Wednesday, March 11, 2015

A rough day

I don't mind saying that I'm crying as I type this. It's been a very rough day, and it's all just been too much!

Work was hard and overwhelming today. Jeff will be out of the picture through Sunday because of the big college basketball tournament here in town. And Biscuit is in big trouble!

I can count on one hand the times that Biscuit has really been in trouble. He's just a good, laid-back kid, so when he gets in trouble - like he did today - it's just really surprising. It throws me for a loop.

I was driving from work to Biscuit's school to pick him up, and I was just thinking, "Man, I'm glad work is done, and Biscuit and I can head home, make some dinner and just hang out."

I turned the car off, and because I had sent someone an email and was waiting for an answer to a question, I checked my email. Bad move!

I had an email from Biscuit's teacher saying that he was already in trouble for talking when he wasn't supposed to be talking. Then he and one of his friends decided it would be fun to hit each other over the head with their lunchboxes.

I might have talked about the behavior chart before, but basically, there's a rainbow chart on the wall in Biscuit's class that tracks how they behave each day. Each kid has a clothespin with his or her name written on it. They all start on green.

From top to bottom, the chart is:
Red: Outstanding day
Orange: Great day
Yellow: Good day
Green: Ready to learn
Blue: Think about it
Purple: Teacher's choice (the teacher decides how to handle the situation)
Pink: Parent contact

There are two levels above red, but they're pretty rare. Top of the Chart is if the kid is on red and does something good, he/she gets to move the clip up to the hanger that holds the chart. And if someone moves up one more spot, the clip can be moved to the teacher's I.D. lanyard.

To put this in perspective, Biscuit got Top of the Chart yesterday. He was one step above Outstanding. And today, he was the very bottom color. He got pink!

Each kid has a calendar page in his binder, and at the end of the day, he has to color that day to correspond with the behavior chart. So as the teacher walked around the room this afternoon, she saw Biscuit take an orange crayon out of his box.

So he talked out of turn and got to purple. Then he hit another kid and moved down to pink. And then, because he was scared to be in trouble with me, he was going to color his calendar block orange instead of the pink he should've been using!


So as Biscuit and I walked out of school, I said, "Guess who I got an email from?"

"Um, who?" Biscuit said. And I could tell by his sheepish demeanor that he knew dang well who I was talking about.

I didn't give him any details about the email, but I did give him the silent treatment all the way home. 

Just as we pulled in the driveway, he said, in the most sullen voice I've ever heard, "I'll just go sit on the couch and not do anything."

And if I wasn't mad enough already, that just pushed me right over the top! No! He does not get to punish himself. That's my job, and as mad as I was, I was dang-well gonna punish him!

Jeff saw the email at the coliseum and immediately texted me. We traded messages, then he called me. I think he could tell how upset I was. We hashed it out on the phone. Then I went in the living room and yelled at Biscuit. I'm not proud of it, but I yelled at him. Quite frankly, I didn't know what else to do.

Well, I did take away TV and the Wii for a week.

I made us some dinner, then I gave him a bath. Then - and this was the hardest part of the whole evening - I said, "Go to bed."

I didn't walk up with him. I didn't read him a book. I didn't tuck him in. I didn't hug him goodnight. 

And then I came downstairs and cried about it. And then the second-guessing started. Maybe I should've at least hugged him. Maybe I should've tucked him in and just left off the story.

It's so, so hard! I just can't explain how awful it is to make him sad on purpose, but I'm afraid that if I don't stick to my guns, he won't get that this is a big deal. Nowadays, you can get kicked out of school for hitting another kid - even if you're playing.

So now I have the fun task of trying to sleep tonight. Then I have to figure out how to handle things in the morning.

Man! I wish kids came with instructions!!

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