Jim kept Charlie busy Friday morning while I worked my way through teaching Latin, Greek, Mythology and more Greek. They attempted the wonderful new bike path in our town. My parents each got on one of Charlie's old bikes and followed Jim and Charlie for a few blocks.
Jim had had a very strong feeling that Irene had not been kind to the bike path and he was right. There were not only fallen trees blocking their way but, as Jim said, 'boulders'; he had to hoist both of their bikes a couple of times across tree trunks. At another point, Jim found Charlie stopped short on the path: A doe was standing to the side and, instead of darting into the trees as deer in New Jersey suburbs and parks are wont to do, she was acting menacing, to protect her fawn. (Too, she must be affected by the change in the landscape wrought by Irene?) Jim got Charlie to keep biking and they continue on and off the trail, back on local streets.
They picked me up in Jersey City and the rest of the afternoon spun down in at home and in our local environs (the little local amusement park) and a-bike in an easy-going pleasant way. As we were finishing dinner, Charlie went down to the basement and we could hear soft stomps and things being moved around. After he went up to his room, Jim discovered that Charlie'd found the Winnie-the-Pooh beach chair my parents bought for him when he was bout a year old and opened it up on the basement floor. I recalled how, in a beach house we used to rent, Charlie had used the chair as a garage door that he would 'enter' while riding in a car (his long-gone stuffed Barney).
Then we heard a crash.
Charlie stood crying at the top of the stairs, having thrown a box of CDs (from my graduate school days) and slides (from Jim's days teaching in New Haven). He ran to his room and as my mom and I addressed the mess, we heard a huge thud.
Jim came up, not overly quickly -- important, so as not to communicate undue stress to clearly upset Charlie -- and found that he had knocked over the wooden chest of drawers in his room. It took Jim several minutes to move it, while Charlie stood by, very weepy and groaning.
'We'll ride bikes tomorrow, right, pal?' said Jim after he'd fininshed with the dresser. 'Bikes tomorrow,' sniffed Charlie. Jim quietly exited as did I, after giving Charlie a cup of water that he quickly drained.
Several minutes late, we heard him (no longer crying) turn on the Kinks.
Charlie does need to clean up the messes he makes. At this time in his life, making him do so has the potential to lead to even bigger, messier behavior issues: Better to defuse things first. Yesterday night, hat could have been a massive bout of behavior storminess, fueled by a real storm on its way and The Big Transition back to school after summer, quietly subsided. Sometimes Charlie just needs a bit of prompting to get himself out of whatever's in his way on the path, and move on.
(While the ever-protective mother keeps her eyes and ears open.)