Charlie had a really terrible day.
Those of you who know me on Facebook were treated to a delightful play-by-play of my day, which included threatening to mail one of my beloved offspring to Pakistan (where his skills of manipulation and resistance would surely be useful in fighting the Tal*iban). Before 8:00 this morning, Charlie had already been exiled to his room once, for kicking Wesley, totally unprovoked, Wesley had already had a number of back-arching, screaming tantrums over not being allowed to scale my desk like a sherpa, and Charlie had had a potty accident (which I don't think was an "accident" as it occured during a time out).
Ryan was apologetic as he left me alone in the lion's den, but I swear I saw him kick his heels together as he walked to his car.
I'd list all of the conflicts we had today, but it would be easier to say that he fought me over every single thing I asked him to do that was not "eat an entire block of cheese for lunch and wash it down with a bottle of chocolate syrup." And even then he whined because I made him use a glass.
He screamed from his room about who-knows-what for forty-five minutes after bedtime. During that time I sat on the couch getting angrier and angrier because he had been doing this ALL DAY LONG! Why couldn't I get ONE HOUR of quiet time before bed? That is not a lot to ask! Finally I stormed up the stairs and around the corner to his room. I picked him up and dumped him unceremoniously on his bed, pulled the covers up to his armpits, and laid down next to him.
Still angry, I held him until he calmed down. He lay there hiccuping quietly for a few minutes then squirmed way over to the wall so we weren't touching as if to make a point that he was angry too. I fought back tears of frustration.
He yawned again then said "Tell me about Maine."
After a few minutes of talking about lobster boats and the ocean and Marmalade the Cat and staying in a house with Grandma and Grandpa and his special bed in the room with the slanty ceiling he had rolled across the bed so he could hold my hand. Our faces were an inch apart as he excitedly whispered about throwing rocks in the water and looking for hermit crabs and swimming in the ocean.
I kissed him and told him it was time to go to sleep and that I'd see him in the morning. As I gently pried my hand away from his grip and walked out of his room, he was still talking about lobster and tug boats and ice cream on the porch.
And I wasn't angry anymore either.