I’m sitting here with big swollen eyes, a bright red runny nose and I can’t stop sobbing. I want it all to stop and I wish I’d never started down this route. I can’t seem to get anything right.
I love my boys, both of them, but my eldest and I seem to be drifting further and further apart. I can’t seem to get a handle on him and he’s only six! It feels like a nightmare that will never end and will only get worse.
We had a massive row in the car on the way to school, all because he would not put his fleece on. I mean what a silly thing to get all het up about – me not him. But he refused to put it on saying I always told him what to do. Well I would, I’m his mother, I’m a grown up – it’s what we do isn’t it? Tell children what to do because we know best and they do it. That’s the deal. However, with increasing frequency, everything I ask him to do from the big to the small is a trigger to a battle - from asking him to close his mouth while eating to getting dressed in the morning; from not picking his nose to concentrating on his homework.
Oh it is such an effort. I bribe him with crisps and sweets, promises of telly when he finishes, I threaten with no stories, early bed and even bread and water but neither treat nor threat seems to make any difference. I just land up shouting in frustration and spending an inordinate amount of time trying to get things done. I dread waking him up in the morning knowing what a battle it will be to get him moving, get him dressed get him watered and fed and then off to school. I dread picking him up and then having to go through his homework in the early evening. Something that really only will take 20 minutes lands up taking an hour and a half and I or Dear Charlie have to sit with him the whole time trying to get him to concentrate so he does it. I mean all we are doing is a few high frequency words or a very little math and piano practice.
He loves piano, so his teacher says and he is really improving. He says he loves it but to get him to do five minutes practice and I really only mean five minutes necessitates a 15-minute negotiation usually accompanied by various threats and promises.
I wonder if it is all worth it.
Some will say a six year old should not have this sort of pressure. I would agree but the Cambridge Primary Review, widely reported in the Newspapers last week has yet to be adopted and my boy needs to keep up with his classmates. It’s not as if he can’t. He has the ability everyone says so, he just doesn’t seem to have the confidence nor the ‘right’ attitude to do it.
We praise him to the hilt when he tries, we proudly show off all his achievements but it’s like he doesn’t hear us. It just doesn’t bode well for the future.
And what of Bog Boy, the youngest? Well he I think is a major part of the problem. My littlest is a ray of sunshine. He smiles and everything is right. In fact his paternal Grandparents call him Smiler. It is so easy to fall for Bog Boy’s charm and he uses it ruthlessly to get whatever he wants. He’s a shocker. He’s also at 3, very forward, erudite and most importantly of all co-ordinated. It looks as though he’ll be one of those gifted people who go through life lightly, shedding joy and love and getting it back in heaps. I often look at him and just know life will treat him kindly and it is SO unfair. The Boy, is darker, more mercurial but he’s handsomer, quite possibly cleverer and when he smiles he’s devastating. He can be so engaging when he’s himself and it is heartbreaking to see him like this all twisted up and frustrated and just downright horrid.
He’s taken to doing things and blaming it on his brother. The other evening he peed against the sofa and then came to us saying Bog Boy had done it. Bog Boy was incredulous, he couldn’t believe his brother was doing this to him. Nor could I. This is the first time this has happened. Bog Boy loves his brother whole-heartedly and will follow him about and join in all the games and is very happy to be the baddie or the Daddy or whatever his Puck-like mentor decides. So this was a bit of a betrayal. A shock. It was pretty obvious what had really happened and The Boy was sent upstairs in disgrace. Leaving us at a loss. There were many tears and calls of unfair and try as we might we could not help The Boy to see that it was fair to send him upstairs.
I notice now that Bog Boy is using the same words as his elder brother but as yet without much conviction. He copies what his brother does to get attention especially when we are occupied doing homework.
And I feel for him so desperately. I feel for them both and I’m tired, and I don’t know what to do. I can’t seem to make it better for my eldest. I certainly don’t want to make it worse.