I wasn't going to write about last night until I found my sense of humor but I don't see that happening today. I was so embarrassed.
My husband was supposed to watch the kids while I went to Alex's parent/teacher conference but he ended up having to work late. I knew, the way the evening was going, that if I tried to leave any of the kids behind there would be problems. Problems between the Goofy One and his brothers, the girl and her uncles, Goofy and the girl... no one listening to anyone and all kinds of hell raising going on. There are so many combinations of how things could, and most definitely would go wrong while I'm too far away to do anything about it. So, fine. They've been fed, bathed, dressed for bed, clothes and backpacks ready for tomorrow, homework is done... I'll just take them with me.
I fully intended to use Alex's stroller. This time the need outweighed everything else. Three bad-ass kids and 2 hands... I needed an extra hand. But once we got to the school, I thought maybe it would be ok. I thought maybe they would stay with me with lots of directing, it would just be slow going.
Walking in was fine. Getting to the classroom was fine. Waiting our turn was ok, there was one moment where Alex bolted into the classroom, interrupting the parent/teacher conference in session but for the most part it was ok. Once we got into the classroom... all hell broke loose.
running and jumping and bouncing and throwing things and fighting... horrible. but not as bad as when it came time to leave. Trying to gather my hellhounds, they were not having any part of it. It was bad enough that the teacher and SLP witnessed my utter failure to control my demons but then the Assistant Principal walked in the door. ...and my humiliation is complete. ...you'd think. It gets worse.
I thought once we were all headed in the same direction, it would be fine. we could get where we were going with minimal fuss. The teacher helped us get to the hall and the Assistant Principal was walking with us. He heard me tell my Goofy One repeatedly to put his jacket on, to help out, he told the Goofy One it was cold outside. Goofy said, "hey. How do you know my name?" It wasn't until I had a moment to think that I realized, hey. he knows my name, too.
anyway, to get out of the building we have to go straight, make a right at the doors, go down another short hall and go out the other doors. This is where they all went crazy. The girl went straight, Goofy went right, and neither one of them were listening to "stop." The Assistant principal tried to get Goofy to come back and go with us, but Goofy wasn't listening to him, either. I tried to walk Alex and the girl back in to get Goofy and Alex threw himself in the floor.
Getting Alex up and walking on, the girl decides she's going down this other hall and Goofy's guzzling at the water fountain. The Assistant principal redirects the girl who doesn't like people she doesn't know and comes running for me. Goofy stops at the bird cage. the girl stops at the bird cage. Alex does not want to stop at the bird cage.
Finally get Goofy's jacket on and head for the door with the girl in one hand and Alex in the other. Goofy gets to the door ahead of us and is still not hearing "stop." the door doesn't open for him so we catch up, he gets mad that the door didn't open fast enough and kicks the door which opens the emergency doors. I look back to try to catch someone's attention to help fix it when he lets out a war cry and bolts for the parking lot. still not listening to "STOP." By the time we get to the van, I'm cussing.
I shove the girl in where it's safe and put Alex's harness on while Goofy refuses to get in his seat. I get Alex buckled in and climb up to grab Goofy. Dragging him over the front seat to physically put him in his seat, I head-butt the girl who is bouncing around refusing to get in her seat. awesome. I buckle her in and argue with the Goofy One about his seatbelt instead of just doing it myself so I can buy a few seconds to smoke part of a cigarette before heading home.
The girl... I know what her problem was. She had spent the day with her mom and other grandparents so she doesn't have to listen to me anymore (we go through this every time) and she missed her nap because when her mom dropped her back off, it was time to go get Walter from tutoring and then the whirlwind of evening tasks that had to be done before we left.
Goofy... I'd like to say his problem is that he is the Spawn of Satan but I'm starting to think maybe it might be bad parenting.
I have to figure something out because this is just getting ridiculous. Walter saw the title of this post and scoffs at me, "You're just now realizing that?" as if Walter isn't just as bad. as if his attitude hasn't been horrible and his dealings with his brother and the girl just as awful. I asked him, "you think it's just him? have you heard yourself lately?" He looks guilty and says he has but we just make him so mad!
Yeah, something's gotta give. Something has to change. I'm pretty sure it's me. or at least, the way I do things.
I found this site- www.freeprintablebehaviorcharts.com, they have a lot of great things. I made up a new behavior chart for the Goofy One based on the problems we are having right now-
2. Use Nice Words
3. Use Calm Down Strategies
4. Conflict Resolution
5. Follow Directions
and printed up the conflict resolution checklist. I was very interested in their anger management section but their calm down strategies are kind of stupid (for the Goofy Child). The How Do I Respond worksheet looks about right for him but I'm still working figuring that one out.
As for Walter, I can understand his frustration. but still, that's no excuse. I think we need to work more on conflict resolution and calm down strategies, as well. I'm going to ask him what he suggests.
Any other suggestions?