|Watching Harry Potter with his wand.|
It all started with the color yellow. Cade was supposed to wear that color to school today, because they were learning about it, or something. So when I pulled his only yellow shirt over his head, which is this cheap monstrosity, Cade warned me that he didn't like it and he didn't want to wear it, but I made him because I didn't want him to be the only kid in his class that wasn't wearing yellow and feel like a freak. Only, I should have listened to him, because apparently wearing yellow made him feel like a freak anyway, and things just went downhill from there.
When I took him to his class, he grabbed my leg and said quite resolutely, "I'M NOT GOING TO SCHOOL TODAY MOM. NOOOOOOO WAY, MOM!" And I kind of looked at him baffled, because school has been in session for 2 weeks, and he hasn't had a single problem. So I tried pulling him through the door. I tried bribing him through the door. I tried threatening him through the door. And, finally, when all else failed, I DRAGGED him through the door. By then he was crying, and I was near tears too because I was flustered and bewildered as to why my kid was suddenly swimming laps around the anxiety pool. Fortunately his (awesomely sweet) teacher came over in that moment and took (read: PRIED) him away from me, and I left. I thought about him all that afternoon, hoping and praying that he was handling school well and not having a melt down.
Three hours later, I went to pick him up. His teacher came right up to me after the bell rang, and told me that there had been some "issues" that day. Great. I cringed, waiting for the worst. I am used to my child being willfull and defiant, and sometimes that's what I love most about him - but I also know, then when it comes time to conform, like in school, and say, just sit and do your work and be quiet, I'm not always sure Cade is going to be great at that. And today he wasn't. She told me, "Today, Cade REFUSED to try." He wouldn't do a lick of his work, because he kept saying over and over, "I CAN'T do it." This really concerns me, because I don't want my 5 year old at such an early age to think he can't do things, to already feel so incapable - I mean, isn't that supposed to happen during the dreaded adolescence? Brandon and I tell him several times a day what a good boy he is, and how smart and strong and brave and wonderful he is. We shower him with love and compliments and positive affirmations. So...to have my kid already starting out, saying he can't do something, breaks my heart. I don't know what to do about it.
So, when we got to the car, I told Cade that he could watch cartoons after school for a little bit, but then we were going to sit at the table and do alllll the work that he refused to do at school. I don't want him to think he can get out of it, or that it isn't important. My hope is that he'll start to do it at school once again, just as soon as he realizes that sitting at home and doing it with Mommy and Daddy is no fun when he could be playing the Wii or superheroes or something. So Brandon sat with him for an hour and they did all his work...and it was hard. (NO CADE, IT'S A T. A T!! NONOTANL! A T!!! *giggles from cade, groans from brandon...*) You need an incredible amount of patience with this kid, because he's smart and absolutely capable of the work - but lacks the drive and desire to do the work.
So, what do I do? How do I give my sweet son more self-esteem? How do we get it in his brain that kindergarten isn't, like, a choice. In my desperation this afternoon when I was trying to get him into school, I told him that Mommy and Daddy would go to jail if he didn't go to school, and HE LAUGHED. IN MY FACE. Punk. But I'm serious. If any of you have any ideas on how I could help encourage him in this, or if you can just relate, I'd love to hear from you. I just want what's best for my guy, and it makes me sad that he's scared of school and feels inadequate.
Later today, after school was out, I asked him why he didn't like school that day, and he crumpled to the ground and wailed that he hated school because it was "Yellow Day" and that he HATES YELLOW. So I ripped that shirt off his head and told him to go pick annnny shirt he wanted. Tomorrow is Yellow Day too, but if Cade will go to school sans the freak out? He can wear any color he wants, conformity be damned.
Sigh. Cross your fingers that tomorrow goes better...