I am sitting in my kitchen with the doors closed, music on, trying to drown out the screaming of my Older Son.
*Possibly the best line I’ve ever written on my blog.*
He’s losing his mind over Mario Super Sluggers and screaming so loud that even Younger Son said, “He needs to take a break.”
He did the same thing last night and we eventually left him to go upstairs and read Harry Potter (yes, thank you Lord, my son is finally reading the books after owning them for three years, because the endless unanswered questions left by the movies drove him to it).
Anyway it’s such a wonderful way to spend a Saturday morning. I had to give Older credit because he was up an hour before me and didn’t make a peep so that I could sleep in. Holding that in must have been hard but he did it for his dear old Mum. And for that I have to hold in my urge to tell him to “KNOCK IT OFF!!!!”
I thought we were finally past this phase. He used to do the exact same thing when he was younger, venting his frustration at seemingly impossible video games. Then he finally grew out of it and it was like a cloud lifted.
But now he’s back to it and I think I’ve figured out why: hormones. He’s getting flashes of pre-teen angst, snide comments here and there, running up to his room and hiding. ANYTHING my husband says to him is taken as a personal attack.
Dad: You made a great save.
Older: I DON’T WANT TO TALK ABOUT IT!!!!!
I knew all of this was coming and I’m not surprised or upset. I’m really quite sympathetic (well he’s my kid, of course I’m on his side). I think part of why I work well with children is because I remember quite vividly what it feels like to grow up. Not the exact details or events, but the VERY BIG FEELINGS that made everything seem like your life was about to end dramatically.
I look at the challenges he’s facing and they’re pretty big for an 11-year-old boy. His team gets crushed every Saturday and Sunday. He’s dealing with a whole new set of fears that have just appeared after a long time of feeling overly confident about the world and his capabilities to handle it. He has a huge burden of homework, some of which he doesn’t understand and no one can seem to explain to him. He wants to feel capable and strong, not confused and emasculated.
Of course none of this compares to my Polish neighbor, who was in a German POW camp at age 11, so we do try to keep it in perspective.
But still, the pain of the screaming. I have a hard time relating to Older’s outbursts because well, first of all the sound makes me want to do horrible things to him. But it’s also not how I handle anger. I hold it all in until I lose it and have to go in the basement and punch the heck out of Nubs. Older vocalizes his pain.
But then I remember, I learned this technique when I was in labor and it really worked. Someone (probably my pregnancy yoga teacher) told me it’s the worst pain of your life, you’re allowed to yell. But do it in a growling way to release it instead of shrieking like a banshee. And it actually did work.
Nowadays if I stub my toe (or slice my hand with a knife, which I did last week while cutting the cantaloupe and yelling at a day care kid to stop hitting someone), the rumble comes up from my gut and actually eases the pain, or at least takes my mind off it.
So I have to accept for a while that this is Older’s outlet. I know it will pass because it has before (and then God knows what he’ll use to soothe the pain).
It seems that my banshee finally won the level so he’s calm for the moment. But I know he’ll be back.