Atlas was sleeping over at Mama J’s, while Dad had some very important family calls to make.
Everything was fine, lots of giggles and play — the garden hose, scattering and Dads shaving cream.
Atlas rocked on the couch in the media room, went into the playroom and did it there too.
He ate all his dinner and had a bubble bath, then crashed around ten with Looby the dog.
He woke during the night and jumped in with Mama J, he slept like a log until the next day.
Mama J didn’t get much sleep through the night, Atlas was all arms and legs — the little shite!
The next day was fine too, all enjoying the peace, while Looby ran around patrolling the place.
Then out from nowhere Atlas lost his sh*t! He scratched and he screeched, yowled and then bit!
Out came the fingernails, the gnashing of teeth but Atlas couldn’t say why because he couldn’t speak.
Mama J put the move on him and held both his hands, non-violent crisis intervention was planned.
Still, poor Atlas stomped and he kicked, he didn’t like being held, not one little bit!
After a while when he’d let out his rage, he burst into tears like a lost boy being saved.
Mama J went into action, soothing the little man, told him everything was alright and that he’d be OK.
It took a wee while but they came to a truce, Dad was on his way home and Atlas was dressed.
(Mama J had a bit of time to clean up some mess).
His bag was packed and Looby had stopped barking, they were patiently waiting for the gate to swing open.
Atlas rested his head on Mama J’s shoulder and she stroked his hair and gave him a cuddle.
Atlas and Mama J had scratches all over, so she applied Pawpaw cream to make it all better.
Then just as expected Dad finally arrived, a zombie-kind-of-cooked dad, but very much alive.
Atlas was almost back home to himself but much more subdued and with flushed cheeks as well.
Dad chatted with Mama J about the night he had had, celebrating the beloved Anna-Marie.
(with Rita and Bobby, Sonya and friend).
When it was time for both of them to leave, Dad gave Mama J a big hug and a kiss.
Atlas walked away quietly holding onto Dad’s arm, then Looby and Mama J crashed out on the couch.
© Poetry Out West, Jodine Derena Butler. All Rights Reserved. First published on Raising Atlas Rising 2022