I went home last night to a very grumpy Jay, a very frustrated CC and a somewhat resentful Ace.
CC confirmed that Jay had been difficult all day. I think the term he used was that Jay had been a “pest”. He cried a lot. He tormented Ace at every turn. He wanted everything and anything that Ace was playing with. From his blanket to his Kindle. He got mad when they (CC and Ace) didn’t repeat the words he wanted them to repeat – in the way he wanted them to say them. He didn’t want to take off his pajamas. He didn’t want CC to help him zip them back up after using the bathroom. He didn’t want to eat. There was just no pleasing him.
We’ve had many days like that with Jay before but thankfully they are way less frequent now. I always worry that he’s in some kind of pain and can’t tell us. As far as I can tell, that’s never been the case. None-the-less, I still worry. It’s awful seeing your child thrashing around batting you away and knowing there’s nothing you can do about it. All you know is that your child is unhappy. Plain and simple. And you have no idea why so you can’t fix it.
Ace asked me to play with him but I didn’t have the energy for it. I had just gotten home from work and I felt like I should try to give CC a break. He was clearly at the end of his rope.
I asked Ace to hang on a second and to entertain himself while I tried to calm Jay down. That’s when he hit me with …
“But I just want to play with you. Daddy didn’t play with me all day. He was always busy. And Jay didn’t play with me either. All he did was cry and take my stuff.”
Holy hell. I was so sad for him in that moment. He’s a really great kid. He is such a great big brother to Jay. He looks out for him. He shares with him. He repeats the words that Jay wants repeated. Over and over and over and over. But he gets tired of it. Of course he gets tired of it. It wears us out too and we’re the adults.
I told him that I was sorry he hadn’t had a good day but that sometimes that’s just how it is. I told him I was proud of him for behaving well despite Jay being grumpy and I told him that the next day would be better since Jay would be going back to school but he still had one more day to stay home. I told him he would have Daddy all to himself and they would play. He asked me to promise. I did. He asked me to talk to CC for him and tell him of the promise I had made. I did.
Later in the evening, CC went for a walk in the cold November air and came back feeling refreshed.
Ace and I were on the couch looking through the Toys R Us catalog. Again. I could tell he was starting to feel better. He just needed a little loving.
CC then gave him $8 for his good behavior all day. Ace quickly added in the $2 he had gotten last week from the tooth fairy and announced that he now had $10. We told him he could pick something from the toy store with his earnings. He definitely perked up some more at that news.
Jay came running out of his room with a smile. He jumped on top of me and then looked at CC and said “what’s up daddy?”- like nothing had ever happened. CC shook his head. I laughed.
Everyone went to bed in a pretty good mood. I don’t know what happened.
Like I told Ace, it’s just like that sometimes.