The past couple of weeks we’ve been dealing with an new onslaught of what seem like extreme emotions from Eli:
Anger when we tell him “no”, usually about treats or tv. The anger comes with stamping feet and a yell that makes me duck my head in shame, because the boy is starting to sound like me.
Sadness over every activity’s end, whether it be computer time or play time with a buddy. The sadness is complete, vocal and seemingly unending. After about three times in the past week of wailing and gnashing of teeth that rivals a funeral procession, I threatened not to plan any future playtime with his friends if every session was going to end with so much grief.
Monday topped it all, though. He requested to watch Elmo in Grouchland, a movie we own but haven’t watched recently. It had rained here most of the night and morning and we weren’t going outside anytime soon, so I said yes to Elmo.
Fifteen minutes into it, Eli came to me on the verge of tears because Elmo had had a fight with Zoey, lost his blankie, was lost himself, Grouchland was scary and Huxley was scary. I promised him that all would turn out well and I finally got him to go back and watch some more. He was back again quickly because the animals Elmo was meeting on his journey were scary. I promised him again that if he would keep watching, all would end well.
We paused for lunch just after my favorite song: Huxley (Mandy Patinkin) singing “Mine!” After lunch, I sat down with him to finish the movie so he wouldn’t be scared. He had some last questions and reservations afterwards though.
“Why did Huxley sing ‘Mine!’?”
“Because he was greedy.”
“That’s when you don’t want to share with anyone and you want to keep all of your stuff to yourself. Huxley was lonely because he was greedy. No one wanted to be around him because he didn’t know how to share.”
Big tears were welling in Eli’s eyes.
“But that makes me so, so sad that he would be lonely!” he wailed.
With Eli, everything goes back to the human element. Loneliness in Eli’s mind is the equivalent of being shot by a firing squad after being set on fire.
Don’t even get me started on what happens when we have to smash a bug around here.