Wednesday, January 28, 2009
what frustration looks like
Yesterday, Elliott, Ben, and I were playing outside. Elliott is, let's face it, sort of a pain in the ass in that he is constantly screaming and hitting his head on the cement because he doesn't quite know what he wants out of life. Benjamin wants my undivided attention but I am usually on Elliott-watch so that he doesn't split his head open by jumping off of the playset. Because I couldn't play the game he wanted me to play, Benjamin decided to draw outside instead, and he drew a lovely picture of a big tree in our backyard. In his picture, one of the branches of the tree fell onto the ground. "Mommy, who knocked it down?" he asked. "I don't know. Who do you think?" I responded. He paused, thought for awhile, and said, "The gerbil." "The gerbil?" I confirmed. Did he know what a gerbil was? His forehead furrowed. "No! The gerbil." As soon as "gerbil" came out of his mouth again, he hit his lips with his hand. He was trying to say something else, but gerbil kept coming out. "Gerbil" he repeated, and hit himself again. He looked so sad and angry and he wouldn't stop hitting his mouth. It was horrible. I told him to come over to me and he folded himself into my arms and hugged me. It's okay, I said, sometimes you just have to practice to get it right. He just sighed deeply. His speech has come so far, but sometimes he still can't get the pronunciation just right, and kids at school don't understand him. Sometimes, rarely, I can't understand him, and this is the result. At that moment, Elliott flipped head first off his tricycle, and, again, started screaming. "Maybe it's time to go inside," I said. Ben nodded, leapt out of my lap, and told Elliott that our time was up, the sun was going down. Elliott screamed the whole way.