Wednesday was hellish. When Chi got home, he was already grounded due to his recent regression and his lack of participation at school and at home with his homework. I had told him Tuesday night as he shuffled off to bed, that he would be working on all that incomplete work from the moment he got home from school [the next day] until he got finished, or went to bed, whichever came first. As per his M.O. lately, he melted into a puddle at my feet Wednesday afternoon requiring a mop and bucket to clean up (read: patience and ibuprofen).
After a bit, when his moaning and chirruping were growing increasingly louder, I sat down at the table to see if I could assist him and eliminate some of the stress that might be aggravating the situation. He was working on multiplying mixed fractions, but seemed to not know how to do this (how, indeed? Hard to hear the teacher when one is busy occupying floor space) so I explained the finer points of fraction multiplication to him and we worked through several problems.
**NOTE** This is, in fact, a gross misstatement of the facts. Chi sat as limp and crumpled as one can be and still remain upright in the chair while I walked him step by step on a separate piece of paper prodding him into making calculations which he barely forced past limp lips and then achieved a feet of heretofore unknown lightness of pencil markings that could possibly be construed as writing the answer on his homework sheet. INFURIATING!
The further along we got with the work, the less I was doing, and the more recalcitrant Chi became. He stopped responding to my questions and stopped writing all together. I couldn’t get him to look at the paper or hold his pencil. I snapped. It had been an awful, awful day punctuated on both ends by this crap from Chi like some sort of horrible Spanish exclamation designed to gouge the brains right out of my head. I stomped away after saying something along the lines of “I can’t help you if you won’t let me” and “Why should I care, when you don’t care enough to even TRY!” I may have cursed.
I took deep breaths and came back to try again. All told, I spent about 45 minutes trying to help him with no response from Chi. I was just. so. mad. I was. ARG! SO I snapped at him. “PUT ON YOUR SHOES!” I stomped around and got my shoes and purse and keys and phone and went and tapped my foot by the door. He trudged up to me, barely picking his feet up and still remaining as limp as physically possible and still remain upright. My Chi was just not there anymore. He hadn’t been there all day.
We got in the car and I tried just talking. He didn’t respond. I put the car in reverse, backed out of the driveway, and headed down the road. When Chi still wouldn’t talk to me, I told him, “When I feel overwhelmed, and I just can’t take it anymore, I do one of my favorite things. Do you wanna know what that is?” nothing “I like to roll the windows all the way down, turn the music all the way up, and drive and sing at the top of my lungs. It’s one of my most favorite things. The wind whipping my hair around, sticking my hand out into the air, feeling the breathe leave my body at top volume, and feeling the thump of the music in my skin. It’s exhilarating and rejuvenating!” He glances at me askance and then buries his eye sockets into his kneecaps and plugs his ears with his fingers. /sigh…whatever.
We go to Target, walk the isles, and buy too much chocolate. The muttering and moaning and flapping and flopping are subsiding. I decide that we need more time for our mental health break. I can see that he is there, now. My Chi. The monster is withdrawing and Chi is taking control. So I crank up the music, roll down the windows and we go to Sonic to get uber unhealthy food and drink to finish the climb out of the mental health dumps.
Chi is back. He is hanging his arm out the window, bouncing along to the music, and smiling. As we pull into the driveway, Chi says, “I’m sorry that I acted like that.”
I say, “I forgive you. I’m sorry that I yelled at you like that.”
Chi says, “I forgive you. I like the windows rolled down. Can we turn the music up louder next time?”
“Sure,” I say.
There is something about the windows down and the music loud that can cure just about anything, don’t you think?