I found myself wondering aloud with a friend why it was that my son acted differently when I was around than when I wasn’t. I still don’t know the answer. The boy won’t tell me.
It bothers and compliments me, this thing. He certainly has his days where he doesn’t listen to anything I say. Those are the days I join everybody else he ignores. But, most of the time, if he’s acting out, if he’s not listening to someone, and I come around, he’ll adjust. He’ll “straighten up” and act like he has the sense we gave him.
The other day I picked him up from daycare. He jumped up squealing and ran to me. We hugged and greeted the way we do. I spoke to the other children, to the staff. One of his teachers told me that he had trouble listening. I didn’t tell her that I could imagine that. I listened to the report. He had successfully slept for his two-hour nap and woke up dry, which was good, but he had followed the cracked course of peer pressure and chose to disobey when a friend did. He listened if friends weren’t around. He acted out if a friend did. I asked him what that was about. In his way, he repeated the question but offered no answer.
During times like that one, or like the party I missed last week where the boy flipped out, I wonder whether missing such moments is missing opportunities. I mean, I have to be concerned that this kid acts accordingly at parties and other toddler-filled places. It will drastically impact his social calendar, which will, in turn, affect my ability to get him out of the house. So I wonder what’s in the boy’s water. I wonder if I’ll have to put him out of our house for poor listening. I wonder how I’ll have an impact when I’m not around. Me and Dawn talk about this stuff. We come up with nothing. So, if you have something, share.