Lately the kid, at mealtimes, is non-stop frigging spastic energy. His behavior improved fro a little while but since increasing one of his antiepileptic medications it has worsened again. He flails his arms like an octopus on speed and kicks his feet into me with reckless abandon. He can’t manage a spoon when he is like this, and he’s not very good with one to begin with. The yogurt goes everywhere but in his mouth—in his hair, on his chin, his bib, his hands, the rug. When he kicks me, though it’s not malicious, he sometimes pins the skin of my inner thigh between his nubby shoe and my chair. Once, I leaned in to feed him a spoonful of cheesy egg and he inadvertently poked me in the eye with his thrashing, rigid fingers.

After a sleepless night is when this behavior is hardest to deal with. I get frazzled and frustrated and feel like screaming above his own screams. At times I do, which only causes Rudy, our ten-year old chocolate lab, to grow grayer than he already is. It escalates my own anger but, thankfully, just makes Calvin laugh. At times I feel like punching a wall. I never do. But I’ve had to remove myself from the situation and go whack my pillow. Once I pummeled repeatedly so hard that I injured my elbow and it ached for days.

I used to say that Calvin wasn’t manipulative, but when sitting in his high chair, when he wants my attention and isn’t getting it, he’ll scrape his teeth into the wooden tray gouging troughs and dislodging splinters that he inevitably must be swallowing. There’s a large divot in the tray to prove it. Somehow I’ve got to find a way to curb that behavior, among others. A fleece blanket covering the tray is my current solution, though our little Houdini has begun to figure out how to get around that trick.

But this crazy kid of ours, this goofball piece of work, is so damn cute I don’t know what to do with myself sometimes but just swoon. Lately, I’ve even begun feeling fulfilled knowing that he will be our only child, our one and only two-armed, two-legged octopus.

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