Really and truly. Because Friday Charlie has school. He seems to now require the structure of school to behave like a human being the rest of the day.
Yesterday was a Very Bad day. When Ryan came home I was sitting at the kitchen table staring, shaking, and exhausted. Wesley was eating leftover rotini casserole for dinner. And Charlie, darling boy, was asleep on the floor of his bedroom, in the third hour of a nap that began at four o'clock in the car after I just couldn't take it anymore.
I call it "compression therapy." When they get wild and nothing else works, strapping them snugly into their car seats makes a world of difference. So yesterday, after spending two hours trying to get Charlie to take a nap and stop destroying his room like a coked up metal band--and in the process taking away (in order) the books in his room, a trip to the library, stories at bedtime, and his quilt (it's eighty degrees in our house, I was not being cruel), and after he kicked me as I changed his dirty diaper, and then punched me when I told him not to kick me, and after I sat by his door as he screamed at the back of my head for several minutes, and after I screamed at him to "GET BACK IN YOUR BED" so loud we both started crying (Wesley laughed. The urge to laugh when a sibling is in huge trouble must be innate), and after I had gone downstairs after returning his quilt in an act of contrition for the yelling, and after he beat down the baby gate and came downstairs, where I was on the phone with Labmama marvelling at how outrageously bad a two-year-old's behavior can be (TG for friends, too, know what I mean?)...
After all that, at a total loss but knowing things could not continue down the same rapidly deteriorating path, I strapped them into their seats and backed out of the garage. I didn't know where I was going to go. But it had to be far and it had to have a drive-through. Charlie was asleep within minutes. Not just asleep, but out cold. His head lolled around with every turn and stop, but he never woke up. I pulled through the Dunkin Donuts drive-through and placed my order and he never woke up. When we got home I carried him to bed, where he stayed asleep for two more hours. A three hour nap. Beginning at four o'clock.
When Ryan came home my plan was to go to the gym and get on the treadmill and run until I could barely stand up. But instead I collapsed onto the table and cried. Ryan encouraged me to go take a long shower, which I did, and then got in bed and read my book. Half an hour later I heard Ryan put Wesley to bed. Charlie was awake. He came into my room and got in my bed and snuggled up next to me. He clung to me for the next hour until Ryan peeled him away so they could go buy me cookies to apologize. We watched football together in silence, snuggled up on the couch.
He wanted me to put him to bed. Maybe to show me that he had learned something and knew he could do a good job. He asked for stories and I had to tell him that he had lost stories when he kicked and punched me. He very solemnly said "Oh. I only kick soccer balls." I tucked him in and kissed him and closed his door.
He was still awake when I checked on him an hour later, but I didn't hear a peep out of him.