Thursday, September 2, 2010

His Tears And Mine

A bad morning is one where your child acts out, lashes out and has to placed into the backseat of another adult's car (the adult in charge of the morning carpool) while in full meltdown mode.

Then I drive away and shed my own tears and carry the horribly yucky feeling of our not-so-happy goodbye all day long.

It all started with Ben's lack of sleep. After nearly seven years of battling his difficult sleep habits, I'm almost resigned to the fact that he takes after me in the insomnia department.

Two weeks into first grade - with a longer school day - and soccer, - with a super long commute to Orangevale, I know he's damn tired. Add the fact that no one would describe Ben as "easygoing;" in fact, I think that the transitions from here to there and everywhere else are really hard on him.

So he takes it out on the one who he knows is the softest. The one who represents the cushy place to land. The one who he can be most vulnerable with.

That would be me.


Me, again.

I called up my ex in desperation today. "His behavior is really out there," I said. "He's pushing the limits on respect. He won't sleep. I think I need to see a parenting specialist; maybe take a class. I don't know what else to do."

"Spank him," my ex said.

"Do you know how many times he would get spanked in a day if that was my first line of defense?" I asked.

I've done the spanking. It doesn't work. Ben meets me emotionally and physically: if I yell, he yells back. Louder. If I spank, he attempts to hit back.

My best leverage is his DS time. Which he covets. It's his currency.

So, today was a major loss of DS time and a big sit-down to review courtesy, manners, respect and listening.

Is it wrong to hope and pray that your child will someday become easier? That you won't have to yank him out of the backseat by his arm because he's ignored your request to "get out of the car!" five times? Is it okay to wish for more peace, more resilience, less resistance, less rudeness?

I guess it's not so wrong to pray for those things in the space of a day because when I picked Ben up, we had a sweet afternoon of coloring, trekking out to soccer, returning home to (edible) grilled chicken, a bath without complaints, a later bedtime (the rational being that maybe he'll actually sleep later in the morning!), and Ben's request "to spend our last minutes on the couch together, cuddling and talking about our day."

I'll take an easier back half. I'll take easier whenever I can get it.

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