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I like to think of myself as the 'crazy mom of four'. I'm 31 years old and I love my life, my kids, my husband and my God. "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose." Jim Eliot

Thursday, August 21, 2008

The ups and downs of parenting

Today is more about the 'downs' of parenting. My son...well...it's hard right now to really put it all into words. I've expressed my concerns before with his attitude and erratic behavior. This school year hasn't started off too well. Ok, well there were 2 days last week that Kaleb didn't really get into too much trouble, and one day this week. HOWEVER, the other days, today included, did not go as well. He earned himself an hour of detention today. In addition to being silly and not listening at school, his attitude at home (and HIS MOUTH) have just been horrible. He's disagreeable the majority of the time. And he is hateful and mean. He screams at the top of his lungs when he doesn't get his way. It just seems that he should have outgrown some of this. Last night he got spanked (by dad) for being rude and disrespectful over and over again. So rather than take his punishment and cry, he threw himself around and got himself into more trouble. So Kris spanked him and then Kaleb proceeded to throw himself onto the floor and thrash around. All the while screaming "I'm gonna die! I'm gonna die!" We just walked out and shut the door. When I went back in there, he had put his jammies on and was laying in his bed. What is so infuriating is that when he is in the midst of that, there is NOTHING we can do to diffuse the situation. You can't leave the room because he can't be trusted. He has this thing for destroying objects so I don't really like to just walk away and leave him to tear things apart. If you stay in there and try to talk rationally to him he just screams over you. Spanking obviously isn't effective. I just really don't know how to help him express his emotions in a way that is healthy for everyone involved. I love my son. SO MUCH. And I hate to see him lose control of himself so quickly and so often, and sometimes with absolutely no provocation at all.

And then there's Abbey. She never has accidents, or I suppose I should say she very rarely has accidents. But yesterday she had an accident at school and they wrote a little note to tell me about it. She took 'extra' bathroom breaks in the afternoon, and THEN had an accident when she came back to the room. Well this afternoon the nurse called me because she had another accident and they were wanting to know if maybe she had a UTI or something. I was perplexed. I told them she was just fine and I just did not understand why she would be doing that. So her teacher calls me after school today to talk to me about it and I am just so confused as to why all of a sudden this is happening. All of a sudden, I got this thought as the teacher and I were talking through it all. So I asked the teacher "I don't really understand because the toilets don't flush on their own do they?" And the teacher told me that yes they do. Imagine my surprise. Well, it is more difficult for you to imagine if you don't understand that my Abbey has a fear of public toilets, ESPECIALLY those that flush on their own. In public she can now go potty by herself as long as they don't flush on their own. If they flush on their own, she will FINALLLY go, as long as someone else goes in with her and covers ('tricks' as she calls it) the sensor. She still jumps right up and backs away as soon it starts to flush. I believe what was happening is this: Abbey needed to go potty. She would ask to go to the bathroom, and then she would go to the bathroom, probably intent on going, then get in there and be terrified of the stupid automatic toilet. And then she would go back to class, not having gone potty and when she couldn't wait any longer, she would have an accident. So...the REASON she is having accidents is finally clear to me, and once I realized the toilets were automatic it made much more sense. However, now the question is how do we help her overcome her fear? I actually took her over to the school this afternoon and made her get up on the potty three times assuring her that when it flushed nothing bad happened. I think (I HOPE) I have her almost convinced that she can get up on the potty and go before it will flush. We will see what happens tomorrow. Poor girl.

It's been a long day.

1 comment:

  1. I read this idea in a magazine that was brilliant about the automatic toilets - a mom said she would carry around a pad of post-it notes to cover the sensor to help her kids who were afraid of the sudden flush (heck, it scares me half the time too!) Maybe that would be a way for Abbey to "trick" the toilet by herself. And post-it notes are cheap (well, the generic ones), and you could probably get a bunch on clearance here soon. Poor girl. School's tough enough without big, man-eating toilets!

    I hope today is a better day for you and your family. hang in there!