A child needs to do one thing over and over to calm himself down when the adults get angry. What does he do? How does he learn it?

A foot's tap Is his music, A bird's chirp: That's his music. And at six, Vibrating his lips, Slapping his knees, And a clock's tick Puts Max to sleep.   Mother's expletives Sound best With eyes shut. And a bottle's clink When thrown at the sink Is Max's music.   Shutting one ear Then opening it again Changes …

An Unexpected Gift

Amy tugs on the back of Dad’s shirt. When he turns around, she reaches her hands up and squeezes her fingers open and shut. “Not now, sweetheart. I’m tired.” Amy disobeys and continues tugging on the back of Dad’s shirt. “What did Daddy just say?!” Mom says this without missing a beat between chopping vegetables …