The afternoon didn't start off well. I tried to get a jump on the homework, and in either impulse or retaliation, Bubba locked me out of the house while I was getting Moosie off of the bus. The little shit locked the storm door in the front and the door in the garage. Luckily "the count down from 5" is ingrained in his little brain and he couldn't stop the compulsion to do the right thing and unlock the door when I shouted "TWO!" through the door.
The rest of the evening didn't fare well either. I had a baked clay school craft hurled at me (I think it was a seahorse) in between trips to the "sensory room" for "time out." The rest was just, well, kind of typical of what happens during a meltdown. Moosie poked in from the sidelines, but was generally content with the "Mom and Bubba" show.
And the worst of it? I cancelled the inexperienced babysitter that was supposed to come over and play with the boys while I attended the monthly PAC (Special Education Parent Advisory Council) meeting. And to top that, I forbade anything electronic for the rest of the evening (this was at 5:30!). No TV. No movies. No computer. No XBOX. Nada. Nada. Nada. What in the Hell did I do that for?
And because I was crabby, or maybe just because I had nothing planned, I said that St. Nicholas probably wasn't coming tonight. I never remember when St. Nicholas is supposed to come, but Bubba remembered and would not stop asking about him.
But nighttime came with promises of relief. Dinner, bath/shower, minimal crying about being bored and being left alone (I finally figured out that he thought that when I said the babysitter wasn't coming over that I was just going to leave him home alone while I went alone to the meeting). And then he was asleep by 9PM. And Moosie, still processing the evening's events, let him sleep.
A short time later, I found a raggedy, worn shoe strategically placed by the TV, above the stockings. Even in an afternoon and evening full of explosions and tears, Bubba, in his innocence, thought St. Nicholas just might come. Just maybe.
I think St. Nicholas might just stop by with something small. Every kid deserves magic, don't you think? And while I am strict (when it matters), I will never purposefully crush Bubba's spirit. There are enough people out there who won't think twice before doing that.
Maybe Bubba put out his shoe just hoping for a gift like greedy selfish little children do this time of year. But I believe in hope, and that is a gift I will always choose to give no matter what.