Bedtime is generally a smooth process for my middle son, Lincoln. Tonight he wanted his Kindle Fire instead of getting in bed. All the boys had some "fire time" so I didn't expect the ensuing battle.
Declan gave an "awwwwww mom" with a teenage like tone. Lincoln, on the other hand, went in to what I've started to call a rager. He got in to a tight ball, hid is face, hit his head on the wall and said "You're not my mom.....I'm leaving here....when you get up in the morning, I'm gone...I'm a jerk...I want to die." He's FIVE. These episodes vary in length and we don't know exactly when his inability to regulate his emotions will rear it's head. Other times, he's our easy "sure mom" kid.
I got him on my lap. Not an easy feat. This kid is solid. I stroked his hair as he told me how awful I was. Let's just say I'm glad I'm a power lifter because this kid hates being held when he's raging. I validated his feelings of frustration and asked how I could help him settle down. Sometimes he tells me he needs to take deep breaths and we do it together. Tonight, nothing would work so I changed gears and called for Ellie. She's our white boxer who joined our family a few months back. I joked with my mom that she's Lincoln's therapy dog. He loves her so much.
Ellie hopped on the bed and I proceeded to do deep breaths with her which, of course, got silly fast as she licked my face and pawed at my hand to be petted. Lincoln burst in to laughter and I felt his strong body relax. Eventually he laid down and asked that I lay with him. After a minute of silence he said he was ready to settle down and take 3 big breaths. We did them together.
Bedtime routine re-started and we prayed together with Declan too. You see, they share a room now. Linc has said enough negative things that Declan wants to keep close tabs on them. They're besties. My heart breaks that Decs, at age 7, has anxiety over his little brother's words and actions. Next up were songs. Linc requested Amazing Grace and he took my face in his hands and I sang it twice through with tears streaming down my face. He wiped them, stroked my hair. He hugged my neck and told me how much he loves me. I couldn't form words but I know he knows the feeling is mutual. I tell him all the time. I make sure to tell him no matter what he says and does, we will always love him.
His trauma brain imprisons him at times. He didn't chose the first two years of his life. Nor will he ever be completely whole because of them. On nights like tonight, I really hate the a-hole trauma brain. You won't win my son, TB. No way. I'll love him fiercely through all the dark chaos his birth parent's bad choices dumped on him. I've got your back, Lincoln James.