Monday, April 28, 2014

Angry Mom, Angry Son

We took advantage of open gym at the rec center today. The trio are getting harder to contain on whatever blankets I bring. They were occupied with toys I keep in the van, in addition to blocks and hula hoops that were available.

Jackson had fun riding the tricycle. He even used his feet to pedal most of the time.

In an effort to keep James and Amelia off of the gym floor, I sat them up and stacked blocks with them.

Jackson joined us and began building a tall tower.

All was happy in our little world, until two other preschool aged children came over.  A sweet little girl asked if she could build with us. Jackson, aka Mr. Antisocial, frowned and rode away on his tricycle. Of course, I welcomed her to join us. The other children and I played together while Jack rode around the gym.  This sweet girl worked so hard to build a tower taller than she was.  The next thing I know, Jackson came running over with both hands out and knocked her tower over!

I was mortified that my son would be such a bully. The poor girl was on the verge of tears when her mother came over to console her. I made my best effort to redirect Jackson calmly and get him to help me rebuild her tower. He refused. I felt so bad for the girl and I found myself making excuses for Jackson to the girl's mother.  "Somebody is ready for a nap" even though he hasn't napped in months. I hurriedly stacked the blocks then ran off to reprimand Jackson. At this point, he angrily yelled, "I knock over this, too!" He proceeded to knock over multiple tricycles. It became a free show for the parents. I felt like the other moms were just watching to see how I would handle the situation.  And I'm sure they thought Jackson was a brat. I thought he was.

I wanted to scream and pick him up and dramatically storm out of the gym. I learned my lesson in September that those actions don't work. I have three other children who can't walk that also need my attention. I rushed to put the babies in the stroller/Ergo. Jackson would NOT pick up the tricycles or blocks. I picked them up for him only because I wanted to get out asap. Jackson was calm enough to apologize to the girl, walk out, hold the door for me, and hold the stroller in the parking lot. It was as if nothing had happened.

Once we got to the van, it took everything in me not to throw him in his carseat and start screaming. Again, I've learned that yelling has the opposite effect with Jackson (and most everyone). I feel obligated to admit that as soon as all four kids were buckled in and the door was closed I grunted and yelled in the parking lot. How dare my son hurt other peoples feelings. I know the trio are just babies, but it wasn't fair to them that we had to leave because their brother was being ugly. Jackson's actions could have been worse, but that behavior is certainly not tolerated.

I decided leaving the gym early was enough of a consequence. Jackson had such remorse and kept apologizing and crying. Once home, I laid the babies down for their nap and Jackson and I baked a cake for my brother-in-law. At one point he put the measuring cup down and said, "I say sorry to you and you say sorry to me." He apologized again for knocking the tower over and he wanted me to apologize for making him cry. Oh dear...

Today was the first time I saw an angry, aggressive side of Jackson. I hope I don't see it much more!

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