Thursday, February 10, 2005


Day 3 on the higher levels of T3, and another wet day, too. We're supposed to get 2 inches of rain over the next 24 hours. I am not loving this weather, but physically I'm not doing badly at all. The back still twinges me from time to time. Must call the RA doc and ask about those x-rays, any follow-up?

I am discouraged. DS1 got sent to the principal's office again today. Same thing, he just loses control of himself and will not shut up when he is upset. He yammers on and on, making himself more upset. It's like he has regressed to when he was 4 or 5 -- he had this problem constantly. Until very recently, he was doing quite well. We can't really figure out what's changed but we do know that this has got to stop. So: no tv or computer for a week, and already it's paining him severely. We had to choose a very significant consequence, and after discussing it with him, have decided that any more trips to the principal's office means no Disneyland for him.

A huge, huge part of me thinks that's way too severe a punishment, and also too abstract a punishment, for him. It's too far in the future (2 months away), and isn't really "real" to him. It's just an idea, although he does have a pretty good idea of what would happen there. Even though I wrote that "best carrot ever" post below, it isn't really such a great carrot! If we had been to Disneyland before and the kid had some idea of what he was missing, then it would be a great carrot. But now I'm thinking, it's not that great.

I don't like having that ultimatum out there because if he screws up next week, he'll have no incentive to do better -- and the trip is 2 months out. I also do not even want to entertain the thought of going without him! I can't imagine actually doing it.

On the other hand, I know that he has to understand how serious this is. There is no reason for this behavior, and it is completely unacceptable that it keeps happening. I don't expect him to never get upset, never have a bad day, never have a scuffle at school. I do expect him to be able to control himself sufficiently so that when his teacher tells him to knock it off, he can, and he does.

Stuff like this exhausts me -- even if I do get to bed at a decent hour. It's like a black cloud has settled over me and I feel as if I am struggling against an unseen enemy, one that I do not know how to fight. There's not a question of giving up, though, because letting this go now will send all the wrong signals to the boy. I keep wanting to look at what's happening, the "whys", but they really shouldn't matter. Everyone gets stuck in irritating situations, we should learn how to deal with them. I can't be there to fix his surroundings so that nothing ever sets him off -- that's just ridiculous on the face of it. But still, as his mom, I wish I could make life easy for him. Except I know it's the worst possible thing I could do, and so I don't.

I have this insane hope that if I deal with this now, in 2nd grade, it will be easier when he's in middle school and high school. I know it's unrealistic, but I have to hang onto something, here.

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