It began with him coming up with the bright idea of pulling his pants down during naptime and dancing on his bed. Underwear was on-- but still. I just happened to check on the boys and saw them goofing around. He of course was the master mind.
This could have been an isolated incident, but he was just getting started.
I should have known since behaviors like this seem to come in a cycle.
During the course of the week he did the following:
* Brought home someone else's box tops in an envelope with his name because he wanted to.
* Pushed the limits with a substitute teacher.
* Kicked a little girl on the bus continually even after the bus driver told him to stop.
* Told the bus driver he kicked the girl because she is a girl but told me he did it to play.
* Stole the teacher's room key off her desk and hid it in his very messy desk.
* Told the vice principal he stole the key to be the class clown but told me he just liked the key.
* Stole something from one of his sisters' rooms and hid it under his pillow.
* Ripped up a photo when he was sent to bed for being mean to his little brother.
* Took three times as long eating at breakfast every morning this week.
* Complained about whatever was served for breakfast every. single. day.
* Woke up his brothers in the morning-- not by talking or making noise but by shaking the bunk bed "accidentally."
These things all happened during the course of a week-- thankfully not all at once. God is good like that. It may seem like one thing after another, but there is always time to breathe. Time to refocus. Time to find the good. Homework is no longer a struggle. He asks to get it done. He likes to show off his papers when he gets a good grade. This is a long time coming. Three years in fact. Homework was something I used to dread. Him too. Now we don't. And let's not forget him getting ready for school every morning by himself. This is huge! And the road to get here was not easy-- but we made it!
The thing that I remember is that parenting is a slow and steady process. It has its ups and downs with sometimes long periods of trials before I ever see a smile.
It is okay for me to quietly weep at the end of a hard day.
It is okay to get into bed at the end of day and thank God that He was there because if not, I am not sure where I would have gotten my patience.
It's okay to not know whether to laugh or cry when your son squirts his juice in his hair at lunchtime so he could look cool.
It is okay to scream out loud when your child is screaming at you to show him how crazy it makes you feel.
Well okay-- the last one is not really okay but I had to share it since it has happened.
My kids are not perfect.
I am not perfect.
Hey, I screw up as much as they do.
And just like I expect them to bare with me and forgive me, I do the same.
And over time, the kids see that. They learn to trust that this will happen.
And they make progress. They change. They grow. Some things get better and new things pop up. The issues that they had at 7 are so different when they are 10 or 12. Or maybe not. Lying may always be a struggle. So may sneaking food.
It really depends on the child.
It looks as if the cycle is ending. It has been a full week. He ate breakfast without complaint in a normal amount of time. I think he understands that taking things for any reason is like stealing. Period. His regular teacher should be back in the class on Monday which helps ensure that he won't try to get away with things at school.
If something new comes up, I will take it as it comes and not lump it all together. Everything is easier to chew in small bites including parenting.
Have a great Sunday! And remember that our God is bigger and greater!