Friday, March 16, 2007

And I thought having them was hard....

(Yes, more stuff about my kids....heads up, just in case anyone is sensitive....)

The last 24 hours I have done the Walk of Shame in the Mommy world. But upon closer examination, it turns out that I am not so guilty, and my kid is not so awful and maybe this isn't all so shameful.

Just freakin' complicated. *Sigh*

They are both in hockey camp this week, for March Break. (A horrible invention that fills working parents with dread.) This hockey camp is run by my local University and is usually one of the best in the city. My older son has been there before, and LOVED it, so the younger one went this year.

Yesterday mid-morning I drop off my little guy's backpack and am pulled aside by his counselor, who starts asking me questions. And then drops the a few bombs. Turns out my darling hyper boo boo prone little boy has been hitting other kids, with open handed slaps. And insulting the counselors, by yelling about how they have no "dicks", (while pointing to the pelvic area....groan) He is being asked to leave camp for the day because his behaviour is so outrageous.

And as I stare in shock at the young man, and hang my head in shame, I am gripped with the sudden desire to spank my kid hard and yell and scream and go thermofreakin' nuclear on him.

But I don't hit, I never do, I'll admit to yelling sometimes, but I didn't this time. It's the legacy of growing up in an abusive family. The first instinct is always to do the wrong thing. The hardest lesson I have had to learn as a parent, is how to be normal and calm, even in the face of utter humiliation, stress, exhaustion, and anger.

I breathed, I counted to ten, and asked for more details about what happened.

I pulled my 6 year old little guy aside and told him that hitting was wrong, always wrong, even if the other kid HAD called him penis-breath and never even got caught. When a bigger kid wrestles with him and puts him in a headlock, he should be upset, but the counselors stopped it 5 seconds later, so throwing an angry tantrum for the next ten minutes is pointless, and doesn't help anyone.

We leave, we go home, we have many more chats about controlling our emotions, and finding out what really happened. The problem is that since I'm hearing about it a few days later, his memory is a bit fuzzy on details and some things have blended in with other things.

I realize that he as a 6 year old cannot be held responsible in the same way as my 10 year old. The camp should've told me earlier, and they should've been supervising the kids inside the locker room, instead of hanging out in the hallway. It turned out the joke about not having dicks was something the bigger kids had been telling each other, and the little kids had overheard it. They of course did not really understand it, they just knew it was "bad" and fun and repeated what the big kids were doing. And lo and behold...who gets caught? Same with some of the other insults. No, my son should NOT have hit anyone, but kids also get provoked, and if no one is watching and helping them deal with it....I just think he isn't the only guilty party here, y'know?

This morning we dropped him off, and we had rehearsed a plan for keeping our temper under control, in fact I even playacted it out. I called him names and he practiced breathing and counting to 10 and telling the "counselor" aka Dad.

It worked so far, no calls this morning, but hey, it's early...I'm dreading my cell phone ringing at this point.

I am also keeping my head up high and practicing my breathing. Cause I can hardly expect my six year old to do it if I can't, right?


  1. Been there...I feel your pain. {{{hugs}}}

  2. I think you did the best you could under the circumstances. Especially since they admitted it was something that had been going on longer than just that day. I'd be furious, too. I don't even like it when my son says, "Lame" or "duh" because I know he's only getting it from the kids in his class who have older siblings or from the older kids around him.

  3. I am in awe of your self-composure. It would have been all I could do not to let that young man have it for letting it go on for days without clueing me in. (Obviously I need to develop better communication techniques. Working on that.)

    And I am doubly in awe of your self-composure when dealing with your six-year-old. I'm beating myself up alot these days for my "failures" as a parent - I need to take a page from your book. Breath and count to ten. Breath and count to ten...

  4. I think you handled this situation beautifully. You are a good mom. Your boys are lucky to have you.

  5. Sounds like you did a great job. I am very impressed and hope I can follow your lead some day.

  6. You are definitely "no dead fish" Aurelia. Let me explain before you delete my comment. A professor of mine once said, "Even a dead fish can swim with the current, but it takes a live one to swim against it." You swam against the current of your own upbringing which means you are a "live fish" by the scenario given. Most parents parent as they were parented. I have often heard that if it was good enough for my parents, good enough for me, then its good enough for my kids. I am glad you went against the stream of your life's experiences and chose a better way.

    Your kids and your family will benefit from your insights and your parenting. Thats not to say its easy (as your post indicates), but far better than what you grew up with. For what it is worth, I am proud of you!!!

  7. Is it wrong that I laughed so hard that I nearly peed? The thought of a 6 year old calling hockey coaches dickless while pointing to his privates was pretty funny. Hope you can find the humour in some of it now.

    You handled the situation very well.

  8. I'm here via Manula, and I just wanted to say I think you handled the situation beautifully! I hope to be as leavelheaded as you when this situtation one day arrives at my house!

  9. Wow! I'm impressed by the role-playing idea! What a great mom you are.