Power struggles are never fun. Ever. Nobody really wins. Today we had a big one. E vs mom and then E vs dad and then E vs both mom and dad. It was really big, and it went on and on. We tried every non-violent method of problem solving. We set limits. We held the space. We tried ignoring. But it is hard to ignore a kid who will. not. give. space. and will not stop badgering. (Mom, are you laughing yet? He is way too much like me!). After a long time C took E's door off its hinges (because of slamming, and you can bet E simply moved to slamming the bathroom door instead). Most parents would say to maybe take away toys or privileges, but this kid has none, and spanking does not work for us. There is absolutely nothing in the world that will stop E once he gets going. That is, until C started dismantling E's bunk bed. E was glad to have it gone (?!?) and calmed down. Go figure. But he was still not happy with us.
Now E is and always has been a child who is hard to figure. Hard to plan for, hard to parent. He rebels against any and all rules. He is his own person. He was born believing that if I know something, he must also... Which of course he doesn't, and it kills him. Homeschooling him is a challenge, let me tell you! After 4 years, I think I have it worked out. He does Teaching Textbooks math on the computer- can't argue with a computer, though sometimes he tries. No circle time for him- I write poems and songs on a chalkboard and he challenges himself to memorize them. I leave out books and stories that relate to a main lesson block until he asks to do them, then I approach it as us learning together even if I already know what I'm talking about. He is eager to learn and oh so smart. He forces me to use all my roundabout teacher skills and to be infinitely creative in how I present things. He brings out the best and the worst in me. Did I mention he is Just Like Me? Sigh. What comes around, goes around.
Anyway, this latest rough patch began around the time we started preparing to move. Routines changed, houses changed, gymnastics coaches changed....everything changed. He had a resurgence of asthma and of course reacted badly to the medicines. I have been working hard to create a new, constant rhythm for him, which of course he is fighting. So I have been chalking up the difficulties to all that and had no idea where to go from here. My brilliant hubby, on the other hand, got in the car. He was gone for quite a while, and when he got back, he had..... Games! Yard games to play with the kids. Indeed, one of E's biggest complaints since we moved in was that daddy always had a project he was busy with. No time to play. He's here, but not here.
C taught E and e how to use a baseball glove and how to play badminton. They hauled the bunk bed boards out to the shop. They put E's door back on. They played and played WITH DADDY. I love happy endings!
I finished the pumpkin hat. My sweet e has worn it almost all day, despite the fact that it is almost 80 in our house. E has requested a watermelon hat. I love that my children appreciate homemade. :)