Last night at about The Mayor lost it.
It’s been happening with some regularity, this all out hysteria.
He starts crying, escalates to wailing and then reaches a place from which he can’t seem to descend.
It’s actually quite sad.
Last night his tantrum came when we decided that our napless boy was too tired for anything other than the bath, books and bed routine.
Contrarily, The Mayor had a social call in mind and was devastated to learn that no post dinner visit with his friend would occur.
A few nights ago the hysteria came when “movie night” ended.
For the first time in The Mayor and The Rooster’s lives K and I decided to pop corn and watch a movie with them.
We chose The Lion King – and I will be up front and admit that it was a dumb choice given that DISNEY GUARANTEES A PARENTAL DEATH SCENE.
[What is wrong with those freakin’ happy mouseketeer people?]
At any rate, K and I got The Mayor and The Rooster to agree that since we would be staying up late we would NOT be reading stories when the movie ended.
We agreed that we would go right to sleep after the movie.
Instead of a peaceful transition to bed when The Lion King ended there was, instead, a great wailing.
The Rooster gave up, but The Mayor blew the proverbial gasket.
I have never been The Mayor’s favorite parent. From the beginning he has been K’s child, so much so in fact, that my feelings have often been hurt by his overwhelming preference for his father.
Though K remains his alpha human, The Mayor and I seem to have finally developed our own kind of closeness.
Though he never picks me first to be his playmate, story reader or daytime pal, he sometimes seeks me out in his darker moments.
Last night I sat beside the tub giving Rooster a bath while The Mayor chased K around the house kicking him in the shins and screaming.
Eventually he made his way to the bathroom and sank into my lap sobbing with his head buried in my sweater.
“I want to go to Ella’s,” he wailed.
“I know, I know,” I rocked.
“I won’t whine! I won’t cry!” he shrieked.
“Is that why you think we’re not going to Ella’s?” I asked. “Do you think it’s your fault?”
“It’s just getting too late,” I soothed. “We’ve run out of time in this day.”
Mostly I just held him.
It occurred to me that being held is sometimes all I want when I am upset.
I don’t want my problems fixed or solved. I don’t want to talk. I just want two strong arms to hold and rock me.
I tried to make my arms steady and sturdy for The Mayor while he let his frustration pour out.
From my perspective, there seem to be two kinds of tantrums.
There is the tantrum where The Mayor is simply being a big, old-school jerk and then there’s the tantrum masking something deeper.
A few nights earlier when The Mayor lost it after we watched The Lion King, I felt sorry him.
To me, the movie tantrum seemed rooted in something different than our contract to go straight to sleep (at p.m.!!!) without any stories.
I crawled into bed beside The Mayor’s shaking, rage-filled, little body.
I rubbed his back softly while he sobbed and sobbed.
Finally, when he exhausted himself, he said,
“Why did the Daddy Lion have to get dead?”
So that was what troubled him.
We talked about Mustafa’s death for a long time.
The Mayor’s breath eventually became even, but he was still upset.
“Will you sleep in my bed?” he asked.
I said I would.
“Will you stay here all night?” he asked.
“Do you want me too?”
“Yes,” he said.
I wiggled into the tiny space his sprawled out toddler form left for me in his narrow bed and gave him a snuggle.
Though I missed my own pillow and my usual sleeping companion, I felt good.
I want to be close to The Mayor.
I love him and get jealous of K’s closeness to him sometimes.
I think The Mayor and I are finding our way to each other on our own terms.
I hope so.