For what feels like the last seventy-five years I've been (sometimes not-so-patiently) helping Charlie learn some constructive ways to handle negative emotions. On the best of days I have kindly said things like "I can tell you are frustrated. Trains should be fun. Maybe it's time to read a book for a little while." On not as good days I have warned firmly "If you throw that train one more time I'm going to put it on top of the fridge for the rest of the week!" On the worst of days I have shouted from the other room "KNOCK IT OFF!!"
I didn't think anything I did or said was getting through. I figured I was just going to have to ride out this stage of his life, which if he's anything like me, he's going to be dealing with some analog of the "train throwing" impulse well into his twenties. Maybe I should just supply him with some donuts and we can be stress eaters together!
And then, on Thursday, a miracle! Charlie was in the playroom working on his train tracks. I heard him rustling around and becoming more and more agitated. I was just about to go in there to intervene when he came out of the playroom and slumped to the floor in the living room.
"I SO FAH-RUS-TERATED!" he wailed then banged his tiny fist on the carpet.
Poor guy. I could not stop laughing. He got started on a new activity and all was well.
Then today, after we returned from the pool right at dinner time, I was in the kitchen starting dinner. Charlie skulked around in the dining room for several minutes then burst into the kitchen and said to Ryan "I am so an-guh-ree!"
We both giggled. How can you not with all those extra syllables? Coming from a three-foot kid wearing a shark swimsuit, crocks, and a purple life jacket? Ryan pulled himself together and offered him some raisins to hold him over. He felt better after eating something.
This extremely verbal stage has brought with it numerous surprises. Like the way he translates for Wesley ("Wesley say 'FEED ME MAMA! FEED ME MAMA!'") or like on Saturday right after we left the new house of new friends and Charlie shrieked "I want to poop in their new house!" just as I closed the door to the car. Or the way he can't visit a public restroom without announcing "I keep my white undies dry JUST LIKE PAPA!" I can't wait to hear what's coming next.