This past weekend has left both Scott and me exhausted. We had planned on taking full advantage of the beautiful weather by finishing our yard work. Instead we were contending with a cantankerous six year old. Every parenting skill we possess was put to the test, and I'm fairly certainly that we failed.
The weekend started out pleasantly as I surprised Robby by taking him to a movie Friday afternoon after school. We had a great time and he could not have been better behaved in the theater. Unfortunately that was the last time I saw my sweet little boy. Early Saturday morning it became clear that my well behaved child was gone and Robby Rotten was there to wreak havoc in his stead.
With the exception of a few brief moments of calm, our weekend was a blur of tantrums and time-out. I am not sure what triggered Robby Rotten to appear, but I suspect that being tired and battling a cold contributed. No matter what concessions were made, he was both high maintenance and miserable!
I consider myself to be laid back, but I do not tolerate being yelled at by a six year old. I don't raise my voice, and I will not allow my child to scream at me. At one point, Scott and I thought he was going to take up permanent residence in the time-out corner, and I was seriously considering wearing noise cancelling headphones.
The impetus for the final showdown was the letter 'k.' We were working on his alphabet worksheets and he seemed to be enjoying the one-on-one attention. We made it through the first 10 letters without incident, but apparently practicing the 11th was too optimistic. As if a switch had been flipped, he began to scream and told me that I was "the worst Momom in the whole wide world and a really bad letter writer." When he finally stopped screaming, he resorted to throwing and cursing.
With each outburst over the weekend, the consequences became more severe. By the time he went to bed Sunday night, he was sobbing in the time-out corner, lamenting that he was "definitely on the naughty list this time." In the meantime, his bedroom door was removed from its hinges (to thwart the door slamming), all of his Legos and Lincoln Logs were put away until they are earned back, his board games were put out of reach and he lost his DS indefinitely.
I'm hoping that my nice little boy returns today. He fell asleep early and did not wake up in the middle of the night, so I'm optimistic that Robby Rotten left. I figure that today one of two things will happen: either he'll start earning back his toys or I'll get a phone call from his teacher about a behavior issue. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it isn't the latter!