Thursday, July 25, 2013

Seven seems so long

In the middle of last week Sir O had a birthday.  His birthdays will always seem like a big pit-of-stomach big deal to me.  As much as they measure his little man life, they also measure the years since the mother in me was born.  It's the sort of an event, that rebirth, that is difficult to reflect upon without feeling incredulous and running a zeitgeist gamut of emotions.  Motherhood is a kiln, for sure.


But, back to Sir O.

Despite this being his birth-month and him feeling entitled to lots of attention from everyone everywhere, he is going through a rather awkward phase.  The recalcitrant side of his personality has been winning ground lately, and it all tallies up to make him rather anti-social.  He tends not to be the child of mine that people look forward to seeing.  He is terribly slow to warm up to people and things and ideas, and when he decides that he likes something (or someone) he clings to it with a nearly obscene zeal.  He is loyal and stubborn and very often less than pleasant.  He is endlessly exhausting for his mother.

There is still a mountain of lovable traits in him, he just seems to be passing through a low point on the pendulum.  It has been a rough summer with relatively little structure imposed by anyone besides me.  And the troubles that arise when I'm the only one imposing structure are precisely the reason that he's not a candidate for homeschooling right now.  So summer has often felt like one long standoff between he and I.  I don't recommend it to anyone.

I've been a mom for 7 years today. Craziness. #sir_o #welovebunny #vscocam #afterlight
He's crazy in love with baby Bunny.  (He also thinks he's old enough to get her out of her bed and carry her around the house, which has led to her rolling off a sofa or two).  He's bossy but willing to engage with his brothers and they tolerate him well, so while there is sibling contention in my home, it's not a constant theme.  The only thing that is constant is Sir O's immediate negative response to pretty much anything that comes out of my mouth.  The kid does NOT like to be told what to do (or prompted, or persuaded, or bribed).  If I knew where to turn for one I'd say we need an intervention for some oppositional defiance.  It's not a violent problem, but it sure is an energy suck around here this summer.

But he's pretty brilliant at problem solving with Legos, he has figure out the code to unlock my iphone a number of times this summer.  He won't read if I suggest it, but I do sometimes find him holed away with a book.  He is constantly trying to snack.  He will seriously come up to me and tell me he is hungry 2 minutes after a meal ends while I'm still cleaning up the kitchen.  He seems morally opposed to meals but would snack until the cows come home if I were to stock the house with snack food (I won't, for just that reason).  He predictably leaves freezer doors ajar and never EVER remembers where he put his shoes.  He has told me he is bored approximately 3 millions times this week, and then proceeded to reject every suggestion under the sun for passing the time.


So, first grade is barrelling down the track and I can tell he's both nervous and excited.  He'll do so much better with the structure and variety of a school day, and I think he's looking forward to seeing some of his old classmates.  But he's also anxious up to his eyeballs about unpredictable things.  He gets hung up on the quirkiest issues.  He insists on dressing himself and looks borderline homeless most of the time.  He refuses to wear most of the clothes I buy him and instead is still wearing a bunch of holey 5T stuff.  I don't know where he'd have learned it, but toward me (and only me, I'm pretty sure) he's an emotional bully.

I love him to the ends of the earth, but there's a lot of mystery inside this little crazy man I made.  He often refuses to speak English, and will only grunt and point until someone guesses his hangup.  As someone who's always been highly verbal and cooperative, he mystifies me to no end.



He spends so much time and energy being anxious, afraid, angry or reluctant.  It makes me tired and a little bit sad.  I had always envisioned having relatively pleasant children.  Other people were going to fawn over them and life was going to be peachy.  (And truly, it works out pretty well with the other 3).  I think a fair amount of parenting is learning to love the child you have, and not spend energy trying to turn your child into someone they are not in order to fulfill your own visions.

Sir O is quirky and often funny.  He can be curious and smart.  He's loyal.  He has the ability to anticipate needs in his siblings.  He loves responsibility (as long as I'm not the one conferring it), and he dances like you'd expect a totally crazy person to.


7 trips around the sun.  I'm still figuring out who he is.  And since I'm still figuring out who I am as well, this could take a while.


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