I thought he was trying to run away.
Sam had a temper tantrum yesterday, and lost his Wii privileges. He had melted down spectacularly for no real reason, and it got progressively worse until he finally stormed off into his bedroom. I had put him in a time out, which he screamed thru, and then spent another ten minutes with him hollering and begging me to not take away the Wii. I was past the point of talking to him, and had taken out my book.
I was lying on my bed, reading, and he came to the bedroom, still looking furious and voice still shaking and he asked for his snow pants. I was trying to figure out how to handle the running away thing - Jessie had tried it once too when she was about his age. But Jessie tried to run away on a summer afternoon, yesterday was frigid outside with a windchill well below zero. While I had helped Jessie pack her little bag, told her that I loved her and would miss her, and then sent her off (where she walked to the end of the street and came back home sobbing for a hug), I didn't really want Sam trekking down into the frozen tundra. Plus he's a lot more stubborn than Jessie was - I didn't think he'd cave as quickly. He'd probably make it all the way down the hill before freezing to death.
So I asked why he needed them (buying myself time to figure out how to respond to the expected answer - he was running away to be a hobo) and he said "I need to go out shoveling."
Shoveling. Huh - that never occurred to me. He wanted to get all bundled up, and go outside in the cold and the wet - and the dark - to shovel. He reminded me of Marc - who regulates his mood with workouts. When he doesn't work out, he gets bitchy. Grumpy, I guess, would be a better word. I was so impressed that Sam was doing the same thing, recognizing what he needed was just hard core physical activity - with the added bonus of HELPING. Sam loves to be helping, and doing such a "manly" sort of thing, a task that I leave almost exclusively to Marc - he was in heaven.
He shoveled off the front stairs, the walkway, and then most of the sidewalk in front of the house. When he came back in, his equilibrium was restored, my boy was sunshiny happy and the night was lovely.
He got up this morning and spent the morning hanging with his sister. And then got himself all bundled back up, and headed back outside. Marc's getting Julianna dressed, because she believes that if Sam likes it, it must be fun. The windchill is minus eighteen degrees, and I think my kids are batcrap crazy. Jessie, I understand Jessie. She slept until quarter of eleven and is now lounging on the couch with a book.
I'm off to make cocoa for my ridiculous children, because when they come back in, they're going to be frozen solid.