I hope all of you women had a wonderful Mother's Day yesterday. Breakfast in bed, no fighting from your children, and a delicious meal cooked by your husband. OK, back to reality. I hope you had at least a few moments when you felt loved and appreciated. My day was pretty much the same as every other Sunday. My husband was at work which means I got to bath and feed and clean up after three children and get us all to church on time. My oldest daughter did wake me up at 6:45 for a special bowl of bananas sprinkled with sugar and my husband brought me home a pretty azalea plant so I did feel very loved. Today I also felt very blessed. I don't always remember how lucky I am to be a mother, but after this week I looked at Mother's Day in a new way.
I won't give you the long drawn out version of the story, but basically on Thursday my son was supposed to be playing outside with his sisters and a neighbor friend only when I went out to check on them he was gone. I didn't panic right at first because I figured he had gone back to the park behind our house even though I had previously told him three times that he was not allowed to. After checking the park and several other neighbors houses I did start to panic. I called my husband who left work immediately and enlisted the help of a few neighbors who were already outside to help me search. I'm not sure how long it actually was that he was gone, because in my mind it seemed like an eternity, but I think after about 30 minutes is when our 12 year old neighbor found him. He was only 4 houses down from us and still in our little circle, but he was in someones backyard that I had never met, who only have one little boy that is several years younger than my son which is why I didn't think to look there.
Now, don't think this is the first time I have ever lost one of my children. It seems to happen to me a lot. I'm not sure if I'm just not very watchful or if my children just wander off more than most kids, or possibly a combination of both. Whatever the reason, I have definitely experienced this type of panic before, but never to that degree. I was so scared by the time that we found him that I didn't even have it in me to yell at him for wandering off without telling me and going over to a strangers house, although in his mind it wasn't a stranger because apparently my kids have met the little boy before while playing outside.
It was those feelings, still so fresh in my mind and heart that kept me feeling grateful all day yesterday. It didn't matter how many arguments I had to referee or spills I had to clean up, I kept reminding myself that I was blessed and happy.
I can't imagine my life without this handsome boy, but I have also reached my breaking point. I don't know what to do with him any more and I feel completely helpless. He isn't bad or mean, he just won't listen. And it's not just me he won't listen to. I get complaints from his teacher at church and both of the parent teacher conferences I have had with his school teacher have focused on his lack of following directions, talking too much, and talking back. Just last week his teacher sent me an email asking me to have a talk with him because it is getting worse.
I actually laughed when I read the email because I was thinking "You want me to talk with him? WHAT DO YOU THINK I DO EVERY DAY!" We have already taken away his video games, and I've been trying to praise him more when he does listen, but nothing is helping. Last night I asked him to clear a bowl for me from the dinner table and he just stood there ignoring me, and when I said his name again more sharply he said "what? I don't want to."
Do you have a child like this? Have you raised a child like this? My husband and I are completely lost. After last night my husband jokingly said "maybe I just need to give him a good beating every day." And even though we would never do it, that is where our frustration level is right now. We have simply run out of ideas.