Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Cents and Sensibility

Poo Bum. I was going to put up a few fun pics to relieve the boredom, only to find that my photo server is "having a massage", which is techie funspeak for timeout for servicing. Fair enough; don't we all need it?

I am having major "consequence issues" with my soon-to-be-eight-year-old son at the moment. Last year, I've come to realise, was the "Year of Us", in which Best Beloved and I woo'd, wed and nested, and Bumblebee's schooling and discipline went a bit to the dogs. This year is the "Year of Him", when I do my best to make him understand that he is a bright, brave, confident youngster who can achieve anything if he believes in himself enough. At the moment he is a whiney, unfulfilled, unable-to-finish anything little monkey who is too scared of the dark to get out of bed to pee and consequently wet the bed. It breaks my heart how full of fear that kid is. I love his imagination, and the fact that he can make an exciting game out of a piece of stick and someone's snapped-off shoelace, but when it takes him 6 hours to not pick up anything in his room (I'm still incredulous), even with mummy coming in and offering helpful hints about how to make the job fun (you could have a book army, and a t-shirt army, but first you have to gather together all the troops), I just feel utter despair. I don't want to be picking up after him for the rest of his life! At one point he yelled from his room "You said you'd give me pocket money if I did these jobs and so far I've never seen a thing". My response was, of course "That's because you've never finished a job yet!" I am quite happy to dish out the moolah, but not for nothing.

Ah, actions and consequence. Or, non-action and consequence. So far we've come up with the rule that there is no Dr Who unless the room is reasonable and (when school starts) homework is done. This was greeted with gales of tears, because Dr Who is not a treat, it is the air we breathe. It may just work. Next on the list for me is getting him doing confidence-building things -- cooking with me, riding his bike to school more, maybe even (and this shows how desperate I am) joining the local Cubs. Apparently Cubs have moved on a bit from the old swearing allegience to the Queen and God thingy, so it might be worth a shot. My buddhist brother-in-law swears by it for his restless son.

I guess the trick is to be consistent. It should be easier this year with back-up. In my 6 years as a single parent, I'd make great resolutions and they'd all go to mush when I'd get home exhausted after a long day's work and have to deal with a nagging kid. Cross fingers, this year will succeed. If not, I predict year of girlfriends (or, quite happily, boyfriends) cursing my poor mothering skills. Ay yay yay, worse than bad karma.

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