difficult child 2 has started having major melt downs after months without any. He's almost constantly anxious, defiant and at times getting physical. We've had to threaten to call the police several times in the past 2 weeks to get him to back off and take himself outside to cool down. Saturday he got in a fight with a neighborhood kid at the park. His first ever physical fight. A group of 8 boys were playing a game of pick up football and M. got hurt you know where. He's rolling on the ground while his helpful companions, including difficult child 2, are laughing. From there the story gets murky and doesn't really hang together. The group of boys sort of split into 2 camps - for M or for difficult child 2. Looks like M and difficult child 2 had been needling each other before the game started. They've had an uneasy relationship for a couple years but kept out of each other's way up til now. difficult child 2's group says the other boy challenged difficult child 2 "for no reason" - said you want a piece of this? - and then lunged at difficult child 2 who then defended himself by threatening to hit M with his skateboard. difficult child 2's pals say it was obvious difficult child 2 wasn't really going to hit M but M slugged him in the stomach and then in the face with his fist. M's group (and M) agrees M got mad but that difficult child 2 was calling him names and saying mean things and that's why M said what he did. M agrees he challenged difficult child 2 for calling him names but that difficult child 2 tried to hit him in the neck with the skateboard, pulled his hair and tried to hurt him so M was just defending himself when he hit difficult child 2. M's pals also say that difficult child 2 was screaming that he was going to kill M and his whole family before M hit him. First we knew was when difficult child 2 came slamming into the house barely able to breathe screaming that M. had slugged him in the face and he wanted the phone to call the police and then he was going to go kill M. His asthma is triggered by extreme anger and fear and our first concern was that he was going to go into a full blown attack and stop breathing. We managed to get him to do one puff on his inhaler and then he went back to screaming for us to call the police. We said we needed more information and he said it was enough that M. had hit him, why weren't we doing something? difficult child 2 rampaged through the house and yard, screaming about killing M and his family and that he needed a weapon. He picked up a painter's stick and tried to leave the yard with it but we sort of herded him from a distance while telling him to give us the stick or put it down. Then he saw the sledge hammer (we've been doing some major work in the yard) and picked that up and again tried to leave the yard. At that point we told him we would call the police on him if he left the yard with the sledge hammer. After some blustering he threw it down and shoved his way past us out of the yard. Found another stick - a tool handle this time - and stormed off in search of M. My partner followed while I went inside for my cell phone and car keys. By the time I found them a couple blocks away all the kids were standing around with Lea herding difficult child 2 and his stick away from the group of boys. After I arrived difficult child 2 backed off a little but not much. He and M exchanged curse-laden threats from a distance and we persuaded difficult child 2 to get in the car and come home so we could put ice on his face which was swelling up. difficult child 2 was combative and defiant the rest of the afternoon and things were touch and go. He continued to swear and talk about killing M and his family. We had to threaten to call the cops once more late in the afternoon but never actually called. A couple times during the late afternoon his thinking and speech got a little odd. He'd go off on a rant about something that seemed disconnected from the conversation and you'd be left saying - huh? How does that connect with what we were just talking about? After dinner we suggested we all play a board game together and difficult child 2 thought that was a great idea. He chose LIFE and we were a little relieved because LIFE is not intensely competitive like Monopoly, the game he chose at first. But once we started getting the game out he became hypomanic. When he got what he wanted he giggled or crowed and sang bits of song over and over at the top of his lungs. He didn't stay seated for more than a minute at a time, even during his own turn. He complained about how long the game was taking and tried to rush everyone else through their turn. If he didn't get the card or the space that he wanted he crumbled into tears only to be crowing again in 2 minutes. It was bizarre and gave me a sinking sensation in the pit of my stomach. He hasn't been like that for almost a year and a half. My partner Lea had never seen him this way because she's working full time + and by evening he's usually defiant and morose when he's in mood swing mode. The hypomania is usually a daytime phenomenon. Anyway, I'm taking him for a blood draw this morning if I can persuade him to go. I plan to take him to school after that but we'll see. We have an appointment with the psychiatrist at 1 and with the therapist at 2:30 that were already on the books.