Gracie’s waving her hands in the air, like she just don’t care… Using colloquial English here, folks. Work with me. Anyway, I know the signs. My father, Gabby, and I are sitting at the dinner table, and Gracie is winding up to throw something. Usually it’s her sippy cup.
“Gabby, please get your sister’s cup,” I calmly say. Gabby goes to reach for Gracie’s cup, an suddenly, Gracie stops waving her arms, reaches down to snatch her cup up with blinding speed, and hurls the cup at my face. Not lob, not toss, not throw, I mean hurl. I manage to turn my head in time to have the sippy cup bounce off the back of my head.
Ouch! Oh boy, am I pissed. I complain to Gabby through clenched teeth that she wasn’t fast enough, while rubbing the back of my head. The one little crack in my otherwise calm facade. Kristine chides me for showing my anger. “Well, excuse me, for not liking hard, plastic things being bounced off my head,” I retort. I need to get a grip, before the rest of my facade crumbles. Kristine tells me that I’m ‘whiney’.
While massaging the bump on my head, I think about my reaction and begin to laugh. I can be such a dolt sometimes.
And now to the reason for today’s post title… Grapes of Rage.
I used to sit at the head of our dining table to eat my dinner. Most evenings during the week I eat alone at the table, being that I get home from work well after my family has eaten their meals. Gracie would occasionally deviate from her pacing path, head in my direction, and try to take food from my plate. I would always see her in my peripheral vision, and manage to block her from taking my food. I wasn’t worried about any approach from my backside, because of the half wall and countertop behind me.
One evening I’m eating my dinner, and Gracie decides to launch a sneak attack, approaching me from my 4 o’clock. Just outside of my peripheral vision. Pretty crafty, I must say. Suddenly, an arm appears in front of my face, and I look down to see Gracie’s hand in my food. I overreact, and try to grab Gracie’s hand to get some of my food back. In the process, some of my dinner goes flying all over our dining area, and worse, we knock over a tall glass of grape juice. Hadn’t had a sip of it yet.
I saw purple everywhere. I was seeing purple. For a moment, I was raging inside. With no one I could rightly take out my anger on, I look for the nearest object onto which to inflict harm. I stand up, grab a poor, defenseless dining chair, and raise it up into the air. I’m going to smash it into a thousand pieces…
My other daughter, Gabby, is witnessing this. I check myself at the last moment, and only slam the chair down hard into the floor. I’m done eating. Without a word, I get out the broom, dust pan, and paper towels to clean the mess up.
I’m no saint, obviously. Although some would have me believe parents like us are, to be given a child like Gracie. For the most part, I do have it together. But every once in a great while, an ugly side of me bubbles up to the surface.
I now eat my dinner adjacent to where I used to sit. Being that our dining table is in sort of in an alcove, I can see Gracie from any of her possible approaches. She still tries, but it ain’t working for her no more.
And last, but not least, a word on Gracie’s fundraiser at http://www.gofundme.com/z9smdz4c. We reached our goal of $5,000. We are truly grateful for all who shared news of the fundraiser with their friends and family, as well as for those who contributed to the fundraiser. Thank you all so much! Will post updates on Gracie’s well-being and progress at 90 days, 180 days, and after one year.