No, I Did Not Forget His Birthday Post

Elliot turned six a few weeks ago. Generally I commemorate keeping my children alive another year with a witty blog post and a cute picture. But this year? This year I couldn’t do it. I had nothing to be witty about and getting a cute picture was out of the question.

That is to say, Elliot and I were having issues. I wish I was the only adult in his life that could make that statement as of late. But I am in the good company of his father, his grandparents and his teacher.

It’s been hard. And heart breaking. There was even the night I laid in his bed with him and cried. An all time winner on the sadness scale. I think the last time I cried in his presence we were making him cry-it-out, and that was less “in his presence” and more “sitting outside his door.”

I tried writing a birthday post leaving out the drama of our lives. But I couldn’t separate all the good from all the bad – it was all so overwhelming. It was like someone had taken the kid I had known for the last six years and replaced him with a less evolved, more emotional, jerk version of him.

So, yeah. The weeks leading to his birthday and even the week of his birthday were horrible. The day after his birthday he had three new toys taken from him as punishment. Three. In one afternoon. It was a stellar day.

His teacher was struggling too. So we talked and made some changes. She wanted consistency, I wanted my happy kid back.

And then the clouds broke and the sun came out again.

She gives him more individual attention at school. Nothing all that interesting honestly: five seconds here, a shoulder squeeze there. I have stopped taking Audrey with us on the carpool run. And I walk him all the way to class. And I hug him in front of his friends and he acts like he doesn’t LOVE it.

In hindsight, it seems that Elliot felt he wasn’t getting enough attention. So, he started doing whatever it took to get attention – even negative attention. That kid of mine, text book example of behavior patterns if ever there was one.

Yesterday his teacher told me, “I had no idea he was so, so … affectionate.” Yes, that is an accurate description. He will hold hands, sit on laps, hug legs endlessly. Really, if you’re sitting down and he wants to sit down too, your lap is probably where he’ll land. It’s been that way his whole life. I think it’ll make high school a little embarrassing, but what do I care since I’m going to be his prom date?

Now you can look forward to his birthday post. The one where I tell you about grown-ups doing a pillow case race. It was awesome.

3 smart people left their mark:

  1. Lynn, 5. October 2009, 8:25

    It’s a roller coaster with ups and downs. Glad to hear you all figured out what he needed.

  2. Nylonthread, 5. October 2009, 9:41

    So sorry you went through all that with Elliot! It would be so much nicer if they had translators that gave us insight into what is going on in their little heads. “I need more attention!” or “I want to be more independent!” I’m so glad your favorite Elliot is back with you! :-)

  3. Christine, 19. October 2009, 11:52

    I’m sorry to say you’re not alone, and the rollercoaster ride is far from over. Welcome to the nature of raising boys! They are a complete subset of the human species. For years I’ve been saying about my son, “Why does he do that?” and “I don’t understand him!” At the very worst I’ve felt like a complete failure as a mother and imagine my son turning into a Columbine shooter because I didn’t understand him. At the best, I’ve accepted the consistent evolution that is my son and even at times feel I have insight into the workings of his brain. A book that I’ve found helpful is Raising Boys by Steve Biddulph. There will be more dark days, but also lots of bright shiny days ahead too. Good Luck!