That’s the question I wanted answered this week. Why?
As my son threw fit after fit in the past week. Why?
As I struggled to put him in the car. My degenerating back screaming at me, not allowing me to pick his flattened-out dead weight off of the ground. Why?
As my husband informed me that the bathroom was soaking wet and I walked in to find him plunging out the toilet. My six-year-old son beamed at me, telling me that he had been playing with his cars in the toilet while we thought he had been playing in his room. Why?
As my son spit continually at me and his personal assistant while we tried to get his pants back on him in the parking lot at my work. Why?
As he aimed at me while peeing at the side of the road, continued to try to aim at me after I had moved, then aimed at the inside of the car when I had maneuvered myself behind him. Why?
Why won’t he sleep? Why does he keep screaming? Why is he biting himself so hard that he’s bleeding? Why does he have to bang his head so hard that he leaves bruises?
And why did God see fit to give me a child afflicted with these issues?
Yesterday, I dropped him off at school, and warned his teacher that the weekend was horrible and that the morning wasn’t any better. Imagine trying to get a child through a door while propping it open with one foot, trying to release his grasp on the door frame and pushing through all at the same time. That was how we entered the building. Not pleasant. And yet, because she decreased her expectations of him that day, he had a “green” day at school.
That meant nothing for me at home. I still got spit on and nearly peed on.
But again. Why me?
Well, I guess because I have more patience than I give myself credit for.
When I told The Manager about the spitting and about Squeaker trying to pee on me and all of this was on top of the struggle to get his pants back on and get him in his seat at the school…well, he told me that he wouldn’t have blamed me if I had, in that moment, snapped in hit him. But you know what? I didn’t even struggle with the thought of wanting to hit him. Don’t get me wrong. Sometimes, he’s sitting in the back seat and he’s screaming at the top of his lungs and being really irritating and kicking the back of my seat and I think maybe, just maybe, if I spank him he’ll stop…, but I don’t. This time, though? Nope. Didn’t think about it.
So another parent may have spanked him in that moment, but, as I told his dad, that’s not really an option. Didn’t even occur to me. To be honest, I really felt completely helpless in that moment. I was on the phone with my husband (hands-free) and I told him that if I couldn’t get Squeaker back in his seat, I was going to call the police for assistance. Squeaker perked up and asked about going to jail, and I asked him if he wanted to go, and he suddenly got right in his seat and let me buckled him in.
Now, I don’t know how long I can play the police card, but it works now. I will say that I was completely serious. I’m not physically able to control him on my own in those moments. If I can’t safely get him in his seat and get him home, I will have to ask. So I at least feel as if I’m not making an idle threat.
So, why me? Maybe also because I’m resourceful. If I’m not able to do what needs to be done myself, I know how to get what I need. I know who I need to call, and I know who I need to call after that if that person doesn’t listen to me. I’ll call Senators if I have to.
He’s challenging, for sure. Some days I have a hard time seeing the silver lining. But, at the end of the day (or maybe the next day), I have a sweet, funny child. Yesterday, I cried. In front of his teacher. Things were that bad. But then, when he went to bed, he gave us jump hugs, and he kissed me again and again. This morning, he called me “cute little mommy.” He loves his brother. He can be very snuggly. He’s silly and smart and he’s my son.
Why me? Because, even though my son is a challenge, I don’t put him down. I don’t call him “bad.” You won’t hear me saying awful things about him or to him. I do my best to point out the positive as much as possible. If he does something good, he gets praise for it. I try to practice positive parenting as much as possible. That’s not to say that I always succeed. No one’s perfect. But I know he feels loved and you can tell by the way he talks that he doesn’t hear a lot of negativity, which I’m proud of.
Anyway, I’ve spent enough days lamenting having to deal with the behaviors. True, I’d rather not have to. It’s heartbreaking to see him hurt himself and it’s exhausting to deal with the rest. We’re working on that. Right now, it’s part of who he is. Hopefully, it won’t always be that way. Hopefully, it will get better. But if it doesn’t, we’ll take the bad with the good, because he’s our son and we love him.
And it’s so much easier to be optimistic today when he’s not trying to pee on me.