Huck is riding my ass.
We're one week removed from a long vacation with tons of family, and he's making me pay for taking him away from all the out-of-state relatives, racking up dozens of losses for him in one swoop.
There are tantrums because he can't join Great Grandpa in picking up sticks and putting them in the wheelbarrow, because Great Grandma's pink cake isn't in our kitchen, because we don't have a garden he can check for green beans and raspberries, because there isn't a lake and a boat in our backyard, because we "took his birthday party away" (we left the decorations up for days after the party so he could see them each morning, it wasn't until we left that they came down, and half of them came home with us and are in his bedroom), because Great Grandpa Josh isn't stealing his nose, because (my cousin) Claire can't read him a book. The list goes on, and is added to, twenty times a day.
In so many ways, this vacation was a wonderful thing for him. He met so much of my family, did so many things, and had so much time to become a part of the clan. But it was hard on him, too. He was homesick. The night of his birthday party he sobbed for two hours, saying that "the girls are going to take my party away" (which is why the decorations stayed for almost a week), that he hated himself, that he didn't want to be himself, that he was bad, that he was mean, that our dogs were dead at home, and that all his presents would be gone in the morning because we hate him.* We pulled shifts staying with him from 9 PM to 3AM because he woke up every ten or twenty minutes crying. First me, then The Hub, then my mom, then my grandmother, then my cousin. He got up at 7 AM, ran out to the courtyard, and started screaming and laughing because (some of) the balloons, streamers, banners, and decorations were still up (the majority survived the elements and the wildlife), there were still about 15 relatives in the houses, and all his toys were still there.
So, there was massive heartbreak, both for him and us, up there, and back down here, too. And I'm tired. And I just wanted to mention that.
*Huckle used to say things like this all the time, but it happens very rarely now. I'm so used to it that when I had him asleep and I rejoined the group (Huck slept from 7:30 to 9 without incident), I recounted the bedtime upset, didn't varnish it, and had 6 women in tears before I was done. And it surprised me that other people don't realize that an almost-four year old can have all those feelings inside of him, not to mention be articulate enough to express himself. I am still shocked that this is my life, if that makes sense.