August 25th-26th were the dates for Family Advocacy Day (a fancy name for parent-teacher conferences). One of the pitfalls of being a teacher is that I have to sign over most of the parental duties with school, medical/sickness, etc. to Arik. I'm not trying to be mean, but he just isn't as thorough as I would be when it comes to the boys and school or being sick. I don't fault him for that because that has always been my job. But, I digress...
Andrew's conference was on the Wednesday. I had a conference scheduled with one of my parents, so Arik and the boys went to Andrew's. Everything that happened stems from this conference...
I get home and ask Andrew about his day. He plays me off, just telling me about what happened at school. I finally had to force him to get to the meat of things.
The bone was his reading. His scores went down a little and it was really weighing on his heart. We go round and round about now is the time to ask for help. Andrew is a stubborn little SOB. He refuses to see that this was the point of no return. He jacked around this summer and really only read the bare minimum and last year wasn't his best academically. Things were just piling up and getting worse.
I point out to him that dad and I were stepping in to help insure his success in school. Andrew goes balistic! He is so crazy with frustration and anger! Airk and I are calm as could be. Not raising our voices, not flipping out while Andrew goes berserk. I finally grab hold of him.
Now, you know Drew is a stick of a thing and I am plenty of woman. Here I am wrapped around Andrew. He is trying to crawl away to the santuary of his bedroom, not getting anywhere but saying things like, "I'm almost there. Just a little more..." REALLY! It was hard not to laugh, but laughing made him more insane!
Folks! I was really on top of this kid, preventing him from going anywhere. He is a strong 10 year old. Very strong... We wrestled on the floor for a bit. During that I sprung this metaphor on him...
"Andrew," I said, "this is a metaphor. You know what that is, right?" He said yeah. "You are you struggling to do your homework and understand everything that you are learning in class. I am learning and as hard as you are trying to get ahead, you can't. I am stopping you from going any farther. You have to ask for help in order to get any farther. Dad (who was sitting on the couch watching) is your salvation. Ask him for help and all this will be over."
For a good hour, Andrew and I stayed locked together on the living room floor. He struggled and tugged and pulled. Twisted and turned. Slid and slithered. Andrew's so stubborn. All he had to do was say the words, "I need help" and everything would have stopped. Arik would have come over and intervened, Drew would have been free from the struggle and the heaviness of the metaphor would have sank in. You don't have to do it all on your own; we are here to help you and all you have to do is ask. HECK! We'll help even when you don't ask for it in some areas...
He did finally say the words. They were so quiet, we missed them the 1st time around! He just had a hard time admitting he needed help. There were tears and hugs and kisses to go around. Aiden slept through the whole show; thank goodness!
Praise all that is good and holy! Last year and this summer were some of the hardest times in our household! I cannot go through another year like last year. We've really set ground rules and are enforcing those expectations.
This year has been better. He comes home and gets his homework done - most days. He still doesn't like reading, but he does it without as much lip. We let him use the laptop that his grandma Diane got him to read expository (non-fiction) articles from discovery channel dot com or national geographic dot com.
I will tell you, this parenting thing is no punk! Three-fourths of the time, I have no idea what I am doing. Andrew will probably be screwed up for the rest of his life because of his wrestling match with his mother. Years of therapy will have to commence before he'll be able to lead a normal life, but dang it, it put him in the direction of the right track and I'll take it!
Look for me on WWE. My handle is Battle Boobs Bradner... I can knock you out with one toss of a shoulder. WATCH OUT!