Don't get me wrong, I love the little squirt with every fiber of my being! I wouldn't trade him for anything this world has to offer! It's just that I've been charged with the responsibility of raising him...and though I'm doing my dead-level best, some days it's just not so easy! I'll think things are trucking along just fine, and then out of nowhere comes this child who can't possibly be the one I've been raising. He looks very much the same, but MY CHILD would NEVER act that way! ;) Don't be smug...if you're a parent, you KNOW you've at least thought that!
Anyway, the last couple of weeks have been a challenge. Last week I was working in Aftercare for Christopher's school. Across the playground, I see this child who looks very much like the one I've raised for the last almost-five year, standing on the slide & pulling up his pants. Praying that I did NOT see what I just thought I saw, I went over to check on the situation. Inside the slide, I find two of said child's classmates. When I inquire as to what was happening, Christopher informs me they were "checking our privates." Sheer horror rushes through my body as the realization of those words register in my brain. The leader of the bunch proudly announces that he started it (thankfully this was NOT Christopher!) as his daddy was standing there (he had arrived to pick up his son at just that most-appropriate moment). Thinking that the father had control of his son, I took Christopher and the other child to the picnic tables near the playground to have a chat about appropriate behavior. After I finished my mini-lecture on why that certain region of the body is called private and how only their parents and doctor should see such region, I turned to see the leader playing on the playground with his dad! Christopher and the other little boy I still had charge of remained in time-out until the father took his little ring leader home (don't worry, it was only a few more minutes).
Then this week, I learn that the same trio has been causing other problems in the classroom...well, to be more exact, the bathroom adjacent to the classroom. Apparently said ring leader from early excerpt has been relieving himself on the floor rather than in the toilet bowl for quite some time now! Recently, however, two other children have joined in...and Christopher was suspected as one of them. I told David about it, who promptly had a conversaton with his son. Christopher was insistant that it wasn't him. I also had a conversation with him at bedtime, and he gave me the same response. Now, Christopher is USUALLY pretty good about fessing up when he does something wrong, so I decided to seek out additional information before pursuing it further. When I arrived to pick Christopher up yesterday, the Preschool Director asked to speak with me. She said that Christopher had confessed to his substitute teacher that he had done it. I was working in Aftercare again yesterday, so I took Christopher with me instead of letting him play with his friends in the Preschool/Kindergarten room (I had the big kids). I talked with him and he again denied it. When I told him that I knew he'd told Mrs. Evans (or Mrs. Heavens, as Christopher calls her), he confessed that he had done a little, but that it was an accident. I'm just so confused. I am not at all one of those parents who will say, "Not MY child!" when a teacher tells me of a behavior issue (or at least I don't want to be), but at the same time, I want to make sure that I have the whole story. As his Mommy, I don't want him to be wrongly accused...but then again, as the mother who was entrusted by God with raising him, I want to make sure he understands the consequences for his actions. Hmmm....I'm still working on that one! ;)
Then today, I pick Christopher up from school and he quickly confesses that he earned a yellow ticket today. Apparently, he decided to be the "class clown" today and was in time-out twice! He even had to sit out at P.E. because he wouldn't listen to the coach! Needless to say, it is NOT a happy afternoon at our house!
We have instituted a 2-for-1 rule at our house, which basically means that if you get in trouble at school, you also get in trouble at home! So, as a consequence of earning yellow ticket, Christopher could not watch TV (including his beloved Word Girl) or play on the computer today. We also have positive consequences...on the days he gets a green ticket, he gets to play for a few minutes on the playground after school. So, hopefully, he will see a connection between his behavior & consequences! :)
Last weekend, I got a glimpse into what life would be like with three boys! My cousin & her husband went out of town for the weekend, so their 10-year-old son stayed with us. Jonathan and I go way back...he was 8-months-old when I moved to Naples & I lived with them for a year, then lived in the guest house in the back yard for a year. He also went with David & me on our first summer vacation together...all the way to Ohio & back! Ok...just a little side trip there...I'm back! ;) Anyway, as most of you know, I also keep a little 20-month-old boy on the weekends while his daddy works (usually 2:30ish-midnight-ish). So, during the hours that Cobh was with us, we had LOTS of testosterone in the house! ;) What I found was that when Cobh wasn't here, Christopher & Jonathan got along great. When Jonathan's not here, Christopher & Cobh get along great. But, put the three together, and SOMEONE is going to get upset! Jonathan also discovered that he did NOT like being the oldest of three (he's actually the youngest - he has two teenage brothers)! It was quite a weekend of discovery! While I haven't completely given up my dream of a large family...it certainly did put it into perspective for me!
Ok...so I guess what I'm trying to say here is please pray for us! Pray for wisdom to know how God wants me to "train up" this little boy he's placed in my life so that "when he is old, he will not depart from it." (Proverbs 22:6). I think I'm gonna need lots of prayer support over the next 14 or so years! :0)