It Came Out of Nowhere (#490)

In mid-shower, Charlie started to cry so the window seemed to shake in its frame. Crying became screaming as he sat wrapped in a towel and, just after he pulled on his pajamas, we were in the old familiar territory of a tantrum. Charlie yelled and sniffled, he went down, and before I could think to remember how best to proceed, I had slid down to my knees so my body was between his head and the floor.
My dad and I guided Charlie (who slapped his forehead and then the stair railing with his hand, and seemed to be leaning his head toward the wall) to the living room and I called for my mom to bring over one of the 100-piece puzzles they had just bought for him at Target. Doing something that is just a bit more than challenging—practicing the piano, doing a 100-plus piece jigsaw—-has proved an effective means to get Charlie into de-tantrum mode, and the puzzles had been purchased with this express thought (hence the choice of two puzzles with not very Charlie designs, two love bird canaries in a heart-shaped bower and Hello Kitty with a surfboard) (a beach theme always gets me).

It took a good half-hour for Charlie to stop crying, during which he diligently together the puzzle. He seems to work more by shape than by color—picking up any piece and trying its edges now and now again—after piecing the border together first.

The crying-yelling-banging-hitting came out of nowhere and went away to someplace else, and Charlie with his head curled into the arm of the couch. He was humming a lot less than he has been over the weekend and on Friday, though not talking as much as he has been; the clearest words Charlie said were “Miss Cah-ween!”

“That’s your old teacher,” I said. “Who’s your teacher now?”

Charlie said her name and I thought of how he had been frowning as he rolled from our bed (which he had crept into on waking early) and across the lawn and onto the sidewalk as the school bus pulled up. The door opened, he got on.

“Always with a smile,” the bus driver said and, through the tinted glass, I could see Charlie grinning under his blue jacket hood.

Like out of nowhere.

One Response to “It Came Out of Nowhere (#490)”
  1. KC'sMommy says:

    “Always with a smile,” the bus driver knows your big guy well. It sounds like Charlie pulls himself together quickly after a tough time. The puzzles are a wonderful idea Kristina.
    I love reading about Charlie:) He’s an amazing guy:)

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