Little Man has been on a terror roll at daycare. The last three days he has hit, punched, spit, kicked and toppled book cases to his heart’s content. We don’t know what is going on he won’t talk but since for two weeks he was in complete control obviously something is happening. I talked to him and reminded him that poor behavior at school will result in consequences at home too. He has choices and he needs to make better ones. Each day we start off by reminding him (1) what he is working to get and (2) what will happen if he gets sent to the office. So far I am sad to say nothing worked and as a result he had to spend time with me cleaning the house instead of being with the girls at the pool. Well you can imagine he was devastated but he was prompted three times to make a better choice and he cursed the teacher out and said “I don’t care you are not the boss of me!!!”
As we clean I figure we can talk. Start off easy get him going on a conversation, then to harder topics with time. I ask about school, likes, dislikes, time with Mom, visits with Dad and other things he enjoys. When we are in the car going to get the girls I pop the big one on him “What do you hope will happen by making bad choices all the time?” I figure in the car, no eye contact and just us so this increases the odds of getting an answer. At first he mumbles and I ask him to speak up. He whispers and I think I can hear him but it is such a surprising answer I ask him to repeat it. Finally he says loud enough for me to hear
“I think that if I am bad enough you will get rid of me”
Suddenly I can hear his mother’s voice saying the same thing to me only three weeks ago. I wonder did she say something to him or is this his thought process? I talk to him for awhile about it and he stays vague making me think maybe Mom inadvertently said something to him. As gently as I can I explain to him that is not how it works. I explain I keep kids until they can go home to their families and I hear him mumble again, so I ask what did he say?
“I don’t want to go home. I want to go to M and M’s house (previous foster parents)”
I feel so sad for him right now. How hard is it to not want to go home and not want to be with your parents. I talk a little about how that is not going to happen. He only has two options, stay with me or go home with Mom. There were no other options and that yes we would still stay in contact with M and M as I know they are important to him (M and M live up the road literally). I ask him how he feels about that and he replies “Just kind of normal” I ask does it make you sad that these are your choices and he said “no.”
I just want to scoop him up and hug him but he is in the back seat and I am driving. I tell him that I love him regardless of his choices and that even with his bad choices my love does not stop. I hear an exclamation of “Really?!?” from the back seat and I assure him it is really that way. We grab the girls and drive home with nothing else said I prep him for bed once we are back home and go to tuck him in.
I kiss him on the head and per usual say “Sweet dreams my little prince” he hugs me and says “I can make better choices tomorrow Mom”. Gosh I hope so Little Man!!!