I’m supposed to be making a pumpkin pie right now. Instead, I’m resting my back, waiting for Bob to get home with some ingredients I need.
Bug is supposed to help me bake. He loves pie, and that’s not just a vocal tic. Well, it is and it isn’t. He has a vocal tic: “I like pie.”
It’s fairly awesome as far as vocal tics go. He’s had it for so long, that we make a game out of it. He says it. We repeat it back. He repeats it back to us. We ask him if he likes pie. He asks us if we like pie.
A few months ago it morphed into an interest in making pies, and he developed a recipe for a pie of his own, which he prepared. It was delicious.
But tonight, he doesn’t have it in him. When I asked if he’d help me his tics, not the pie tic, but others, started to flare (a sure sign he’s stressed). I eased up on the pie request and asked for his help with other tasks I can’t do because of my back. He helped with the laundry, unloaded part of the dishwasher, and went to take a shower. When he came back, I dished up his dinner.
“Why don’t you want to make the pie, Bug?”
“Mom, I’ve just had a really bad day.”
Huh. He hadn’t really done much today, including giving me any indication his day was anything other than ideal. “What was bad about your day? You didn’t even do much today.”
“I mean, I have had a bad five months, Mom.” He paused. “I haven’t felt good for a looong time, Mom.”
“Haven’t felt good physically or haven’t felt good emotionally, Bug?”
“Emotionally, Mom. I think Dad’s thing has actually been bothering me.”
Then he changed the topic to his computer and something completely unrelated for a few minutes as he plopped himself down in his spot on the leather sofa. (Just like Sheldon on The Big Bang Theory, Bug has a spot.)
I walked the short distance down the hallway to my room, leaving my door open. “You know Mom, things have also been really bad for me since the BOB* was installed on the TV,” he shouted down the hallway. “It was a lot better when Peanut and I just took turns watching the TV.”
Nice try, Bug. We know emotions are hard, love. That’s why we try to give you and Peanut lots of space when you ask for it, and words to identify the emotions that can be confusing, and hugs when it feels like the world’s out to get you. We won’t always get it right, but we’ll always try and we’ll always love you most.
*BOB is a TV time manager. Each child has a PIN they enter that enables the TV/computer/game system (whatever’s plugged into BOB) to be turned on. We had turned off our cable/satellite TV about 3 years before Bob (not BOB) was diagnosed with Cancer and hadn’t missed it much, but decided to turn it back on when he started chemo since he’d be holed up at home for quite a few months. Fine for the adults, horrid for the kids. The got lazy about they’re viewing, argued over what to watch, whose turn it was, just obnoxious. Since Daddy still wants the cable, this was the down and dirty solution.