I try not to obsess over my son’s behavior, bad or good. I spent a lot of time scrutinizing his every twitch and fart as a baby. And then one day he asked me to not call him “Baby” any more. I complied. And my husband assured me that soon enough, my little boy would be more attached to his Dad than his Mom. So I waited.
It was a little like watching a slow car wreck. As Daddy started to call him “best friend”, which I think is a dangerous practice, our son started to exert his independence. And then he’d misbehave so badly for the benefit of a Mommy smack down aka show of love. I think we might be experiencing one of these again. He came home from school yesterday and said in a very Junie B. Jones kind of way, “I think I need a break from school. Maybe I should play some hookie”.
I realized the night before this, as my husband comforted my son at 1 am when he’d woken up crying with a badly aching poopy tummy, I wasn’t the one doing the comforting. In fact I felt frustrated at being awake, and after administering some cherry flavored Maalox, I went back to sleep while my husband lay with him until he fell back asleep. With one too many in-trouble incidences recently at school, I will go to discuss his “recent behavior” on Monday. I am thinking about how I may be able to effect a change.
Like hug my kid. A lot. He seems to always be reaching out for me at the dinner table or hitting me with books or a foot by mistake. Or just getting on my nerves. Negative attention is as good as positive attention when you need it badly. He and I figured out his pattern at school. He’s trying to get his buddies to laugh at him. Pay attention to him. So we shared some talk time yesterday. He says this morning,”What was the trick to being good again, Mommy?” I said to stop and think about the choice you are about to make. And decide to make a good one.
I pulled away because I needed some separation between my church and his state. But I didn’t leave the door wide enough open for him to come back in when he needed to. Maybe the room needs redecorating but there ought to be a comfortable couch in that church room he can sit on. One that doesn’t lose its temper so much. And last night, at bedtime, he told me I could call him “Baby” if I wanted to. I think tonight I’ll sing him “You are my Sunshine”.