Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right…

I believe it is starting to dawn on Walter he might be here for awhile and understandably so it is confusing.  Frankly it’s confusing for me so I’m not sure how he must be feeling.  He had a heart to heart with Dudette last night and told her she felt like his mommy but he loved his BM too.  It was quite a moment for them from what I heard.  He’s still working through the sadness of not getting to be with mom and I’m not sure where he is with it.  He cried for her again tonight.  He was pushing me all evening.  Everything was one more.  “Can I have three cookies?”  “How about 2”  “No three!”  “Ok, three fine.” “No four!”  VIETNAM.  This happened a few times and he won’t be playing outside tomorrow but just tried my best to not spoil him outright just because but empathize with the fact that he’s starting to realize the one thing he is most desperate for he is not going to get so suddenly these little tiny battles become important.  So cookies, one more bounce of the ball or a extra ten minutes of Art Time before bed can send a little boy into crying fits to his room.

A lot of people would advocate dropping the hammer at this point.  Ground him, show him what’s it like to have nothing so he will stop being bad and selfish.  I feel in my heart he already believes he’s bad. If we pile on he’s never going to come out from under this.  Punishment for this behavior is simply putting out fires, I want to convince Walter to leave the matches alone.  I did not do well tonight.  I was very un-Dudelike but 4 hours of sleep and a 12 hour day will do that to you.  It wasn’t all him or me.  We have bad days and have to move on.  I fear this is the calm before the storm and I won’t lie.  It’s on my mind quite a bit.


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4 Responses to Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right…

  1. sisterella says:

    There is no such thing as perfect parenting, so don’t even aim for it. Do your best. Follow your heart. Talk to your child. Most of all, just love him. You WILL fuck up now and again. Admit it, fix it and try to learn from it. You and Allison are doing a GREAT job with a VERY DIFFICULT situation. Hang in there and know that there a lot of people pulling for you! 🙂

  2. sisterella says:

    PS… why the heck are all my comments coming through as “Sisterella” instead of me? I have done something wrong here. This is Erin, your techno-moronic friend.

  3. Allison says:

    I wouldn’t drop the hammer at this point. You are probably right about how he feels about himself. The limit-testing in my kids is usually about safety, so if I give in very often, they start feeling less safe. It’s a hard balance to maintain. I try to do that by surprising my kids with good things, while holding the line on the limit-testing. I rarely get it just right. I think you are doing great!

  4. Sarah says:

    I think you do such a good job of intuiting Walter’s bigger picture. Recognizing that lots of punishment will confirm his poor self-imagine is huge. You guys are great parents to him, especially during all of this turmoil and uncertainty.

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