Yesterday, where do I begin? Yesterday was absolutely our worst day yet. Friday afternoon Riley decided that doing his PM assignments was out of the question. We were having company over and with that rattling through his brain he was not able to focus. Over the weekend I decided that YMCA soccer was enough for him to do and that we all needed and deserved a break. (so we did not make up Friday's missed work over the weekend) Monday comes along and he goes bonkers. All hell breaks lose. It took two hours just to get him to the table and 6 1/2 hours to complete his days reading and written assignments. Usually he can do this in about 3 hours. There was crying, screaming and nasty words all around. I felt so defeated and quite honestly devoured by a 7 year old. It was awful but the good news is, its over and today is a new day.
Riley is the type of kid that just pushes your buttons just to see if it works. Lately I feel that he's really testing the waters to see how far he can push me. "If I push her far enough can I get out of my work?" I'm not the most patient person in the universe and I fully accept this. I've said from the beginning this is about me learning as much as it is about him learning. We're both a work in progress I suppose. He's made major, major improvements since the homeschool transition. He's wonderful and as a whole he's entirely a new person. A wonderful and delightful kid most of the time. Now that he's not as stressed out its like a miracle how loving and sweet he can be. He is genuinely interested in learning about things and he's willing and capable to change his behavior often by me simply telling him no.
At times he makes up his mind that he will not do anything. These are the times its quite honestly like arguing with myself. (Stubborn + stubborn = chaos) I continue to explain to him that working with me at home 4-5 hours a day is the alternative to having 8-9 hour days PLUS HOMEWORK. (Not to mention the fact that he's treated like a person here. He can pee, eat and talk when he wants to.) His only responsibilities are to do his school work, clean up and be respectful. Most days so far we've had a pretty good time of it. We wake up, follow our routine and even though there is a good deal of the mental pushing and pulling everything works out. Some days Riley will not even write his name though. I kind of feel like as he's relaxed and acted more civilized I've been treating him more as an "equal". I really hate the fact that every time I give him an inch he walks all over me. I hate to refer to monkey behavior but quite honestly I feel as if my child demands to be treated like a monkey. I'd really like to know... why do we have to sling shit every single morning just to establish that I am the dominant monkey?
At what point will this no longer be a daily tug of war? After the storm calmed I really felt the urge to get out and about. Under normal circumstances I probably would have just said forget the arguing. We're going for a walk. I'd considered going to the store but we have limited resources and not only do we have no money to spend at the store, but I also have damaged tires we can not afford to replace right now. Seeing as its been 15 below, walking is not quite an option. We really need to come up with an in case of emergency plan. In case of an urgency to do something else....anything else but school work. Grab finger paints? ...mmm dirty, indoors? no way. Bake cookies? Thought about it but then I'd end up making them, eating them and having to clean up. I'd really like to develop and grow to a point where instead of having an anxiety attack there's a backup.
A logical well planned solution. Anything but bickering.