Erik Quinn: The Heart of a Family: Macho Mom

Friday, May 16, 2008

Macho Mom

Yesterday Erik decided that going to school was the worst fate possible. I concluded that because I had applied sunscreen all over his exposed skin, he was under the impression we were headed out to play in our own yard, not go to school. He then threw one of his famous fits while I located my keys and purse and tried to herd him out the door. He stiffened his body, growled, and flailed his arms and legs about like a Solid Gold dancer, making it very challenging to corral him in his car seat. I backed out of the driveway and frantically clawed around the Jeep for my iPod. I scrolled down the display until I found a song that might calm him down, a technique that usually works. There's nothing quite like blasting a Village People song while listening to a child scream at me at 9 a.m. It almost made me laugh. Almost. As we made our way across town, Erik stopped struggling in his seat and realized he was done for and that I was not going to fall for his little antics. I told him that he would play on the playground at school, after which he frantically scanned the landscape zooming past his window for anything resembling a park. He saw one and said, "There's a playground!" He continued pointing out anything that remotely resembled play equipment, including rows of horseshoe pits, telling he he didn't want to go to school the entire way. Even after almost a whole school year, he does not completely enjoy being around other children. He likes them just fine, but they are just too noisy, and he endures this only because he has to.

As it turns out, he apparently did fine once he was there. His teacher kicked me out of the classroom relatively quickly when I explained Erik was having an off day. I then headed to the salon to get my hair cut and hoped for the best. When the bus came up the driveway later in the day, Erik was in his seat smiling like the grand marshall of a ticker tape parade.

We had just one more major meltdown before the day was over. He loves the outdoors and detests coming back inside. Fortunately, however, I have figured out how to cope with this situation. I fed him, brushed his teeth, dressed him for our 85-degree weather, and gathered the work I had to do so I could complete it during his nap. We spent an hour outside in the glorious weather. Erik pushed his stroller around the property, as usual, and I sat in my lawn chair. At one point, he climbed onto his tricycle and pedaled a bit with my help. When it was time for me to work, I began putting things away, and he began screaming. I picked him up, dusted him off, and took him inside under my arm. I placed him flailing about in bed and screaming at me and shut his door. Having a gigantic hissy fit tends to tire a boy out. He slept, and I worked, finishing all of my rheumatology progress notes and sending them off electronically before dinnertime. Oh, I'm getting good at this.

My bright spot of the day was when Erik woke up and came out to cuddle with me as I enjoyed a cocktail and the evening news. He was in good spirits, having slept his usual three hours, and asked if we would go on a walk. I hugged him tight and said that his Boppa and Gua would probably take him on a walk the next day. I said, "Don't worry, Erik. You'll go on a walk soon."

He smiled and replied, "Eventually."

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Blogger Aspen said...

I love it when you quote him. Always makes me teary. *sniff*

We have these tantrums too...only at our house, Daven doesn't yet talk back to me. HA!

Enjoy that beautiful weather!

7:49 AM  
Anonymous Cathy Mindel said...

Hi Nancy,
I have an Eric with WS also, although he is 9. You have a great sense of humor which is important especially when facing obstacles.
I just wanted to say hello and to tell you how much I enjoy your blog.

9:32 AM  
Blogger Julie said...

85 degrees? You are so lucky. It really sounds like you had a good day.

9:51 AM  
Blogger kathi said...

"Eventually"...that's so cool.

2:46 PM  
Anonymous Auntie Dee-ta said...

Two peas in a pod... Brayden and Erik using the word "eventually"!

Thanks for calling me today... always-always a treat and thanks soooooo very much for sending the great summer weather our way!!!

Love ya oodles!!!!

4:50 PM  
Anonymous Auntie Dee-ta said...

Oh ya... Uncle Brad can totally dance like a solid gold dancer... seriously and I am totally breaking out the 33's and finding my favorite Village People album to share with Erik... so seriously!


4:55 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Hi Nancy, just wanted to let you know how much I've enjoyed your blogs. I have a 7 year old that the docs think have WS and am awaiting the FISH test. I live in Oregon as well, maybe I'll see you at Sophie's Run next year. Take care and give that little boy of yours a big hug!

11:07 AM  

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