Sunday, January 30, 2011

The certainty that, as time passes, things won't be at all certain and stable ought not to surprise me as much as it does.

This was what my husband and I bargained for, right, when we had our child?  That we would be perpetually off-balance in one way or another, like a Jenga tower balancing on a few planks in its midsection.  He tends to welcome this uncertainty. I tend to cower in fear of it.  And it's largely because I may have too much of a hold on something my husband only seems to shrug his shoulders at: at this stage of our son's development, we are still largely responsible for his behavior.

I'm not talking about our being the ones that pull his puppet strings from afar.  Once he leaves our home for school, we don't have hands on his hands dictating that he keep his to himself - but now the teachers seem to want us to have something like that going on.  His focus on schoolwork is better than ever, they say, but socially, his tendency to get excited and lose control of his impulses is holding him back.

Sad to say, it's times like these when taking on some Amy Chua-like Tiger Mothering might be in order.

No, I don't want to become Joan Crawford minus the coat hangers.  No, I don't want to chain my child to his guitar until he plays "He's Got The Whole World In His Hands" flawlessly.  No, I am not into his never having a sleepover for as long as he lives under our roof.  I only have these dangerous-feeling spurts of anger and head-shaking over how such a bright guy like my little guy can also be inept in the area of "respecting other people's bubbles", as his pre-K/kindergarten teacher put it. It's not like we haven't tried all sorts of things ourselves to get him to behave once he leaves our house.  He's just...kinda...oblivious when he's in the moment.

I want Chua's fairly cold-blooded certainty, her black and white way of looking at child-rearing.  I want that steely wall she sets out when the kids are anything but attentive to what she feels is good for them.  Gimme that cocktail of right and wrong she's imbibing...because I'm not sure what is right or wrong anymore.

All I know is the "professional help" for the little guy starts tomorrow - and I'm going to need help accepting that help.  Someone hold my hand, because I'm feeling more alone than ever before...but I do know that I have to try not to be so angry at my son.

It's what being responsible is all about.


Kelly said...

I wish I had some wisdom for you. Hang in there.

judyb said...

Don't be angry and your son or yourself. Whatever it is, I'm certain that it can be worked out. He's still just a baby, isn't he? He's around 3? Just give him unconditional love and support. And here's a hand.


Leigh C. said...

He's eight, actually. And thanks for the hand. 8-)