The past couple of weeks have been pretty tough. Monster Man is alternating between episodes of rage and episodes of extreme clingy-ness. One minute, he's in full rage mode, yelling and throwing things over what seems to us as no big deal (like asking him to clean his room, help unload the dishwasher, or even brush his teeth). The next minute, he's practically attached to my hip, begging for forgiveness for having been in an episode of rage previously. No matter how many times I tell him that it's okay, that I understand he is having a hard time controlling his emotions, he still apologizes. And then he apologizes for apologizing. And sometimes he apologizes for apologizing for apologizing...
I'm beginning to think that he's living in a constant fear of hurting someone's feelings. While he's having an episode, he tells us how much he hates us and how much he thinks we hate him. He says things that he doesn't mean to say, throws things at us, even occasionally tries to hit us. He also tries hurting himself, smacking himself in the face most of the time, but he tried to slam an aluminum pot into his foot the other day and a few days prior had tried to jump over the railing to the stairs. It's so hard seeing him struggling like that and knowing that there is very little that I can do to make it all better with the exception of reassuring him and continuing to show him how much I love him.
The medicine that I've been giving him continues to help with the rage, though I'm trying to limit when I give it to him so that he doesn't build a resistance to it. I try to give it to him only before softball games or other times when I know he lets himself get worked up, or at times when he's already starting to show signs that his emotions are getting out of control and we have to go somewhere. If we're staying home, I try to just let him work through the emotions. If we don't have to be somewhere, then we stay home when he's having a bad day. It's hard on Angel Baby and Little Man to know that we are choosing to cancel outings that aren't needed when he's at his worst, but I can't take the risk of taking him out somewhere (especially when it is just me and the kids) and trying to keep him under control while keeping an eye on the other two as well. We're getting through this bit-by-bit, and I'm hopeful that we'll still be able to do a lot of the fun things we do together each summer.
In the midst of all of this, my husband and I are starting to worry that Little Man might be following in his brother's footsteps. While Little Man does not have any noticeable tics just yet, he has always had a bit of an OCD side to him (he has to have certain things placed in the perfect position or he'll do what he has to do to get it right). He doesn't have anxiety issues, but he is most definitely starting to show signs of having some rage issues. My husband and I see the changes in Little Man's temper and often question whether it is just a stage or if it is signs of things to come. I guess only time will tell.