Mud Room Meets Meltdown


With a loud crash she rolls under the recycle bin.  Tin cans, beer bottles, cardboard egg cartons; they all go flying over as she slides under.  Her inconsolable screaming is underscored by blood from her cut knuckle smeared on the washing machine, the dryer, and her clothes.  Were it a Passover sign, the angel of death would surely pass us by mistaking the smears as lamb’s blood.

Day two of her frustration.  I know it will pass but the deep biting of her fingers and the blood can only mean a future infection, future bloated and blackened digits, huge antibiotic pills that we need somehow coax down without a vomitus eruption.  The mouth is not only the most dangerous weapon in the world; it’s the most infectious. 

I don’t know what her issue is, she can’t tell us if she hurts or is simply angry.  In her anger she bites, in her sorrow she hits, in an act of consolation as she cries, she pinches herself and all we can do is mop up the dripping blood as it flows.  She’ll never allow a bandage or a compress so we simply follow her around with a cold washcloth.

On this afternoon however, she managed to have a melt down in the small mud-room, entry way of our house.  This is an original mud-room entry way of a 136 year old house, I’ve been in contemporary homes in which the “mud-room” was bigger than our living room and should a child bring mud into that space, hell would erupt from the parent.  No, this one is quite small and uneventful and does in fact, have mud on the floor.  Its small enough that if a good-sized Korean girl decided to have a tantrum and start flailing about like a loose mud-flap on a semi trailer, she’d find herself in a physical jam quite quickly.  That’s exactly what she’s done.  Wedged herself so tight in a corner under a pile of recyclables that we’re not even sure where to begin mopping blood from.  She’s banged her head as well and the tears begin to flow, making that thick blood look more like a good Cabernet, smeared on her sweatshirt.

We manage to pry her out of her predicament but not her situation.  We continue to gently wipe the blood, wishing for subtitles – we know she’s hurting or frustrated but we have no way of knowing why or how to fix it.  All we can do is wait and patiently listen to the screams, watch the flying fists, observe the sad and inconsolable state of this most wonderful gift from God. 

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