My son is hard to manage when he wakes up.
He gets into everything, he’s loud and has more energy in those first two hours than at any other time of the day.
Consequently, I spend a lot of the morning trying to correct his behavior and recover the house and us from whatever chaos he has started.
Today, he decided to use our electric pencil sharpener to grind up a pen, two felt tip markers, and a mechanical pencil.
After every item, I told him “no” and explained that only pencils are allowed in the pencil sharpener.
When he’s on a mission of exploration, he does whatever he wants to do, regardless of my countless, exhausted warnings. This is why the curtain rod in his room has been yanked out of the wall a half dozen times.
By the time the husband came downstairs this morning, I was pretty much ruined from this short series of defiant acts. I was snapping at my son to stop and trying to get him to verbalize his ultimate goal. The sharpening seemed related to another odd project he started before – something with construction paper and staples.
And that’s all my husband ever gets to see of our interactions – twenty minutes of the boy just being the boy (albeit to the nth degree of boyness) and my being snippy, exasperated mommy.
Every morning after my husband leaves, I feel depressed over this.
I hate it that he sees us at our worst every morning and then he has to go.
I feel like he thinks I’m never tender-hearted toward our son, but that’s just not true.
Most of the day, I think my little boy is funny and sweet and I can’t help but laugh with him and enjoy his little idiosyncrasies.
He has such a joyous disposition most of the time. It’s contagious, you know?
But his a.m. destructinator activities kill me almost every day.
For reasons that are long and too complicated to explain, I had to keep him out of school yesterday and today.
So he’s a little bit bored and into grinding pens or whatever.
Yesterday, he took a pair of scissors and quietly released the beads from a long green plastic Mardi Gras necklace.
He lined them up in a row on a cabinet ledge under the kitchen sink.
I didn’t notice them until my shirt knocked a bunch of them to the floor and I stepped on one.
Will I ever have an attractive home?
Nope. Probably not.
There are bicycles in the dining room.
They depress the hell out of me.
I feel like I’m living in a shed.
Back to the pen sharpening.
Husband, if you’re reading this, please understand that I don’t spend the entire day snapping at the child. There are moments of joy so great it pains me to experience them without your witness. I hope you know that in your heart and don’t think you are leaving your kid with an ogre each day. I am distressed about this.
And about the clutter in the house. I think I’m sinking again.
Probably though, this is all related to the weight of the past few days.
Sorry, I’m jumping all over the place. BUT – I’m feeling the urge to write write write and get junk out of my head and onto the page in whatever chaotic fashion it frees itself.
So…wanna know what happened?
The boy had a tantrum at school on Wednesday. Again. Worse than the day before.
It was totally avoidable (part of why I yanked him out for two days), but it escalated quickly and resulted in an aide’s having to restrain him.
He was clearing tables of their contents, throwing things, flailing his arms about, striking (accidentally) anything in his path, bashing his head against the wall, scratching himself…the usual. Oh joy.
I get what happened. I really do. And I’ve had lengthy conversations about it with the new teacher and the principal.
It concerns me that he was inadvertently, though very definitely, set up to fail. (One of the boxes left unchecked under interventions tried was “clarifying expectations.”)
It concerns me that he was allowed to reach a level of upset that required restraint. (Taking him for a walk often works too.)
That said, I really don’t harbor any ill will toward the aide for what she had to do to keep my son and the other students safe.
I know that his tantrums, whether avoidable or not, may require hands on intervention from time to time.
It isn’t the details of the incident that motivated me to flee from the school in tears, keep him home for two days or eat too much ice cream.
What did that to me was the form the aide filled out to report the incident.
I know that she is inexperienced and had no adequate guidance in completing it.
I don’t fault her for that and I will tell her so when I see her on Monday. If I see her on Monday.
The problem is, the form is horribly, horribly wrong.
I told the principal that my son won’t be back until the form is rescinded, revised, appended with my written response stapled to every copy or, well, I don’t know what. Something has to change.
This little three-page document, an official county form, paints my son as a criminal in the making. I can’t put details here, but it’s bad and completely inaccurate. It caught me off guard and instantly infuriated and saddened me to read it. My advocacy skills are on high alert this week. And the ice cream has been ordered to stand by.
I have since discussed the form at length with the principal and the teacher and both feel that it must be changed before it is filed with the county. I am relieved that they are both reasonable women who care about my son, but it still stings. Stuff like this will happen again. And at some point I will have to pull him out of school completely. I feel that coming and it scares me because sometimes I snap at him when he’s bored. And husband sees mostly that.
Oh, and by the way, wanna know what else happened this week? I missed an opportunity to be on the interview and selection panel for a permanent teacher. Nice, huh? I would have cleared anything off my schedule to do that, but I didn’t get all of the information and was denied the chance. Poop.
P.S. Look at this teeny little lizard in my backyard. When husband walked the trashcan down the front driveway yesterday, he found some lizard eggs and a mama digging nearby. As long as they’re not on me, I love lizards in the yard. They’re kinda cute, you know? This one has a very old soul. Really. It’s true. Click the third picture to look at his face. See?