Thursday, December 08, 2005

The Peaceful Beauty of Heavy Equipment

This story: Is it testament to the likelihood that my son's inherited my family's compulsive tendencies? Is it testament to the possibility of the truth of my father-in-law's pronouncement (his hope?) (his prophecy?) that my son is "all boy"?

Spring 2005
Our son got very upset about something very minor — minor to the rational non-pre-schooler mind — and he couldn't seem to calm down for quite a while. The crying was becoming gagging, and one of us ran for a bucket. But he finally calmed down. It had been happening a fair amount lately.

We tried to be all proactive (read: we were ready to try anything) and start teaching him visualization therapy - lite. We explained to him that sometimes when we get upset, we try to think about something that makes us feel calm or happy, like, for example, the ocean. We elicited a few things he might want to try to think about. One was bunnies.

December 2005
My son was starting to use a testy tone to respond to a question I asked. He was acting like I was ordering him around (which I'm allowed to do, I'll have you know). I told him I was "just asking" and asked if he could calm down before he got himself or me or mama all upset.

"You like thinking about bunnies to make you feel calm," my wife added.

Our son responded in a dreamy voice, "No ... just street sweepers."

Back to Spring 2005 - Just before the previous flashback
Benjamin's been developing a lot of little phobias lately. They usually go away after a few days to a couple of weeks. Then, however, a new one will replace it. One of his latest is litter. If he sees litter, he wants to throw it away. Any litter. All litter. If litter is blowing away, he goes berserk, "GET it! GET IT!!" Crying, "No, someone else WON'T pick it up!!!"

The litter phobia gradually faded away, like a wrapper receding in the distance. But the hope and dream of a clean street never dies.

Street sweepers.

It's the circle of life.

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