It can start in many ways, from a broken crisp, to not getting that 3rd bottle of milk he's asking for, and it starts.
The instant screaming.
Throwing himself onto the floor, picking up everything in sight and hurtling it as far across the room as his little not-quite-three year old arms can send it.
Running in and out of the living room, through the hall, into the kitchen and back again.
Screaming all the time.
Grabbing me with his little fingers and squeezing as tightly as he can.
He raises his arms up wanting me to comfort him, yet as soon as I do that he arches his back and struggles to get away.
It's all too much for him.
And for me.
There's no point now in giving in to what he wanted in the first place.
Even if I gave him that 3rd bottle of milk it would be thrown away as soon as it was given to him.
He's become a ball of angry energy, and he can't stop.
He's distraught, I'm lost, Zack is visibly upset by the screaming.
I try putting on his favourite cartoons on the tv.
It doesn't work.
I try just holding him tight.
It doesn't work, in fact it makes him worse.
By this point he's usually been screaming for a minimum of about 45 minutes to an hour.
He's exhausted now too.
I'm at the absolute end of my tether.
There's only one thing left to do, though I hate to do it.
I lead him up stairs. Half carrying half dragging his heavy little body made so rigid it's an almost impossible task.
I put him into his cot, give him the blankie that's been thrown back at me numerous times by now
and I close the door.
I leave him to scream.
To calm down on his own.
It seems to be the only thing that works, eventually.
Like the world just becomes too much for him and he needs to just be on his own.
Over two hours after the screaming started, it finally subsides and he drifts off to sleep.
Over two hours later and I sink down onto the sofa with the laptop to envelop myself into the worlds of other people.
Over two hours later I've weathered this storm, and I hope that there's not another one for quite some time.
But you know, living with Max, the storm never really goes away.
It'll be back again tomorrow if not later in the day.
And we will start all over again.
I love my little man, but I hate the storms.