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Reinforcement

Posted Oct 03 2012 12:57pm
I'm sitting at home. I don't really feel like writing. I can't find any movies to watch on TV. They all look old, worn out, but I don't want anything new. I could clean, but there is no energy in my arms, my legs, my eyes hurt. My stomach hurts.

He got off the bus morning- he was quiet on the bus- saying he was going to slash people. This was blamed on a game, but I don' know any game he plays that includes slashing. I suppose it could have been worse- he kept the nasty words to himself. I know the bolting is avoidance and attention, but this threatening needs to stop. I got into the car, and drove to Staples, grabbed some cards and markers and binder rings; maybe having those old picture cards and schedules would help again. There is so much for him to worry about. I could make the cards while observing his class.

But I am stopped at the front desk, told I am not expected. But I am expected. But no, they think I'm not. I get it- I've been seen too much. I've been labeled a helicopter parent. I'm being stopped, railroaded, turned away. They have Mrs. H come do it. She's good at it, they know I trust her. He's gotten on a roll since she's arrived. Well, of course he has- she knows how to cut through his avoidance and get him to move. But she won't be here every day. She has other cases, at another school. She's hoping for Tuesday-Thursday. Hoping.

Oh, and by the way, he needs some work on his personal hygiene. Yay.

The principal happens to walk by, he tries to say hello. I can't respond right now. I escape to the car- bolting, just like my Joey.

My Joey, my sweet little guy, is ten. It is getting harder to balance out the growing-up with the odd emotional non-progress; how to deal with a child who is both ten and five at the same time. Puberty is upon us, he knows how to get attention, he explodes from anxiety then turns around and explodes to just not have to do work. It gets difficult to know if this spiral of self-deprecation is depression, or an attempt at control, or an avoidance, like so many other ten-year-olds. How much does the repetition of material he has already mastered annoy him (how many times can you answer a seemingly inane question- one that you know the asker already knows the answer to- without going bat-shit crazy? Some subjects definitely seem like that to Joey). How much energy can you expend before being exhausted? And if a strategy for communicating exhaustion or frustration result in calming, feels-good activities, why not try to use those strategies for other times of discomfort- like time to get work done, or try something new, or cope with minor frustrations?

How have I managed to totally fail him, to not get him to understand the importance of self-regulation, to love learning, to want to know about the world. How have I managed to sabotage all the work we thought had been done?

I sit home, and stare at the computer, the blank TV. I manage to get down to the Farmer's Market and pick up some sweet potatoes for dinner. They are sitting on the counter. I'm not sure why I bothered. Andy will look at them and pretend to retch. Joey is just as happy with hot dogs or McDonald's. JoeyAndyDad doesn't like sweet potatoes.

I talk to my mom. I think I managed to get her upset because I'm upset, but not much else. I know I joke a lot about drinking, but seriously, I don't really. I suppose this would be a good time for it, but I'm just as lethargic about getting something out of the fridge as everything else.

I go back to school at 2, so I can get more evidence of what a hovering, bad mom I am, spoiling my child until salt won't save him. And trying to figure out how to fix it.
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