Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The Prince of Power

A good friend has said that parenting is God's way of making her a liar - since everything before kids that she said "I'll never do ______", now with three kids, she, of course, has done those exact same things. For me, parenting is God continuously reminding me not to judge others. Last week at gymnastics, a boy in Ben's class was being very resistant to joining the class. His mom was down with him for a bit before joining the rest of the parents in the balcony to watch - then she went back down a couple more times to deal with him. And I confess, I thought, "Mom, you just need to leave him and let the teachers take care of it!" I also thought that she must be one of those "helicopter" parents, always hovering over their kid.

So now you know how Ben acted today at class.

It started off just fine. Things went significantly downhill once it was actually time to join the other kids on carpet squares. Suddenly, Ben clung to my leg with all four limbs. I pointed out that all the other kids were going to have fun. Trampolines! Balance beams! FOAM PIT. None of those possibilities were enticing. I walked him over to a carpet square. I took him out to the hall. I tried to leave him in the class and just high-tail it out on my own - which may have been more successful without an infant in a carseat to carry, also. (Thankfully, Adam slept through all the shenanigans.)

I cajoled. I threatened. I bribed.

Ben was having none of it.

We spent the whole class in the back of the gym watching the rest of the kids. Ben watched intently, but still refused to join in.

I have four guesses to why he acted this way.

1) Other kids were already there when we arrived, and seeing them sitting there made him self-conscious. He has been sensitive before about "people looking at me".
2) He was hungry. A snack was one thing he kept mentioning, but I'd given him one in the car on the way over and he hadn't touched it.
3) His friend Isaac wasn't there today - he was home sick- so without the familiar face, he was more self-conscious.
4) He's a big stubborn brat and wanted to pull a power play.

Aaron said I should have taken him home. I thought about it, but I also thought that might be perceived as a reward - too many toys there. Also, I was still hoping that at some point he would change his mind. At least give me points for persistence and optimistic thinking - and stubbornness. I guess I know where he gets it from.


Noel said...

Tabloid headline : "Starved Boy Refuses to Leave Mom for Fear of Peer Response...Best Friend Too Sickened to Help"

Lyz said...

Well, when you put it that way...