He knows if you’ve been bad or good

November 8, 2011 at 8:16 pm 8 comments

     It’s about that time of year. I’ve been listening to Christmas carols for a couple of weeks now, which is far better than my usual late September starting date (with apologies to my college roommate, who teases me about it to this day), and C’s Christmas list is long and wide and full of things there’s no chance anyone will get him.

     C has been asking for a couple of months now if he should check his name on santaclaus.net to see how good he’s been. But he hasn’t done it, and last night I found out why. While he soaked in the tub, we talked about our plans for the holidays. “I’ll bet Santa won’t bring me much this year because of my behavior,” he said, his head hung dejectedly.

     My heart broke more than a little bit in that moment. I couldn’t lie and tell him his behavior has been fine. It’s been a challenging year for sure: C’s behavior has rocked our family to its core, and I’ve read more books on defiant children than any parent should even know exists. I’ve collapsed on the floor in sobs too many times to count. And Husband and I have locked ourselves in our bedroom far too frequently in order to escape the wrath of C. Still, there’s nothing more heart wrenching than a child whose self-defeat is written all over his face, and all I could do was give him a big kiss on the forehead and tell him that Santa knows he’s been trying his best.

     Once again I was thrown into both the joys and sorrows of parenting this particular child. In the same moment, I was both impressed C recognizes his own challenges and sad that he feels his challenges are having such a profound effect on his life. It’s times like these when I remember that C carries the weight of the world on his shoulders, and there’s little I can do to help him shoulder the load.

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8 Comments Add your own

  • 1. amomentintimedigiscrap  |  November 8, 2011 at 10:50 pm

    I know exactly how you feel. It’s both heartbreaking and encouraging at the same time when you see that they’ve become ‘aware’ of things that you wondered if they would ever understand. I remember the moment my son became ‘aware’ that no-one at school really wanted anything to do with him because of his differences. In that one moment I was full of hope for his future, that there were things he was taking notice of and understanding that I hadn’t realised he could understand, and at the same time my heart broke at the fact that he was now consciously aware that he had no friends. I remember holding it together long enough to make it to the privacy of my car…and I cried for him because he couldn’t cry for himself.

    Reply
  • 2. Trevor Esch (@TrevorEats)  |  November 10, 2011 at 5:40 pm

    awwww

    Reply
  • 3. Wendy  |  November 10, 2011 at 7:35 pm

    Hey Darcy! love to hear about C! hope all is well for you all!

    Reply
  • 4. Pixie  |  November 13, 2011 at 8:24 am

    Oh, hell. Hearing that from Foster would send me to my bedroom to sob. Is there a way you can help C keep track of his successes? Would a visual that ONLY showed his successes help him see that he IS a good child and that there is more to him than his challenges? And man oh man, I’m sorry to hear your struggles. Thinking of you. Love you.

    Reply
  • 5. goodfountain  |  November 13, 2011 at 8:59 am

    That would break my heart too. Possibly the beginnings of some self-awareness?? I think your message of Santa knows you’ve tried your best is very good. Kind of one of the things I’m not crazy about re: Santa is the whole naughty/nice thing. I hate for any kid to think they don’t deserve Christmas presents or will be left out. Nothing C has done would ever be so bad as to make him not be worthy of gifts. Christmas is about love and sharing.

    Reply
  • 6. MomToA  |  November 13, 2011 at 11:22 pm

    Oh, my friend, it’s good to hear your blog voice again. It’s been a challenging year for us as well, and I think I could use the names of those books you have on defiant children if any of them are good, because we got called last week to an IEP meeting to revise my son’s Behavior Support Plan — the new school describes him in a way that makes me either need to read a book or write one. Not that I am at all pleased with the new school. I blame them for the anxiety that is at the root of my guy’s obvious decline in cooperation skills and behavior, but I would rather figure out how to help him that argue with them all day. Helping him doesn’t seem too high on their list — they are consumed with racing to the top through Scantron sheets and asking for a few thousand dollars in “donations.” Alas. I feel certain you found – or will find – the words that feel right to you to let C know you (and Santa) know he wants to do the best job he can. Hang in there, my friend. I send a hug your way.

    Reply
  • 7. Monicca2654  |  November 14, 2011 at 6:27 am

    Oh, my friend, it’s good to hear your blog voice again. It’s been a challenging year for us as well, and I think I could use the names of those books you have on defiant children if any of them are good, because we got called last week to an IEP meeting to revise my son’s Behavior Support Plan — the new school describes him in a way that makes me either need to read a book or write one. Not that I am at all pleased with the new school. I blame them for the anxiety that is at the root of my guy’s obvious decline in cooperation skills and behavior, but I would rather figure out how to help him that argue with them all day. Helping him doesn’t seem too high on their list — they are consumed with racing to the top through Scantron sheets and asking for a few thousand dollars in “donations.” Alas. I feel certain you found – or will find – the words that feel right to you to let C know you (and Santa) know he wants to do the best job he can. Hang in there, my friend. I send a hug your way.
    +1

    Reply
  • 8. Patty  |  November 16, 2011 at 2:47 pm

    We’re all about Christmas here too. The kids made me put up the tree this week. Now they think Christmas is just around the corner.

    As for C, that is impressive that he recognizes his behavior has been difficult, but yes, also heartbreaking that he’s so defeated. It’s so hard on them, sometimes I forget that when I’m dealing with the behavior.

    Reply

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