Just this past week I've caught on to two things that Amos does. Now that I'm on to him things will be different!
When someone does something to someone else in our house we require an apology. You look the person that you hurt in the eyes and say “I'm sorry”. When someone does something good for you in our house, you look them in the eyes and say “thank you”. We have always done this with our kids and do this with Amos and Story as well.
The other day while packing for the beach Deacon did something super sweet for Amos and I told Amos to tell him thank you. He refused. I asked and told and he refused. Wouldn't look at me and wouldn't look at Deacon. I walked him over to the wall and sat him in time-out. I sat next to him and talked to him about why he was there and what he needed to do. He refused. He sat. I folded laundry, while he sat. Deacon went on with his life.
I think these are moments are a HUGE power struggle between him and us. He needs control. His whole life has been wrecked and all he wants is a little control. I struggle with when to fight and when to let it go.
Then he hit Story as she walked by so then I was asking him to tell Story that he was sorry and of course, you guessed it, he refused. So now not only am I trying to get him to tell Deacon, Thank You, but now I want him to tell Story that he's sorry. It seemed like the offenses were just piling up by the minute.
Then he did what happens a lot when he's in trouble. He peed in his pants. This has happened a handful of times and I often wonder if he is freaked out, scared, or just trying to piss me off (literally) by making a mess that he knows I'll have to clean up.
So, I got him up and cleaned his body, got him new pants and acted like it was no big deal. I have never gotten mad at him for peeing on himself b/c I thought he was just scared. After that I didn't have the heart to put him back in time- out so we just went on with life. I wasn't sure if that was a good decision or not, but I wasn't sure what to do, so I just went with it.
Then no kidding about 2 hours later he looked at Deacon with a huge grin on his face and said “thank you Deacon”, then looked at me to tell me that he had just told Deacon thank you. Then no lying he looked at Story and said “I'm sorry Story”.
I had a moment where I realized he TOTALLY gets it and he was working me all day long. He held out and held out and when HE WAS READY he did what I had asked him to.
THEN … this morning at the beach house we had something go down and he was in trouble. I think it was him turning the fan off and on when I asked him repeatedly not to (who knows? it's always something minor that turns major for him) and he was sitting against the wall as I tried to hold his hands and talk to him. I kept asking him to look at me and hold my hands as we talked. He refused, so I went back to packing while he sat there.
He then looked at me and said “I'm going to pee in my pants.” That's when I realized he has control over this little thing that happens when he's in trouble. Oh so here we go. I can play this game as well. I said to him, “oh that's fine with me. Go ahead and pee. I don't care.” He looked at me very confused, and then I told him, “you can, but i will not give you new underwear, so you pick.” I love when I change the rules around on him. To make him think that I could care less if he pees in his pants, b/c he really wants to do something that makes me mad, so I let him think it doesn't make me mad at all. 🙂
Guess what? He didn't pee. I guess he decided he didn't want to wear wet undies all day long.
So, I'm on to him. I told Aaron that if I am going to ask him to do something I need to make sure I'm willing to put the time in to make sure he does it. I wonder how long it will take him next time. I'm also not going to let him get up and get out of trouble next time he pees in his pants. I think he'll need to sit in it for a while and maybe he won't do that again.
After all these incidents that happen a few times a day in our home I'm always very frustrated with Amos. Then I get very frustrated with myself for being frustrated with him. IT IS NOT HIS FAULT. He is a hurt child. He has been through hell and back. It is a constant cycle of frustrations. I sit on the couch at night and replay events and wonder what I could have done differently. Did I love him well? Did I do things the right way?
One thing I do know is that we are committed to this child. Not only are we on to two of his “tricks”, but we are continuing to love him through it all!!!! He is our child. We are his family. He is mine and I am his. FOREVER.