Tonight after dinner when Naveen caught me at the freezer, sneaking the ear off of a chocolate bunny, he ran fast to where I was, looked up with his enormous brown eyes and pleaded,
“Chocate? Chocate please Mama.” I rolled my eyes, peeled the electric blue foil wrapping off an egg and handed it to him.
A few minutes later, when he’d swallowed the last bit, chocolaty spit coating his chin and shirt, he gestured the sign for “more”. Again with those eyes. But this time I refused to let them stir me.
“Nope. Chocate all gone!”
When he asked a few more times, the fingers on both hands scrunched together, repeatedly making contact with each other, something he’d learned at daycare eons ago and saw that I still refused, he walked closer and began slapping my legs.
“Go ‘way Mama, you go ‘way!!”
This is how he deals with us lately when we deny him.
He then launched into a tantrum right there on the blonde laminate in our kitchen. Slightly detached from experience, I walked around him, tidied the dinner dishes and went back to helping Deaglan with his homework, keenly aware that this smallest of my boys was now howling my name and crying real tears.
I thought about how he must have felt: crazy wild with frustration and desire. I understood it – knew that it never goes away; we just learn to express it civilized.
It was such a contrast to my day. I’d been quiet inside, wordless. There was a desert-like quality to my thoughts, barren of the usual lush emotions, lost from my own needs, as if I was in a dream; one of those voiceless screaming dreams where no one hears my panic. And I felt the tightness in my throat, an achy thirst, aimless in its search for just the right thing.
It took a while to find it though – I’m slow to understand even after all these years with myself. I read a bit of her and it revived me. I remembered again for the gazillionth time that I need to feed my soul regularly or I will not thrive.
I gently coaxed Deaglan through connecting the dots, coloured the triangles yellow while he worked away on the red circles and eventually Naveen quieted, found my lap and snuggled into me.
This was yesterday morning. The Easter Bunny left Deaglan a scooter which he lost interest in within three and a half seconds. However, he refused to take this helmet off. Naveen received a bubble-blowing lawnmower which he lovingly referred to as "Vakoom" all the way to the park.