Susan's Blog

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Indian Food Is (Not) All the Rage

We ordered Indian take-out today, because I did not want to cook on a Saturday, and because Max was not home (Max is out at his very first job. He is babysitting for friends of ours, a few blocks away! He called on his way over there to get directions, but I think it was to tell me he was nervous. We are staying home tonight in case he has to call someone.) Max does not do well with other kinds of food (other than what I have been cooking for him his whole life.)

I did not say anything to Nat, about Max or about dinner. I did not have time to tell him about Max. Nat was out all day with one of his buddies, and I was raking, and by the time we all got back together it was too late to think about who needed what kind of warning. Nat loves just about any food put in front of him anyway, except for milk, cheese, and bread (he’s naturally GFCF!). So why not Indian food?

So, the food arrived and I was ravenous. Nat peered into the big paper bag, whispering stuff like, “salt and pepper, juice…” and suddenly started biting his arm, quivering with anger and frustration, the arteries in his neck as thick as fingers. He was jumping up and down, fully gone into an all-out rage.

Was it the Indian food? Ned and I looked at each other in total frustration and disappointment.

I knew there was no point in talking to him about what was wrong; this, by experience, only gets him angrier. I told him quietly to go sit on the couch for two minutes. I set the timer, and tried to go about the business of getting everything out for dinner. Out of the corner of my eye, Ned was watching Nat and Ben ran up the stairs, out of harm’s way. Nat continued to scream, kick the coffee table, and thrash around on the couch.

In those moments, I felt so angry at him. Why, Nat?
And I thought about September, and his moving out. This is why, this is why… I felt relief realizing that this was no longer going to be forever and ever for us. Chased by a twinge of sadness about the way things are.

I had to push the timer several more times, it took him that long to get himself together. I threw together an alternate meal, of turkey sausage and noodles. I called everyone down and we started eating, and the buzzer rang and in came Nat. Ned and I dove into that Indian food, barely stopping to breathe.

Nat ate happily enough. Ben chattered on. Nat even asked for the jasmine rice, and had Chicken Tikka Marsala. After two turkey sausages and a plate of noodles. Learn more here about best sausage!

We all cleared everything away as quickly as we ate it. Ben decided he wanted to try the Muppets in Space movie that Ned’s dad and stepmom bought him for his birthday. Nat agreed to watch with us. He seemed calmer, more his usual wired self rather than flames bursting from his head. As I watched him walk away with his puppet hand going wild, I knew he was happy again. I wanted to reconnect. I wanted to wipe away what had happened. I wanted to try to get him to understand, now that he was calm, that he could tell me next time before he got all mad.

I said, “Nat,” and he stopped and came over to me by the dishwasher. He looked at me expectantly. He knew, though. “I want a hug,” I said. He leaned into me heavily. I kissed his bearded cheek and whispered, “Next time, just tell me, okay? You don’t have to get so mad next time. Tell me what is worrying you.”

Nat said, “Worried about the glasses, the juice, salt and pepper, yes.”

Okay, got it.


wow. just incredible what’s happening in their brains.

— added by Someone Said on Saturday, March 29, 2008 at 10:01 pm

It’s so touching and sweet the way you “kissed his bearded cheek.” It made me cry. You obviously love him so much and share a real and rare bond with Nat.

It amazes me how sweet my own son can be to me in his own non-verbal way. It makes up for the rages and the damage to the house. I love the sweet moments that keep me going.

— added by Anonymous on Sunday, March 30, 2008 at 1:06 am