So Toby's 5 now. He kept saying he'd go when he's 5. I knew he wouldn't. He's not.
He goes sometimes, for half a day, when he feels like it.
The rest of the time we spend fighting about it.
This is maybe more me ranting than a cohesive blog, so sorry about that. Just after today... I feel like giving up.
Trying to convince him that school will be fun and to think about all the crafts and books and songs and play they do, and how it would be nice to play with his friends, is exhausting. It's a song-and-dance. It's like performing some kind of tactical emotional surgery, and one wrong move kills everything. And usually does.
I try not to be too song-and-dancey about it. I try not to get angry. I try to be matter-of-fact. Just,'this is what we're doing today'. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. I sometimes try to put on the stern 'no I'm in charge' face, and he one-ups me. It's scary.
Today we were going to go outside to feed the birds, and after excitedly getting half dressed, he sat down and began taking all his stuff off. I ignored it and kept getting dressed and then he began having an absolute anxiety attack that I wasn't taking my stuff of as well. I said i was still doing my job and I'd be back in a sec, and he proceeds to follow me outside, screaming, in bare feet.
When he gets in these little manic states, there's no talking sense to him. I carried him inside, said he couldn't go out in bare feet and then sat and listened to the screaming and yelling about how much he hates going outside and he's never going to play outside with me again and how he hates when I tell him he's being rude because I'm the one that makes him rude.
Maybe it's just a 5 year old's temper tantrum, but the words still hurt. The yelling still upsets me. I don't scream and yell at him to make a point, so I don't know where it comes from. Maybe I did make him rude because I try to correct him too much and he feels the need to lash out. Or maybe I don't listen to him enough, even though I feel like all I do is respond to him.
I also try not to call him rude or mean or loud, because that's all he will hear and just become that thing. But it's hard not to.
It's hard not to lash out right back.
Not that I keep a total cool today either. Lots of screaming and crying happened on both our parts... Toby's out of rage and mine out of exasperation.
It's poisonous to fight like this all the time. I feel shaky and tired and sore and all that was exchanged were words.
I always said I didn't want school to be a fight. I don't know why it is. I've tried all kinds of bribes and reward systems and nothing is enough incentive for him to go. He has a really good friend at school who misses him, but even that doesn't make him want to go.
I feel like homeschooling would only relieve half that stress. Sure we wouldn't have to 'get up and go', but he'd still have to learn something. To listen to me. And I'm afraid I don't have the energy to do that daily.
I really don't know what to do because I feel like I've tried everything. I've stood my ground, I've been quiet and listened, I've begged, I've tricked... I'm tired of doing it. I'm tired of making him seem so sad all the time. He doesn't seem to want to do anything I suggest anymore. He sits and stares at his knees and sighs and shakes his head. I go to hug him and he wrenches himself away. It's...just hard.
I keep telling myself it's a phase. I keep telling myself that we're only like 3 months in to school. I keep telling myself that he was like this when he was 3 and he grew out of it. I just hope I'm right.