You know how you sometimes judge other people (and/or their kids) and say " I would never let my kid run around in a restaurant like that." OR "I would never let my kid talk to me like that." OR "My kid will never be that kid with the dirty, Popsicle mouth and crusty booger nose."...
You know how sometimes you say (or think) that?
(Or maybe you never do and it turns out that I'm the
only bad person among us - how embarrassing.)
Well, about a month ago, while I was mom helpering in Kort's classroom, this is what went down:
ME: Oh, Josephina, (names have been changed to protect the crazy... I mean, innocent) I love your new haircut! (She had long hair clear down her back, but now it's bobbed to her chin, and it really is cute.)
JOSEPHINA: (a little shy/embarrassed, quietly mumbles) Thanks.
ME: Did you decide you wanted it cute and short for summer?
GOSSIP GIRL: (pipes up) No she didn't.
GOSSIP GIRL: She snuck scissors into the bathroom last week
and cut it off while Mrs. S. didn't know.
JOSEPHINA: No I didn't!
GOSSIP GIRL: Yes huh, your mom and Mrs. S. were really mad.
JOSEPHINA: No they weren't.
GOSSIP GIRL: Yes huh, you got in trouble and Mrs. S had to talk to your mom and then you had to go get a real haircut.
JOSEPHINA: (clearly distressed/sad/embarrassed) No I didn't.
ME: Okay, okay. Well I think you look really great Josephina.
I then proceed to think the following things to myself:
Hmmmm, that's pretty weird that she's totally denying everything, I wonder if she is okay. Hmmmm, it is just NOT normal for a 5 or 6 year old to be cutting off all of her hair in the school bathroom. Hmmmm, something must be going on at home. Hmmmmm, that's kind of just a weird situation, she's kind of flipping out a little bit. I'm so glad that Kortland would never do anything like that....
flash forward to..NOW.
Yep. My kid.
Snip, snip .
And I feel so awful! I completely "over-did" this past month preparing for the fundraiser, ran myself down, got insanely sick, was flat in bed for an entire week, and it completely freaked my little guy out. He has never seen me so sick before, and to tell you the truth, I'VE never seen MYSELF so sick before either! That was horrible. Yuck.
And I don't think that KJ knew how to process it. I think he was pretty worried, and I think it was hard to have a mom that couldn't do all of the things she normally does. He didn't know what to make of it, and he was unhappy, and he started acting out at school.
When Kyle went to pick Kort up each day, his teacher kept on telling him that Kort wasn't behaving and that he wouldn't follow instructions. We would talk to Kort about it, and tell him that he would be grounded at home if he didn't behave at school, and we'd think it was resolved, and the next day when Kyle picked him up, we got the same story. Eeeesh!
Finally, on Friday, I was well enough to pick him up and when I got there, Mrs. S said
"Oh, Kortland has just been having a really hard time again today. It's not like he's being mean or anything like that, but he just won't listen to a word I say. He's running around the room and getting into things he shouldn't and I just don't know what to do with him!"
I explain to her that I have been very sick and I think it has freaked him out a little bit, and that we would love to meet with her and come up with a plan for how to nip this in the bud and get him back on track, etc. and then I look around and say
"Where is he anyway? I haven't seen him since I came in."
Mrs. S: "Oh, I don't know. He has to be here somewhere."
Then I spy little sneakers beneath the piano. I walk over to find KJ crouching in the corner. His hair is soaking wet with big bald chunks missing throughout.
"What on EARTH?!!!!"
My first instinct was to ground him for a month and yell at him and make him sit in his room when we got home, but then I realized that he would really have to be hurting and struggling to act out in this way, and we need to INCREASE love, understanding, and affection right now, not withhold it.
Then, Gaga had a brilliant idea.
No house to clean, no phone calls to return, no errands to run...
just me and my boy and quiet time together.
I'm going to make big breakfasts...
and go on a couple of hikes a day...
and drive up to look at the "beautifullest water"
and paint pictures in the yard...
and visit the Worwood's Pig farm...
and dye and decorate lots and lots of Easter eggs...
and read Easter stories...
I'm going to reconnect with my boy and MY LIFE!
We will get through the last 6 weeks of kindergarten!