School seems to have stopped giving me the communication book now. I wonder whether they feel sorry for me having to always read stuff that hasn’t gone right in my son’s day? Either way, I still discovered last night that as Monday approaches, I start to tense up and dread taking my son to school for the coming week. He doesn’t seem to hate it as much as he used to, but it’s still stressful. Enough about school for now, and onto more general topics surrounding our weekend.
Friday night was take away night for us. We hadn’t had any take away for two weeks, so we were all quite looking forward to it. The last time we had take away, McDonald’s had this family meal thing which had four of various food items in a large red box. My son really liked this idea, I’m not sure whether it was the actual hugeness of the box, or the actual contents, but something really excited him about this family meal box. With great eagerness, we drove into the drive-thru and my son was already canvassing to have that family box thing. We decided that if it contained food we wanted as well, then we would get it. Alas, it was no longer available on the menu…
Dad: “Sorry sweetie, they don’t have that family meal box anymore.”
Son: “What?! How can they do that?! Build up a family’s hopes and then dash them all when you get to the drive through?! Then that family can’t have anything at all to eat!”
Chuckle.. he’s so very dramatic. Highly entertaining though. Then later that evening.
Mum: “Can you feed the dog please?”
Son: “Yes. I can feed the dog.”
I waited, he kept playing with his plane.
Mum: “Are you going to feed the dog?”
Son: “No. You asked if I can. Yes I can. I know how to do it, but I don’t want to.”
Mum: Trying not to laugh.. or be sarcastic in return…”Go and feed the dog please!”
He did. He is getting a little to good at taking things exactly as they are put to him, and using language to his advantage. At least he lets me know in no uncertain terms that I need to give him specific and direct orders rather than vague and polite requests. Doesn’t make parenting him any easier though!
Thank goodness my husband is doing so well with the patience and emotion coaching at the moment as I seem to have lost my magic right now. Everything I ask him to do is met with either a sarcastic or angry reply. His favourite phrase at the moment is a direct response to us telling him that his first answer is not allowed to be “no” as we are trying to break that habit of his. This is what we get instead.
“Why would I want to?” This can be in reply to just about anything.
“Go and get in the bath now”….”Why would I want to?”
“Eat your dinner please”…”Why would I want to?”
“Get up off the grass and come home with me now”…”Why would I want to?”
It gets tiring after a while let me tell you!
I have also started to notice that he has very little patience, or tolerance for chubby, slow talking, whining Asian children. This can be quite embarrassing. At a birthday party on Sunday at McDonald’s, there was just such a child in the helicopter play thingy. I could hear the child telling the other children that it was his helicopter and no they couldn’t come in and share it with him. He had already pushed two of the girls in my son’s party, and this child was probably three times the size (height and weight) of my son and his party friends. A short time after, I heard a wailing noise coming from inside the helicopter. Now these play things are very difficult for adults to get up into, so usually adults just ignore what might be going on up in there.
Children began exiting via the slide as the wailing continued, and as I questioned them, they just shrugged and kept moving. I knew I would have to go up there. Proceeding to squish myself up through the wiggly little climbing holes and tunnels, I made it to the helicopter part. There were two girls sitting in the tunnel watching the action. What was the action? The Asian boy was sitting there with his head back wailing and screaming. Tears streamed down his face and snot and dribble exited his face in rivers. My son stood at the front of the helicopter and the little bit I heard was…
“Why are you crying?! Oh MY GOD! You are such a wuss! Hey chubby face, just get out of the helicopter if you are going to make that noise!” eeek… I asked the girls whether they knew what had happened. They shrugged and said that they thought my son had done something to the boy. I was starting to feel a bit like I needed to smack the kid myself, so I ordered my son out of there and we climbed down and out.
In the free air, within great earshot of all the parents in the joint, I asked my son what had happened.
Son: “He wasn’t sharing the helicopter and he was so fat that no one else could get in! He punched me in the stomach, so I had to punch him in the nose!”
Me: Secretly thinking that it must have been satisfying to do that, but knowing that it wasn’t OK to go around doing that sort of thing…”Sweetheart, even if he wasn’t sharing, or was being annoying or hurt you, you needed to come to the adults and let us know what was going on. It’s never OK to hit someone. You know that.”
Son: Heaving a huge exasperated sigh, “Yes I know! But he was such a whinger! I had to show him what it was like to get hurt!”
I decided further discussion wasn’t really going to help, so I held him on my lap for a two minutes time out and then said he couldn’t go back into the helicopter until the boy had left. I later saw the boy push his little brother into a garbage bin and then hit his mother as she tried to convince him to leave. All the while screaming at the top of his lungs and losing more tears than he had drunk in coke earlier! Now see, as I write this I am feeling guilty for my clear judgement on that child! It’s so strange how I have a child who could just as easily have been the one putting on a ruckus, but something told me that kid was just really really lacking discipline or any kind of rules. Why do I not go to what should be my default, that perhaps he has some kind of problem? I don’t know, and that’s too hard a question for Monday! 😉
Anyway, we made it home without further incident thank goodness. I have only my own embarrassment to deal with, and the fact that I need to really ignore what other people might be thinking about me or my son in those situations. In actual fact, a Dad sitting near where I was talking to my son later said to me that my son was right, and the kid deserved a good smack! Each to their own?! Yep.