Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Smoothing Out Rough Patches

lunch date at Jacobs Pickles
I'm sitting on the sidelines watching Aiden in his karate class. He's paying close attention, trying to get the moves down, and working. Hard. It's after school on a Tuesday evening and I know he's had a long day at school, but he's still working. Hard. And paying attention. Closely. And not wiggling or fidgeting. For once.

The Sensei is tough. Loving and warm, but tough nonetheless. Very funny. But still tough. The assistant instructors/Senseis are attentive, meticulous, and equally tough. I like them for Aiden. I like this program for him. And thankfully, he seems to like it too. 

Not gonna lie, these past few months have been hard for Aiden. (And hard for me as I try to figure him out during this phase and figure out how to support him.) 

He's having to deal with a lot of changes that's out of his control -- being reintroduced to his other parent, learning that he has a lawyer, meeting said lawyer to talk about his life and thoughts on visiting with his other parent, going on supervised visits with his other parent and eventually having to go on unsupervised visits Friday evenings with his other parent... no matter how much he whines and cries about not wanting to go... 

Oh, and he's also had (has) to watch my belly get bigger and bigger as we get ready for Baby Delicious.

Drop Everything and Read event at his school
School started a few weeks ago and second grade's been tough so far. Not so much academically, although he hates the fact that he has to do a lot more writing than he did in first grade. (The writer in me cringes at the thought of this, but, to each his own, right?) Behaviorally, it's been a challenge for him. 

Aiden's always been the type to negotiate and weigh all his options before making decisions...
But can I do it this way instead? What's gonna happen if I do it this way? Are you gonna get mad? Don't you think it makes more sense if we...? How 'bout I rest for a little while and THEN read my book? But you say we don't watch TV on the weekdays, but when I go to bed, I hear the TV on in the living room... 
He's bound to be a lawyer or CEO or entrepreneur when he grows up. Trust me on this because he's a master negotiator, that kid. 

But he's never downright decided not to follow directions. Not like this anyway. Not this frequently either. In school, he's just saying, "No" when he doesn't want to do something. Or completely shutting down and being unresponsive to his teachers. At home, he's talking back. Constantly. Like, all... the... time. 

And I know it's because he feels powerless and he's trying to find his power in a world that seems confusing and, well, powerless, to him. I know he wants to be able to make decisions for himself. I know he's still trying to work through his feelings and make sense of it all. 

The other day, during a particularly hard afternoon at school, his teacher called me so that I could speak with him over the phone in hopes of soothing him. As I was speaking to him on the phone, he was crying. When I asked him what was wrong, he said, "I'm frustrated and mad and I don't know what's wrong."

My heart ached. Literally. 

I'm trying to help him work through his feelings in a productive way. Without being defiant or destructive or unsafe with his body. I'm his mama bear and cheerleader and coach and I will literally move mountains and make the impossible happen to help him work through this rough phase. 

I've already been conferencing with his School Psychologist and I'm in touch with his teacher several times throughout the day via text or phone call. We're coming up with a plan that'll help him make it through. After school, he's playing basketball and dancing hip-hop and practicing karate. All things that make him happy. On the weekends, we're snuggling up and talking and playing Minecraft and planning adventures. And he loves it. 

We're a team. We've always been a team and I've always had his back. 

I look up from my phone and glance over at Aiden's Sensei who is making his way towards Aiden. Sensei helps Aiden with his form and posture and Aiden quickly corrects his stance. Sensei gives him a pat on the back and Aiden smiles with pride. 

He's gonna be okay. I'm his mother and I'll make damn sure that I help him smooth out this rough patch.


  1. So many changes in his little world but he's got a fighter mama to help him through. Lucky kid! It's a blessing that you can see where the behavior is coming from so you can direct him always, Good Job Mommy! How are the visits going?

    1. It's only four hours on Friday evenings and I think he has a good time when he's there. But... he never WANTS to go. He always tantrums and whines and cries to not go. I try to encourage him and tell him I'll pick him up soon, but it's still hard. Sigh.


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