Thursday, September 28, 2006

what a bad evening looks like around here...

I try to post the positive steps in our journey with Kain. It's easy to dwell on the negatives in such a situation, and I want to feel positive about our time with him. But tonight...tonight has been rough. Maybe something happened at school to start the cycle. He asked me on the way home this afternoon if I thought his mom missed him. He rarely even mentions his mother...I'm not sure what triggered this. I told him, Yes, I'm sure his mom misses him. I asked him if he missed her, and he said Yes, but he would see her someday. Then he rambled on to other subjects. When he got home, he began a series of near-constant temper tantrums because

--he wanted macaroni and cheese for an after school snack, which I wouldn't fix. I offered him our standard "snack bowl" and "fruit bowl", both of which we pass around every afternoon since he came two months ago. As usual, he took a snack, refused the fruit, and because he didn't take the fruit too...
--he threw random fits from 5-6 because he was hungry and didn't want to wait for dinner.
--then at 6, when dinner was ready, he threw a fit because he didn't want to come in and eat. A neighborhood kid had just shown up in the yard and he wanted to play.
--when I made him come in, he threw fit because dinner was "ugly and gross" and refused to eat. At this point I totally lost my temper and started yelling back, telling him that he could eat or go to bed. Now. Without dinner. Never have I threatened such a thing to a child before. I'm not proud. But the dinnertime rules are strict around here about such things. Picky eating is contagious, and besides, I don't enjoy having my cooking bashed. The house rules are, you eat at least three bites of everything served, period. If you really hate what is served so much that you can't eat more than that, you can make yourself a peanut butter sandwich. But there is no negative food-bashing allowed. A polite, "I don't want any more" is enough. "EWWWW WHAT IS THAT ON THE CHICKEN, DISGUSTING!" is sure to push Momma over the edge.
--After he finally came to the table and got his three thank you bites down, he admitted he liked the chicken and the potatoes, but still refused to eat any more than the three bites. Then, while Jack and Maria had baths, he threw random fits because bedtime snack was too long in coming.
--At bedtime snack, he threw a fit because I still wouldn't make him macaroni and cheese. We pass around assorted cold cereals for bedtime snack here (I don't serve it for breakfast). It's quick and easy, nutritious enough, and filling enough for a kid who picked at dinner.
--At evening prayers, he threw a fit because I wanted him to leave the hall light on so that Maria could read the prayer cards. While we said prayers over his screaming, he came out of his fit to let us know he wanted to help blow out the candles. Then he threw another fit because Maria blew out the one he wanted to blow out. After three warnings to come blow out the other one before I did it myself, he threw one more final fit when I actually did blow out the candle myself. I then proceeded to haul all 70 pounds of him through the house, over the baby gate in the hall, and into his bed where he continued his fit for a good 15 minutes. When he finally quieted down, I went in his room and talked with him about all that had happened today, calmly, not wanting to end the day on a bad note...but when I refused to relight the candle so he could blow it out, he began his tantrum again and I just gave up and left.

Now it is 8:45, and quiet. This is the hard part for me. I miss peace and quiet, and it is never peaceful and quiet with Kain here. Even when he is in a good mood, he is loud and rowdy. Constantly. And I hate nights like tonight, when I find myself getting loud back. I have a bad habit of losing my own temper, and I have painfully worked on that over the years...and made pretty good progress if I do say so myself, especially where my kids are concerned...but Kain does know how to push those buttons.


Entropy said...

You're doing such a wonderful thing by taking him in. He needs family now and you stepped in and offered that. I so admire what you are doing. Despite the bad days, you're giving him what he needs: a family that provides boundaries for him and loves him unconditionally. I'll pray for you!

mel said...

Thank you, we always need the prayers. It feels like we are having more good days than bad...certainly this was an exceptionally difficult day. And then I hear stories from people that take in kids that spit and curse them and set things on fire and hurt their other children...things could be a lot worse!