was thinking "huh? wha?" I doubt anybody here put him up to calling us--we've always been open to being contacted, and we've had a comfortable, informal understanding for a few years that we and our ward leave each other alone. I mean, what do you say when someone you didn't know all that well calls out of the blue like that?


Ann said...

Are you talking about Cousin Lanny?

Wow, that's pretty weird. He's some good people, though...He and Cousin Ruth were very, very welcoming and kind when we first got here.

Randy said...

Yup, it was Cousin Lanny.

Once we had to take Toby to the ER, when Adam was maybe a year old. We dropped Adam off by Lanny and Ruth's on our way to the hospital. Adam terrorized their family by freaking out whenever someone would leave the room. Eventually, they all just sat still, moving only when necessary.

It may have been a memory like that one that prompted the phone call.

Just Me said...

I enjoyed your post, Randy. It's nice to hear there are 'strangers' who try to help.

Your boys are growing up so fast. I love the artwork on the wall. You could just put a frame around it.

Ann said...

I'm sorry you had a rough visit. I wonder what attachments you will have to surrender as a result.

Randy said...

Ann, I've been thinking about your question. There are attachments I refuse to abandon--hope, for instance--but I may have to arrange and time those mall trips a bit more thoughtfully. No doubt there's something of an ego attachment there, but I have done the same thing solo a jillion times before. I'm still adamant in my determination to provide my kids with opportunities for fun and play equivalent to those enjoyed by other kids--and, in Adam's case, that means letting him ride that damn carousel. That's like his version of Six Flags.