Life with two rambunctious boys has surely kept me busy this week.
1. PP shocked us again with another behavioral challenge at school last week. At times I feel like hitting my head against a concrete wall not knowing where to go next. I did come to his class to observe him and work with his teacher, I spent large amount of time doing research by reading on parenting books and from other moms’ websites, I talked to his doctor, I also tried to be creative with him. But the problems still exist. Some days were better than the other, and some were worst.
Last week he came home with a disciplinary note from the teacher listings all kind of offenses. I was so frustrated and asked him to stay in his room until I finish making dinner. The guy came out ten minutes later with his arms squarely folded around his chest and then he bowed down (respectful apologetic gesture in Vietnamese culture) to me with a remorseful “con xin lỗi Mẹ” (I am sorry, Mẹ) in full Vietnamese, “con xin lỗi Mẹ con did wrong, con could not control my body!”
I could not help myself from opening my arms for him to fall into a hug. The boys know my weakness so well; as long as they sprinkle their talk with a few Vietnamese words they know for sure that would soften me down. Goal!!!
One of my solution was to have both of us sit down and have him talk about the reasons he did what he did at school, what prompted it, how he handled the situation, and what could he had done differently to avoid getting into trouble. I let him talk in his own words, and let him think for himself. To close the conversation, I asked him to think of two consequences, not punishment but consequences, and I helped him put together a contract.
In the contract he suggested to take himself away from recess time (his favorite activity at school) for four days. During that time, while his classmates were having fun he would go to the principal’s office to do extra work that I assigned for him. I suggested the extra work and he agreed to the terms. I just printed out some math and comprehensive reading for him to work on. Today he told me he actually enjoyed doing it with no distraction.
I don’t know and am not sure if this strategy will work in the long run but for now I want to teach him about being accountable for his actions and making poor choices. Having a visual hand-written contract and asking him to keep it near (in his binder at school and I’m his room at home) would serve as a reminder for him. Again, this is not fool-proof, I am just putting my hope in there there wishing that it has some effect, like a reminder that he needs to make good choices for himself. Trial and errors!
Anyway, I am writing these boring stuff down because I want to keep these memories for him. When he grows up I at least have some evidence that he isn’t an easy child to raise.
2. Peanut has been having a cold and cough virus for a month. His lymph nodes around the neck, ears, and jawlines are tender to the touch. Two weeks ago Mr. O brought him to the doctor and he was diagnosed with pneumonia; he was on antibiotics for five days. Today I brought him back there because of the repeated cough and swollen lymph nodes but the doctor couldn’t find anything other than the “it’s viral so you have to wait it out” response. Thankfully he is active and normal, maybe not the appetite but he does well for a kid who has been in a cold-virus marathon. Should I blame the cold Midwestern weather that keeps us indoor most of the time?
3. Mr. O sent in his resignation last Friday at the current job. He also declined another job offer here in Minnesota as we are firm about moving west. His last day is 3/15 and then he flies out to SF on 3/16 for a week of orientation and initial training.
The real estates market over there is just…out of our reach. We are going to rent for a long time.
4. Purging and throwing out stuff that we no longer need has been therapeutic for me this week. Holy crap, I am such an emotional hoarder; I keep lingering on objects that provokes memories. I consider myself a minimalist, but I have too many good books I want to keep, even my college text books on intercultural communication. It’s been 16 years, I think I can free myself from them now. Adieu!
Actually, what has helped me to purge was my reading about KonMarie method of organization. If things no longer spark joy in my current state of mind, then I am free to send them to new owners after thanking them for their services. It sounds weird at first but it has helped.
5. Writing all of these snippets of my current state of life on a phone at midnight isn’t ideal. I am sure my grammar is crappy!
6. Picture of Peanut at Mama T’s Preschool session. We are learning phonics and practicing hand-writing.
That’s not his hand writing but it’s mine. I asked him to trace the letters with his favorite marker color. He does have a better hand-grip than PP’s.