Monday, February 4, 2013

The Magic of Editing

I try to stay positive. I really do. But it seems that for every brilliant moment, there's a Saturday. For every promising attempt at conversation, there are two days of constant screaming and whining. Every time I start feeling confident and am foolish enough to admit to it out loud, some senseless crap comes and smacks me in the head.

We have just come out of one of the toughest weekends I can remember. Meltdown after meltdown. That torturous shrieking sound that would make men confess to war crimes just to make it stop.

I don't know what's been bothering my baby lately, but it seems to have something to do with wanting to move back to our old apartment and/or with fear of our solar system. Between screaming jags, Ryan has revealed tantalizing clues about his distress.

Through the wonder of editing, I will now bring you the entirety of the positive part of the last few days without subjecting you to the Gitmo tactics:

On Wednesday, out of the blue, Ryan started begging, "Can I go back to the old house? Can I live in my old room in Mount Verminon?" [for anyone who's been to Mount Vernon, NY, you know that's not inappropriate]

I asked him, "Why, what's wrong with your room?"

As expected, no response to the open question, I refined it: "Is your room nice or yucky?"

"It is yucky."

"What's yucky about it?"

As expected, no answer.

* * *

On Friday, Ryan was playing happily in his room when he turned to me and asked, "Can I have scissors?"

What do you want scissors for?

The shockingly clear answer: "I got to cut down the planets on my ceiling."

Ryan's favorite gift this past Christmas was a set of glow-in-the-dark planets and stars that he had excitedly instructed us to hang all over his bedroom. At his request, I removed the planets and stars. He seemed content, perhaps even relieved.

* * *

That night at bedtime, Ryan stared out his window and calmly cried, "Go away, Night! Go away, creepy Night!" The window shade has been stuck on a diagonal, too broken to fully open or close. I cut the strings on the broken shade so we could pull it all the way down and cover the dark. Ryan smiled happily.

I asked him, "Is your room nice or yucky?"

And he answered, "It is not yucky anymore because the stars are in the sky with the moon but I can't see them."

Normally, this is where I would frame this conversation with some sort of silver-lining spin, but there was an awful lot of gray cloud this weekend, so I'm just going to go back to rocking in the corner to relieve my shell shock.

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Keep it civil, people.