Calder has entered Twilight Zone again. I call it Twilight Zone because of the uncanny change. He became a different boy three days ago.
On Tuesday, he was still my jolly elf, delighted to accompany me to Hougang Green to buy dinner. Such a bubble of joy skipping and grinning. While at the queue, I actually asked him to help me get a packet of winged beans. After some search, he returned with them. Then I asked if he needed to go to the toilet. He merrily made his way there then returned to me.
On Wednesday, he became a stooped old man, slow to move, repeating motions but never finishing the task. He stood under the shower in a daze and when brushing teeth, left the tap running while water overflowed from his gargling cup. We had to make some noise to wake him from the stupor. Sadly I no longer wait for him to do the laundry together, because I tire of having to remind him repeatedly to get back on task. And the way he now looks at us -from the corner of his eyes - almost with suspicion it chills my heart.
When he didn't emerged from the public toilet, I was most dismayed. I could not imagine doing it all over again - yelling him out of the gents. But I had to because we were already late for his bowling training.
"Calder, what are you doing inside? You have to come out already! " I shouted into the gents. And he quickly came out in alarm. Was that what I intended - to frighten him into action? If yes, I don't know if the fright would stop him from getting stuck again, or would make such a deep impression the scenario is bound to repeat itself.
Even as I am writing this, Calder is stuck in the kitchen toilet. Do I beckon him out or let him be? If I beckon him out, it may become a fixture - he may never again come out on his own. If I let him be, well, I may go crazy waiting.
I decided that if there's no hurry, I will quietly wait for him, and give him a thumbs-up when he finally emerges. Which was what I did when we went to St Andrew's Cathedral for Shalomkids. After some 10 min wait, Calder came out of the toilet not with his usual gallop but actually inching slowly out with his head hanging low. Then he started crying.
"Why are you crying, Calder?"
"Because cannot come out."
So, he doesn't like the new state of things either.
"It's ok. Mommy love you."
I miss my happy Calder. What I see now is a boy who turns his body away from us, who constantly looks worried, stricken even. I hope it's a phase that will soon pass.
Oh the fatigue of parenting a child so vulnerable to deterioration. Two steps forward and three steps back. What is going on in his brain? Is this transformation a result of adolescence?
But I want to trust God and believe that something good will come out of this.
Pray for us, my friends. Calder needs awakening and joy and I need wisdom as his Mom, and patient endurance.