We had a bad end to a good day today.
I got my days mixed up, I thought it was Thursday, the day Zoe goes to a movie with her Girl Scout troop. So we didn't go swimming at the Ultimate Moms Club. During the day a friend came over, they played 'Fashion Show', played with the hose, had hot dogs and watermelon for lunch and everybody got along.
After friends went home I figured out my mistake and treated them to McDonald's for dinner. My kids have been big into the Mr. Bean cartoons of late. After watching an episode where Mr. Bean does a puppet show, they wanted to do one too. The two of them ran around creating the characters and then put the two tub chairs together for a theatre. I let them use baby powder for smoke on the condition they vacuum it up when they were done. I watched and laughed, because they were being funny.
Afterwards, I asked them to do their chores but got nowhere with that. I calmly explained that I was tired of yelling at them and they were sent to bed early after being told they couldn't have any screen time in the morning.
Zoe said Will was going to sleep in her room, something they do occasionally. After about an hour (no surprise there I hadn't expected them to go to sleep right away) I heard Zoe yell 'Ow!' but that's not really anything to worry about because she yells 'Ow!" a LOT. But, they needed to go to sleep so I went upstairs to take Will to his own bed.
Upon being informed of this, he started to flail his feet at me when I tried to pick him up. After I got him picked up he hit me on the back and then pinched me. I pinched him back.
I went down to get his stuffed animals and blanket, while I was doing this Will threw things around his room. When I came back in, he hit me in the shin with a plastic golf club.
I broke it over my knee.
He screamed and cried and then told me I was a bitch.
I sat down on the bed and started to talk very quietly, which has to be done because he thinks it's funny when we yell.
I didn't get far, but I did ask him if he loved me. He didn't answer for a little while and I said I guess he didn't but I loved him. He cried that he did love me!
I talked quietly to him about how we treat people we love who love us. I told him we had a lot of fun today, he and Zoe got on great, they played with their friend, we had fun. I told him that he knew how to be gentle with his voice and his body. I put him back in bed a few more times while this was going on and finally went back downstairs feeling like the worst parent ever.
I am lucky enough to spend a lot of time with some very accomplished women. Published writers, professional photographers, women who home school, educate themselves about parenting and would probably have handled that very differently. They would've known just what to do or would have at least known where to go for the answers about how to deal with the issues I'm dealing with.
He's a great kid. He's creative and affectionate and smart. He acts out when he's tired and when he's frustrated or has his feelings hurt he resorts to hitting and name calling. He didn't act this way at preschool and he doesn't act this way at the Mom's Club. He acts this way at home.
The psychologist we took him to recommends a system where the kids earn privileges to build confidence and encourage appropriate behavior.
I laid down some new rules with the kids on Monday regarding how they must listen and good behavior will earn them swimming or dessert or screen time.
I really feel like I'm failing my son. I'm apparently not building his self esteem, giving him appropriate boundaries or preparing him for the outside world.
And I feel like I'm failing my daughter. I spend a good chunk of energy on her brother every day. She's started to ask us to do things for her that she could easily do herself. I don't know if this is because she doesn't think she can do it herself or a developing sense of entitlement. Either way I'm not into either of those options.
Or maybe, we're all tired.
Amanda's beauty tip of the day: When using curlers, remember a larger curler will give you body, a smaller curler will give a more defined curl.