Friday, August 01, 2008

Being a mom is tough.

Jackson had his last dancing class today. I went over at 11:30 to watch their presentation without high hopes of Jackson being a dance prodigy. All week I asked him to show me his dancing and he refused. So I figured today's presentation would be no different. Aaaaand I was right.

Jackson was very happy to see me, jumping around and yelling "Hi mommy!" and really wanting me to hold him. The problem with that was the teacher had put all the kids in formation on their pink 'x's and now that I was there, Jackson had no intention of staying in formation to perform the dances. I did my best to keep putting him back on his spot and encouraging him to follow the teacher and do what the other kids were doing. No dice. He did only a little of the dances - only the parts that involved jumping around and growling - and simply wanted me to hold him and go have lunch. As far as he was concerned, class was over. He'd been with the kids and teacher for his time and was ready to go. Performing is apparently not his interest.

I admit I was embarrassed at his behavior. After the 5-day camp, he was the only remaining boy, I think there were 3 initially. And it was a group of 3 to 5 year olds. Jackson was the youngest but he wasn't the only one who wasn't participating willingly. So it shouldn't have bothered me. But the 3 year old girl who wanted to leave the circle and go to her mom got a firmish rebuke, 'No, you go back and show me your dance.' And the little girl went back. I would love to have a child who just did what I said like that, man. And I felt like people were watching Jackson cut up and make noise and loudly proclaiming "Can we go now?" and were thinking I was a crappy mom who couldn't control her child.

But people don't know what we have been through; that I had to give up primary care of him two or three weeks of the month for 6 months. They don't know the memory burned into my brain, and probably his, of the day before I went to the hospital when I was lying on the bathroom floor, in misery, unable to move while he stood in the doorway crying for mommy to please get up, please feel better. I have no defense when Jackson wants me to hold him, cause this past year has been rough on us both. If he would rather climb into my arms than stand in a circle and perform dances, I won't force him to do it. I can't force him to do it. And he is used to getting his way in part because of the cancer shit and all the turmoil it caused.

I got him to do more than he wanted to, but not as much as I would have liked. I knew it wasn't going to go well when the teacher was passing out brightly-colored scarves for one dance. She got to him and he said "I want pink." She had three or four pinks in her hand, but she had a green one held out to him and wouldn't take it back and give him one of the pinks. "Everyone can't have pink," she said. The three little girls next got them. Sigh. I know my boy and this would never satisfy him. And I think this dance out of all of them might have excited him, they wave the sheer scarves to the music. But he had a green scarf, not a pink one. Therefore there could be no dancing. Not Jackson. He dropped his green scarf disdainfully on the floor and spent the entire song unsuccessfully trying to convince the little girl next to him to fork over the pink scarf.

He did get excited when they got to the mat work. Everyone got to show us two of their favorite things they learned. The tiger walk, the crab walk, the back bend, etc. Jackson got his turn.

"Jackson what do you want to show us?"

"Raaaaccceee Ccaaarrrr!"

Teacher: (to the parents)
"We didn't actually learn that one..."

Then the big finish. The teacher was getting all the kids in place for the "grand finale' when Jackson started the pee pee dance. "Oh no! Oh no! The pee pee is coming out!" I grabbed him and ran to the bathroom just in time, but we totally missed the grand finale. So I think Jackson may be too little to get anything out of Kinderdance. I know he had a good time and was very excited to go. But I am afraid he was the class pain in the butt.

I am not sure what we need to be doing differently discipline-wise. He is really developed a temper. He doesn't mind me until I threaten him with the loss of a toy or no Sponge Bob or something else he wants. He is willful. And at work he is starting to behave badly after his nap when I am waiting on customers or answering the phone. He is really smart. He waits until I am on the phone or talking to people and he stands at my feet making as much noise as he can and asks for "candy! candy! candy!" Because unfortunately I got into the habit of keeping hard candies in my purse to slip him to keep him quiet on just such occasions. That means that I taught him to act up at exactly those times because he knows I will give in cause I am desperately trying to work. I recently switched to sugar-free candies, but I feel taken advantage of and like a doormat mom when he does that. And I am not sure what to do about it. "Will you please excuse me while I beat my child," just doesn't seem to be the answer somehow.

I better write some good things about the boy now, since I am his mother and and really proud of him and love him no matter what his dancing ability. He has continued with the excellent potty habits. No accidents, and lots of telling me (and everyone else within ear-shot) that he needs to go.

Yesterday at work he crawled into my lap and picked up a post-it note pad from the desk. He was playing with it a bit and discovered if you lift half the sheets, you could make the pad talk! "Hello, my name is paper, I'm going to eat you," he said in a gravely voice to his hot wheels car, whom the paper promptly gobbled.

And today on the way home an ambulance passed us with lights and sirens on. Jackson asked, "Where is the ambulance going?" I told him it was going to pick up a sick person and take them to the hospital. Jackson said, "I'm sick. I'm veerrry sick. Can the ambulance come and pick up meeeee?"

He is constantly asking if I am happy. If I am scolding him for something, he always asks me if I am happy. And if I say I am not happy because he won't help me pick up his toys or some other thing, he automatically turns into the Verizon guy - in my face with "Are you happy now, mom? Are you happy now? Are you happy?" Until I finally say, "Yeesss, I'm happy, geez!"

Being a mom is hard. I guess I am entering the stage of having a kiddo embarrass me in public and I don't know if there really is any way around that. I mean, all kids, every single one of them, are going to have bad days and scream their heads off in the line at HEB when you have a whole cart full of groceries to buy. And of course retailers certainly don't make it any easier on you with the candy and toys up front all the time, but that is a whole nuther blog post.

1 comment:

Ronni said...

I wonder if the dance teacher felt uncomfortable giving Jackson a pink scarf, thinking that pink is a gender-specific colour.

Perhaps you could have a word.

It sounds like he did very well, considering he is younger than the rest of them.

I have known several kids who have done the bother-mom-while-she's-on-the-phone thing, and it can continue on well into high school if not nipped.

I don't know how to nip it, though, as I have been lucky enough not to have had to go through what you have in this past year.

I would say just, be gentle with him and with yourself. If any other mommies were being judgmental, at least they had the couth not to say anything.

Besides, I'm pretty sure each and every one of them can remember a time when their kid was Jackson's age and behaved like it...