The Volcano And The Hawk. Kind of sounds like a title to a cool story. Trust me, it wasn’t. The plot basically involved an overly emotional 3 year old and a chicken eating hawk. Which kind of fell into the comedy category many hours after it had happened and a few bowls of ice cream later. And marshmellows. And chocolate. And the very strong consideration of picking up drinking wine.
Throughout the week last week there was a smoldering inferno brewing. His name happened to be Caedmon. I had sensed it building all week long and had tried throughout the week to slow the embers but it was just a matter of time. Luckily the time of the explosion came after our first social worker visit on Friday morning. We didn’t miss the explosion by much, only a couple of hours, but it was enough. (social worker visit went well by the way, Edric showed lots of signs of improving in his attaching throughout last week which was encouraging by Friday’s visit).
The explosion of pent up 3 year old emotions did coincide with the time that Clint was suppose to meet a friend, but luckily the friend is also a dad and has lived through 3 year olds and siblings and the mess that comes with it all, so he came over here to meet Clint while I drove the spewing 3 year old around in nothing but a pair of shorts. Edric had fallen asleep for his nap and Leighton was playing quietly, so 2 out of 3 wasn’t bad except for the 3 year old was running through the house simultaneously screaming, crying, kicking, and just plain exploding.
I remember Leighton having this plethora of emotions when he was the same age and Caedmon had arrived on scene. But the memories are mostly nightmares and not something I was looking forward to living through again. But alas. Mix a 3 year old and all the emotions that come with them (sometime between when they fall asleep at 2 years and 364 days and wake up the next morning someone fills them up with CRAZY EXTREMEME emotions) and a new sibling, and everyone being overly tired and just everything and you are doomed. I think moms of 3 year old boys (and probably 3 year old girls, but I’m not sure never having been there), deserve special shining stars. Like the same kind of shining stars that they give to moms of teenage girls. I have never been a mom of teenage girls but I was a teenage girl once and that’s enough.
Caedmon’s world has been turned upside down (so has all of ours, but this past week he was feeling it the strongest by far). And so we keep talking, and finding ways that he feels like he is still important and not out of control. And teaching him what to do with those emotions. Sometimes that means he goes to Grandma (“Honey”)’s and Grandpa’s house for the weekend. It seemed to help. He’s not back to himself all the way and that’s going to take some time as we all navigate this new “normal” but we are seeing glimpses of himself emerge again. And there will be days that are easier and then days that are far from that. And more likely moments that are easier and moments that are much harder. It’s too much to ask for a smooth day yet. It has been a good reminder though of how much of this parenting gig I cannot do on my own and need to daily (hourly too) spend time on my knees.
And lest we forget the hawk in the midst of 3 year old volcanic eruptions. We had just finished dinner and I had run upstairs to throw a pair of comfy capris on so I could wash the dishes and clean the kitchen with the plan that Clint would take the three boys outside and run/wrestle/tickle the last bit of energy out of them in hopes of a smooth bedtime. From my bathroom I heard a squawking like I had not heard before. I rushed to the window and looked out, and Clint was standing in the middle of the yard with the hose aimed just above the window that I was at and was saying “It’s ok Ben, I’ve got you”. At the same time I could hear Leighton wailing downstairs. After the volcano earlier in the afternoon I was ready to just hide under my bed and eat chocolate, but instead I called out the window to Clint to find out what was going on. He yelled back something about a hawk.
I hurried downstairs and found Leighton still wailing, Caedmon telling me “Mommy a hawk came and ate Ben” and Edric just looking a little confused and near tears because Leighton was crying. Out the porch window I saw a large pile of Ben-the-chicken feathers. I picked both Leighton and Edric up and held them while they sobbed and asked Caedmon if he was ok. Caedmon said “yeah mommy, a big hawk flew down and ate Ben dead”. Caedmon thought it was cool. Clint stuck his head in the door and asked if I would comfort the boys while he tended to the wounded chickens. I’m good at comforting and all, but Clint is terrible at tending to anything injured or having anything to do with blood. Like passes out cold at the mention of blood most of the time (ie, all the time).
I got Leighton calmed down to the point of quietly sobbing and Edric had stopped crying. I asked Caedmon if he would stay inside and help his big brother feel better and he told me “no I want to see the chicken where the hawk ate it”. At this point I figured my husband was passed out somewhere in the middle of the yard with a half eaten chicken nearby. So I cautiously opened the door and Clint was amazingly still upright. He told me he couldn’t find Korea the chicken but knew where injured Ben the chicken was. Lamby had been broody so she was already in isolation and had missed out on the whole fun. I found Korea, unharmed and cowering near the coop and put her away. Caedmon meanwhile was following me and saying “Mommy aren’t you glad that the hawk didn’t eat my chicken dead”.
We found Ben-the-chicken and she (yes she) was still alive. And not gravely injured. She was missing a large chunk of feathers. A LARGE CHUNK, which of course I remembered was in full view of the porch door so I sent Clint to go clean those up before Leighton saw them and started wailing again (too late). I brought Ben over to see the boys and reassure them that she was ok. We put Ben away for the night and whatever had been the plan for the evening we tossed and opted instead to watch a few Thomas the Train videos. Sometimes you just do what you have to do.
And now we laugh about it.
In brief we are settling in. Attachment is coming, slowly but surely we are starting to see signs which have been encouraging. We are all exhausted beyond belief, but slowly figuring this thing out. He was never told no, which is common in the Korean culture so there is a whole new level of learning and guiding going on there. But day by day we are making progress. And right now I’ll take it. Even if it involves volcanoes and hawks.