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January 7, 2011 / allyo

I’ve been fretting over the challenges of raising a child who, at (to me) random times, REFUSES to do what he is told. A child who would rather argue incessantly about my word use than listen to the actual words. A child who digs his heels in and won’t let go until the situation has escalated – often several times – until the only option is to calm the hell DOWN and apologize.

This was all going through my head this morning as I was rushing to work because Jamie – again – held us up to the point that I was worried about getting set up for my 2 simultaneous 9 a.m. meetings when I remembered something. My grandma grounding me from the phone for an ENTIRE quarter due to poor grades my sophomore year* in high school and finally giving up in exasperation because I refused to comply. She kept stumbling upon me in the wee hours whispering on the phone to whatever friend who was in whatever crisis at the moment and decided she had better things to do with her time – her life – than to monitor a stubborn 15 year old every minute of the day and night.

So what to do about a stubborn 6 year old? This morning I stopped in the middle of frantically looking for his thermos-type container to put his hot soup in, threw the rest of his lunch in the fridge, and told him that he was buying his lunch that day. He was HORRIFIED, although the his choice of pizza, chili dogs or burritos may make this a one-time consequence. But this morning? It worked. He dashed outside with untied shoelaces and an unzipped coat, (hell, his teeth may have been unbrushed by all I knew at that point) clutching his hat, gloves and backpack. He tried the old switcheroo in the car – drawing me into an argument about the logistics of only having MD’s truck as our family transportation (yes, really) – until I finally told him I was done and turned the radio on (the miracle being that he actually STOPPED talking).

I have a hang up about the relationship between work and family sometime. It’s focused on out of the house work, which is why my summer of working mostly from home was so wonderful. But I have to get beyond my feeling that my needs are being pushed aside for the rest of the family’s needs every time we’re running late in the morning and try and focus on outwitting my wily opponent, er son. We’ve got a long, long way to go.

*I crashed and burned academically when I was a sophomore, which for me was getting around a 2.5 and being on probation for 2 quarters in a row. I think it was hormones + the loss of my grandfather the year before. My grandma grounded me, my dad bribed me with clothes. Neither worked and I pulled myself out of it by junior year but my accumulative grade point average never got above a 3.4 because of it. Funny to think how IMPORTANT all that was at the time. School.

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