Holiday Ache (#554)

Traveling and holidays, new holiday foods and new sights and lots of relatives and jetlag from a three-hour time zone, a couple of weeks of erratic sleep: Everything caught up with Charlie today. One moment he was all smiles and the clearest speech (“guacamole! Mexxican food!”; “do da puzzoh righ’ now”; “Wilbur thah piggg”); the next (and this “next” kept coming in the very next moment, fast and furious) screaming, dropping to the floor in a fetal position or flailing backwards. When were were in my parents’ house, Charlie kept saying “s’oes” to go out. When we were out, he instead requested “Gong Gong house.”
Satisfaction eluded Charlie today.

Though he kept looking into the refrigerator, Charlie ate less than he usually does. Jim and I surmised he had a stomachache brewing and the four of us went through one scheduled activity after another: A walk by the water. A trip to the bank and then the grocery store (“bank first!”). Another viewing of Charlotte’s Web, with Charlie transfixed from the moment when Charlotte says good-bye to Wilbur at the fair. Dinner out for “Mexxican food,” a Charlie favorite.

But not at a shiney Tex Mex national chain, but at a local place with delicious freshly handmade tortillas. Charlie started a silent cry as we stood in line. He took the bundles of forks and knives, unwrapped the napkins, and lined up the forks like he always at his beloved restaurant where he gets brown noodles. He ate his guacamole and then poked at the rice and beans he eats with such gusto in the places he is familiar with, and nibbled on a chip.

Then he got home and started screaming.

Charlie had just showered and, on saying “puzzoh,” went to do one of the solar system he had completed this morning with my help: It is a circular puzzle with the planets’ orbits represented in curving colored lines, all against a deep blue background. On seeing him just shuffling pieces after a half-hour at it this morning, I knelt down to help him (and gave myself a bit of a head- and backache in the process). I was surprised he wanted to do it again.

The screaming started after we had done a third of the puzzle and it was not an ordinary scream. It was a loud, pained, wail such as Charlie had shook the beach house with back in August after getting mildly sunburnt. It had the desperate ring of ache, and Charlie’s stomach has been bloated all day.

I got him to lie down on the guest bed and sat on a stool. Just sat and listened to Charlie’s voice at full volume.

When it was over, Charlie said something into the sheets.

“Hahgg. ‘Ogg.”

“What’s that, sweetie?”

“Hahgg. Mahm hug.”

His arms were wrapped tight under him in the sheets as I put the full width of my own around him.

2 Responses to “Holiday Ache (#554)”
  1. Lisa/Jedi says:

    I’m with you in spirit, Kristina. It amazes me how much our guys seem to be living parallel-ly… Brendan had a similar sort of day yesterday, where he couldn’t bear to hear certain words said & needed constant distraction to avoid screaming jags. I felt so sorry for him… hope today goes better for both of our boys!

  2. KC'sMommy says:

    K.C.’s head is a deadly weapon at times I swear it is. He still has a knot on the back of his head from flailing backwards against the railing of the stairs.
    “Hahgg. Mahm hug.” Charlie is such a sensitive guy, such a sweetheart.

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