I had a new, unpleasant experience today, thanks to Bennett. He threw the absolute hugest temper tantrum I have even seen this morning. He was just starting a puzzle as it was time to leave to take Luke to school. I’ve learned that things go much better when the boys are given a warning, so a couple of minutes before it was time to go, I let them know. Then when it was time to leave, Luke got up and headed to the car (of course he’s excited, he’s the one going to school!), but Bennett started screaming about not being done with his puzzle. He proceeded to throw puzzle pieces in my direction – I was strapping Jack Henry into his carseat – and tried to hit me. I told him he wasn’t going to play with puzzles anymore today, which amplified the situation. Then, I said, “Well, I have to take Luke to school. I have to leave, and I hope you’ll come with me.” WRONG THING TO SAY. He dug in his heels, and said, “I stay home by myself!” Of course, I assumed that me “leaving without him wink-wink” would make him get in the car; I did not expect this answer. So I dragged his 30 pound body kicking and screaming to the van, wrestled him into his seatbelt, and listened to him scream all the way to Luke’s school about how he wanted to stay home by himself. I finally explained that even Luke can’t stay home alone, that you have to be like 10 years old to do that, and he settled down. I kept saying Phillipians 3:14 over and over in my head, and called Matt, telling him I needed some prayer.
WOW. It was horrible. I am certain that my reaction (yelling back at him) was not appropriate, and I don’t know what he thought of my crying on the way to school, but he did settle down. If we didn’t have to leave the house when it happened, I think it wouldn’t have been so bad – he could have just had his hissy fit in his room until he was calm. But we had to leave, which made the whole thing 10 times worse. Nothing makes you feel like a horrible mom, like you’re failing at everything you’re trying to teach them, like seeing your kid completely out of control.
We didn’t really deal with this with Luke. He can whine and carry on annoyingly about something forever, but he doesn’t get all crazy like Bennett did. Any suggestions from you who have been there? I just ask that you say a prayer for me; I could definitely use an extra dose of patience with this normally-sweet boy who’s giving me a hard time.
On a much lighter note, the rest of the day has gone just fine. Ben and I had a heart-to-heart (he tried to pay attention) in the van before we left the parking lot of the school, and he’s been good as gold since then.
We’re putting up the tree tonight, so I should have pictures of that posted soon. And I’ll post pics of Jack Henry in a minute…he looks so cute today!