Laugh, and the world laughs with you;
Weep, and you weep alone.
For the sad old earth must borrow it's mirth,
But has trouble enough of its own.
Sing, and the hills will answer;
Sigh, it is lost on the air.
The echoes bound to a joyful sound,
But shrink from voicing care.

Rejoice, and men will seek you;
Grieve, and they turn and go.
They want full measure of all your pleasure,
But they do not need your woe.
Be glad, and your friends are many;
Be sad, and you lose them all.
There are none to decline your nectared wine,
But alone you must drink life's gall.
                                         Ella Wheeler Wilcox

So, the other night was a bit difficult with Aodhan. He doesn’t like it when I get upset, and it sometimes becomes something of  a downward spiral that neither of us can get out of. I work hard to avoid getting into situations that will end up this way, and if I see it heading down a bad path, I try to head it off. But the other night things just seemed to go from bad to worse. 

Aodhan was in a bit of a mood all day, and I was pretty frazzled. He was doing things, like asking a travel agent to see a little model airplane, and then holding it out of her way and demanding to see another one. He would not leave the store and was becoming quite belligerent. As my mood went downhill, he became more difficult. He would flag down taxis and then refuse to get in them because they didn’t look comfy enough. Even when I said we were walking or taking a combi-bus, he would still keep flagging down taxis and leaning in the window examining them for five minutes before declaring them unfit for him. He seems to only want to ride in taxis that have cloth seats instead of leather seats, and even which cloth seats, seems to be an issue with him. 
By the evening he had doing so many things all day that my nerves were frazzled. It is ok dealing with one of this type of thing, but to deal with it incessantly every five minutes all day, and usually involving inconveniencing other people, is exhausting. 

We came home and of course he was obnoxious to our hosts, which in case you were wondering, is why I stayed out all day instead of just coming home. He wanted their TV loud and on his station. He wanted to watch things that were inappropriate for the younger boys. He wanted every lamp and light on in the house. He wanted every door shut - including slamming the glass windowed kitchen door every time someone left it open. He slid the entire sofa forward three feet towards the TV and wrestled around until the entire cover was off it. The final straw was when he insisted on eating his dinner on the sofa in front of the TV and then keep his plate on the arm rest and then bounced and knocked it off and smashed it. 

Finally it was bedtime. He decided he needed to get out of bed after everyone was asleep and get water. He decided he had to make a lot of noise to get water. I hissed that if he didn’t take the water he had now, he would get none. He laughed at me. Loudly. Loudly enough to wake sleeping children. He did not stop laughing. He went back to bed and spilled the water all over the bed and pillows. He broke the lamp. He pulled all the covers off the bed. I wanted to take his shoe and hit him with it, and perhaps if I had thought that would have done any good, I would have. He was still laughing, and it had become maniacal. I was at the end of my tether. He would not move over so I could sleep. He pulled all the covers off of me as soon as I lay down. His laughter was becoming louder. Every time I said anything about it, or about any of his other bad behaviour, his laughter got louder. He had been laughing loudly enough to keep the entire family awake for about 20 minutes now. I thought about duct tape. I left the bedroom and shut the door hoping he would get fed up without an audience and quiet down. I know that some of this is his anxiety, but it was so unacceptable and there was no way to quietly stop him. I could have dragged him by his hair screaming outside and duked it out with him, but my knee still isn’t recovered from the last physical altercation. And, the good side of all of this, if there is one, is that he is not being violent, only extremely annoying. 

His laughter did not stop. I could hear it reverberating through the house. I sat huddled in a chair, tears streaming down my face, trying desperately to contact Greg. He was not answering my texts. I was getting so desperate. I just needed someone to say it was going to be alright. I just needed to hear a sane voice, go get a remote hug. 10 minutes, 15 minutes. He had been laughing for half an hour. Finally the bedroom door opened and Aodhan came out, still laughing. I lost it. I grabbed his collar and dragged him towards the back door. I told him he was sleeping out there tonight. He laughed louder. He could see my tears and he could see that I was shaking. I was exhausted.
I finally was able to steer him back into the bedroom and force myself to laugh with him and say that some of the things that happened that day were pretty funny - NONE of it was funny really. He finally fell asleep and I curled up and slept fitfully. 

After that day, things got so much better again. 

Aodhan eating a delicious slice of chocolate cake at the first stop of our bus tour

Beautiful views of Pichu Pichu from Mirador Carmen Alto

 Above: Misti, below, Chachani from Mirador Carmen Alto

A Vicuna - these are like Andean deer - they are a very small delicate species of Llama

A llama



View of the houses going up over the hills in Arequipa

A llama and an Alpaca. The llama doesn't seem thrilled with my proximity. If you come to close to some of these beasts after they have been kept in captivity, they will spit big mouthfuls of regurgitated grass at you - right in your face if they can. I am keeping my distance from his tether.

Casa del Moral

Aodhan on horseback. He does not want to make the horse go anywhere. Horses have rights too he says. They are being nice enough to give me a ride, they should get to choose where to go. He also wants a really big horse, because he says he might hurt a small horse's back.

More llamas

Aodhan at our favourite falafel restaurant - Istanbul

Some of Aodhan's drawings

CN tower

New tower designs

He has started to draw on one sheet of paper for days on end until it is so filled with drawings that you can't see anything but grey.

Aodhan visiting Jose and Miguel's school for an open house. He loved being with all the kids, and eating his cheese and pepperoni empanada.

Plaza San Francisco. Sometimes on weekends there are big markets here.