Sunday, March 15, 2015

Getting back to normal

What a week!

I've talked to people about what it's like to raise a child, and I've assured them that despite what they might think, the big decisions are not that hard.

When we picked what school Biscuit was going to attend, I did the research. I read about the tons of school options we have here. I visited a handful of them. I talked to people whose kids attend those schools.

But when you run into situations like Biscuit's trouble this week, there's no research available. It's all gut instinct. And THAT's what's hard about raising kids.

And the worst part is that no matter how you handle it, you're going to second-guess yourself, wondering if you were too easy or too hard. Or maybe you said the wrong thing. It's hard!

So Thursday morning, Biscuit was very quiet. And everything was "yes ma'am" and "no, sir." He knew that Jeff and I were still upset with him.

I had told him Wednesday evening that I was going to walk into school with him Thursday morning to make sure he apologized to his teacher. But it didn't work out for that to happen.

Jeff talked to him that morning about trust and how it was wrong for him to try to use an orange crayon when he was supposed to be using pink. Jeff explained that if Biscuit thought it was okay to lie about that, then we have to figure he would like about other things, too. And that kinda surprised Biscuit. Jeff did a good job of putting it into Biscuit's terms.

"If you would lie about what color you really got, why would Mom and I believe you if you told us that you brushed your teeth," Jeff said. "We would have to just wonder if you were telling the truth or not. But if you can trust somebody, you believe they're telling the truth. And that's what Mom and I want. We want to believe what you tell us."

"I'm sorry, Dad," Biscuit said.

"Do you understand what I said about trust?" Jeff asked.

"Yes, sir," Biscuit said.

I was running late that morning, so Jeff said he would take Biscuit to school. I walked into the kitchen to talk to Biscuit.

"Listen, Dad is going to take you to school, so that means I won't be able to walk into class with you," I said. "I heard you and Dad talking about trust, so I'm going to trust that you will walk into your classroom and apologize to your teacher. To interrupt her class by talking and playing rough is very disrespectful. Can I trust you to apologize to her?"

"Yes, ma'am," Biscuit said.

I emailed Biscuit's teacher to let her know what we had talked to him about and to let her know that he would be apologizing to her. Then I asked her if she could let me know whether he did apologize.

I didn't tell Biscuit that I was going to check behind him with his teacher. I figured that would defeat the purpose of telling him that I was trusting him to do it. But seeing as this is the first time he's gotten in trouble like this, I just wanted to make sure for my own peace of mind.

I emailed the teacher at 7:30 a.m., and at 7:50 a.m., I got an email from her that Biscuit had walked straight into their classroom and before he dropped his lunch, backpack or jacket, he walked straight to her desk and apologized.

I don't think I mentioned in the original post that as soon as I sent Biscuit to bed, I immediately called my Mama. Then the next morning, I had an email from my mother-in-law. Then a mom friend of mine at worked peeked over the top of my cubicle to ask if I was okay. Then I got a nice email from another friend. So my advice to moms (especially ones with younger kids) is to use the resources you have around you - whether it's your mama or just a friend whose instincts you trust. Having that support circle is so very important!

I had a terrible sinus headache this afternoon, so I decided to take a nap. Jeff and Biscuit had been outside playing, and when they came in, they saw that I was covered up on the couch.

"Let's go upstairs and watch TV," Jeff said to Biscuit.

"Dad, I can't, remember?" Biscuit said. "Right, Mom?"

Every ounce of me wanted to say it was okay if he watched TV with Jeff, but I figured if Biscuit was willing to hold up his end of the punishment, I certainly needed to.

"Oh, yeah," Jeff said. "Sorry."

I wonder if I over-reacted about any of it, especially because Jeff wasn't here, and I didn't have his input. But we both feel very strongly about raising Biscuit to be kind and thoughtful to other people. And hopefully, this week will be a reminder of that.

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