Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Box of Rocks

Yeah...I know a few of you thought I would be joking about a box of rocks as a picture...that I might have something cute and funny.  Not so much today. 
Have you ever noticed that at times (and for me more often than not lately) talking to your kids and trying to reach them, to get through to them...really IS like talking to a box of rocks!
Today was a horrible parenting day.  First, thankfully I got off my duff and got off the computer and got a work out in...Thank you Lord for that!  Second, minutes after I was done with said work out, the phone rang.  Which is fine until I see who it is and see it's Lee's teacher...
Sigh...I dread it when that man calls...I am sure he is already counting the days down until school is OUT for the summer...he just sounded exhausted when I talked to him.  Wonder what I sounded like to him?
Sigh...Lee is giving him problems again (shocked? Yeah I'm not either), this time it's with doing class work.  They are doing multiplication in class and he's struggling.  He gets it the math, he's a smart kid (I can't say too smart because that would just be silly to say that but, too smart!).  He just doesn't want to sit and take the time to DO his work! So when he goes to his teacher asking for help with the 9's and then is told to sit down and do it a certain way or with blocks to make it a visual way to learn, he says fine and does it for like a minute and then just out right refuses to do anymore.  He flat out told his teacher he wasn't going to and didn't want to!  Ugh! This kid is so damn embarrassing sometimes!
So not only is he just telling his teacher no and doing whatever the heck Lee feels like doing, he's not doing his homework and he's hiding his papers and saying he doesn't have homework.  Then to top it off, since he's telling his teacher he needs help and he gets sent down to get more help, he then makes fun in a way, of the group of kids down there who really do need the help.  What the heck is that kid thinking!?! At what point is this kid (and Ian for that matter) going to ENGAGE his brain!!!!  ENGAGE!!!

Of course that seriously chaps my hide! I was the kid all through school that struggled with math...and struggled just isn't an adequate enough of a word to really get the depth and meaning of what math is for me.  Even to this day...to be quite honest with you their math homework scares me! I'll be the one going to Sylvan Learning to be tutored so I can teach them! I don't remember any of this stuff and I know why I don't but man oh man! When a mind blocks stuff it really blocks stuff...goes above and beyond!

Well the teacher and I continued to talk and I said that whatever he decided to do (as long as it wasn't unreasonable...) we'd support him.  I also told him he'd be doing whatever assignments he missed and then he'd also be doing multiplication and division practice sheets since he just doesn't understand it.  He's gonna get it after we are done!

Trying to reason with Lee lately and Ian is like talking to a box of rocks!  Are they hearing me at all?  Will they ever?

On top of all the school stuff we then had to deal with another issue, which I discovered after school.  I found some tubes of chapstick that I didn't buy and I know Lee didn't buy in his dresser.  Back story...about a month back I found a chapstick in Lee's pants pocket and I didn't buy and I know he didn't, and I asked where it came from or where he got it and he said that he found it on the floor of a store we were in.  I didn't really believe him (which I want you guys to know that I hate, HATE not believing my kids...I hate, HATE being lied to also!) but couldn't figure out where it came from and outside of beating the info out of him (which I think he would have outlasted me on that one) I let it go.  Flash-forward to today and to the 3 tubes of chapstick.  We show Lee the evidence and again ask where he took it from.  He finally caved and told us where and I looked at him and said you know what happens next don't you?

He started sobbing and said yes...that he was going to jail.  I didn't correct him on that and said well we'll see what they do when we get there.  He cried the whole way and kept repeating I'm going to jail.  I kept telling him it could happen, that I didn't know what would happen.  I also told him it's not OK to steal and when you make bad choices bad things happen...now or eventually.  Either way...it isn't good.  These are the consequences you are having to face for what you did.  There are always consequences to good things and bad things.  You made a choice, a very bad one, and now you have to face it. 

This is not the first time I've had to deal with this type of situation, we have had to do this with Ian and it wasn't pretty then.  As much as my kids cry during these things I want to cry and sob right along with them but I can't because I need them to understand the seriousness of what they have done and what the possible outcome could be.  I always wonder what people on the other side of these scenes are thinking.

We get to the business (thank goodness it was close by...we've had to do the lengthy drive before to nail a point home) and I tell Lee to wait in the car while I talk to the owner.  I get in the store and there are 2 guys there and I give them the run down.  I just say look I just discovered my kid stole from here and I'm making him come in and apologize for the stuff he took. He has 3 and we will pay for the 4th.  I know this isn't any fun for you guys either but if you wouldn't mind hearing him out I would appreciate it. I also told them that Lee thinks he's going to jail and I've not told him different...they just had a quite 'oh' as a response.  The guy in charge, I'm sure you can just imagine the look on his face, is newly 30 years old but no more than 32 yrs, and his face was priceless.  I saw a little fear in his face...no one wants to deal with this and then you panic cause what exactly do you say? You want to make your point too right?  Get this kid to understand!  He then said, yeah...we all have done stuff ...I remember doing this with my mom too... As I walked out I thought to myself...THAT'S what I saw pass over his face...the memory of when he had to do that...that was a little of the fear and empathy he was feeling for Lee.

They were game so I went to get Lee and he went in sounding like you do from some good, deep, gut wrenching sobs, trying to get his apology out.  Bless his heart the guy behind the counter did a good job.  He told Lee thank you for coming back and returning the merchandise and saying he was sorry.  He also told Lee that if he was caught stealing again he wouldn't be allowed in the store ever again.  THAT is what Lee will remember.  We paid for the chapstick and they said thank you to Lee with the reminder of being banned from their store if he was caught again.

I didn't stop there however, when we got back to the car I then made another phone call.  I called his grandparents and filled them in on the situation.  Here is why.  The business we were at helps in an outing that the grandparents pay for.  And it was while we were in this store on their dime that this situation happened, so I felt it warranted a phone call from Lee explaining what he did and what they said to him so that they were aware.  It was one more set of people he had to tell and be honest with.  The phone was handed to Lee and all he could do was sob...he couldn't get it out (and as I'm typing this I am tearing up at remembering his pain and the pain he caused himself and others...to us and the consequences that follow from this...as my friend put it...the 'breaks in character like this is SO SCARY'). Lee was finally able to get out to his Grandma what he had done and I also made him apologize to her about what he'd done. 

Because most Grandmas are good ones, she told him she loved him, asked if he was gonna do it again, and then said if you get banned from that store your Grandpa is going to be heart broken that he won't be able to do this thing with you...please don't do that to your Grandpa.  Then again told him that she loved him.

Lee made it out the other side but I pray he has learned something from this, that he takes away something from this...I need him to have learned something, that today was not for nothing.  That I wasn't talking to a box of rocks!

It has been so difficult here lately with the boys...parenting in general with them.  Teaching them respect, they don't talk to me the way they are, we do chores because it's what you do, you do what you are told to do, back talk is a NO-NO, swearing is not OK (even if all you want to do is laugh when your 4 yr appropriately uses the word and then uses his middle finger to point at something!), that we are kind to one another, love one another, respect people...even if they are your brother!  It feels like so many things are going in one ear and out the other.  We had such high hopes of doing something luxurious with the kids during the summer...at this point it's not going to happen. It makes me sad but my wise friend said sometimes you have to say no...this looks like one of those times.

 However Frank and I may still go but not as a family...


Box of rocks.....


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