I haven't written much about Marc here but I used to have another blog where I wrote quite a bit about him. This is rather long but was a very typical day in our lives. I wrote this three years ago... almost to the day.
Oh hard, hard, hard.
This morning Marc woke up with a chip on his shoulder. He screamed at Rachael and told me about 6 times every thing she had done wrong to him. Let's see... she dared go to the bathroom when HE needed to go and wouldn't immediately get off the toilet as soon as he announced his need. Of course he screamed at her which made her want to stay put. Then she "stole" his plastic coin. Of course by the time I was hearing about this he was holding his coin and still screaming at her about it. Then she spit at him. Spitting is wrong of course but he had been SCREECHING at her for about 20 minutes. I felt like spitting at him!
I stayed extremely uninvolved and emotionally detached. This was driving him bonkers as he wanted heads to fall for the horrible things she had done to him in the three minutes they were up before me. It was hard to offer empathy to him when he was screaming yet HE was holding his "stolen" coin, Rachael clearly got off the toilet and well.... yeah, the spitting was wrong but it was still hard to offer empathy with that.
So I didn't. I did however offer Rachael a bit by saying things like, "Are you okay? It hurts my ears to be talked like that. I'm sorry." This infuriated him and he continued to rage on and on and then she kicked him. This was the last straw for him. He DEMANDED JUSTICE! He said, "Aren't you going to go talk to her and put her in time out?!" I said "No". He asked why not and I told him that it was hard for Rachael to be screamed at so much and left it at that. When she came out of her room (where she ran to hide as soon as she kicked him I said to her, "I'm sorry that Marc is screaming so much at you, it makes me sad." She agreed and then I said, "Rachael, even when he screams at you it is still wrong to kick." She agreed again and when he went to brush his teeth she said, "Mommy, I'm sorry for those things I did to Marc." I gave her a hug and told her to go tell Marc and she did. Marc told her he didn't like her now that she's not a baby anymore and the only way he will be her friend is if she pretends to be a baby forever. She giggled and said, "No.... let's be friends now!" Marc continued to hold his grudge and insist he doesn't like her anymore but her conscience was clear so she was joyful.
So my plan to stay as uninvolved as possible is working brilliantly for my daughter.
This thought is scary but sometimes I wonder if Marc is sacrificial. I don't know how to explain it but I am learning so much through him and yet the lessons only seem to apply well to his sister. I just pray it is taking him longer and this isn't glimpses of his future: angry all the time, cataloguing every wrong done to him, believing he is justified in every action, never taking personal responsibility. I know he is not even six yet though and it can take time. I truly pray that it is just immaturity.
So, through all this we're getting ready for school. I said to him, "Marc, if you get ready for school on time I will walk you." Getting him to stay on task every morning is hard. I said, "What did I just say?" He said, "If I get ready on time you'll walk me" all bored like. So, he starts playing checkers with his sister. Actually, he starts screeching at his sister that she is "stealing" his checkers. Meanwhile he has double the amount but that is beside the point. I tell him, "Five minutes until you need to leave," and he continues playing. So, I make his lunch and go get his shoes and put them on for him and tell him to brush his teeth (which is what I told him to do right before I said "Get ready and I'll walk you" but he never did). He comes out and I put his backpack on him and tell him that I love him and wish him a good day. He starts wailing, "Why aren't you walking me to schoooooool?" I said, "I told you that I would walk you to school when you got yourself ready on time. Instead you chose checkers even after I reminded you." He's sobbing now and I just calmly said, "Tomorrow I hope you are able to get ready before you play so that I can walk with you." (**Side note: The school is across the street from our house and he crosses with a crossing guard. Very close and safe to walk alone.)
So he left utterly miserable this morning and I am fighting the feeling of sobbing myself because once again, he is very unhappy, totally blames me for it and will probably have a difficult day. If I did nothing wrong, why do I feel so guilty?
I'm not going to write about what happened today... yet, but let's just say it's not getting easier. It's getting harder. We're seeking help but all those things I feared are not going away. I don't think it was immaturity.