Being Honest About G~

30 Oct

I think that’s enough time for E~ to be the star of the blog. Let’s move on.

For the longest time G~ was my easy kid. He was cute. He was happy. He was curious. He was helpful. He was a happy-go-lucky kind of kid.

G~ had a rough year in 2nd grade. He had a teacher who didn’t ‘get’ him & frankly, didn’t like him. He was noisy. He was chatty. He was constantly moving. He couldn’t finish saying a simple thought in under 10 minutes. All things we knew, but they were all things that made G~unique. The teacher hinted pretty heavily that we should be doing something about all this.

I bet you know where this is going though. We were heading towards another ADD diagnosis. This time we were getting the H too. I had no confidence in his 2nd grade teacher so we waited. One day, I was in his 3rd grade class & I was able to kind of disappear & really watch G~ in action. His teacher, whom I really liked & trusted, handled him very kindly, but it was plain to see – some intervention was needed. Off to the doctor we go. The first meds we tried seemed to really help. G~’s personality was still intact but he was a little less squirrely & lot less explosive.

That was the other thing we had started noticing. I had thought it was stress due to school (G~ was a pretty good read of people & was enjoying 2nd grade about as much as his teacher was enjoying him) but the new year did nothing to help. Simple things would set him off. A change in seating arrangements at the dinner table. Bedtime. Chores. Having to come in for supper. Piano practice. All things he used to do with minimal argument now meant huge battles.

The stomping & the screaming & the tears. Being around G~ was exhausting. And we were all feeling it. E~ was an easy target for G~’s fits. G~ wouldn’t get his way with E~ so he’s ramp up & pretty soon, E~ would give in in hopes of restoring the peace. And we were playing right into G~’s demands. We would chastise E~ for not sharing or for always insisting they play his way & would often make E~ give in. Mostly because E~ isn’t great with sharing his electronics & he does generally run things when they are playing together. It was an easy leap to make & G~ knew just how to play it.

Things with T~ are harder. They have always been harder. G~ & T~ are like oil & water. Fire & ice. If they are together, expect conflict. It’s always been this way & it pains me. I see the closeness of E~ & G~ & of E~ & T~ & I ache for G~ because he wants that with T~. T~ is a control freak & master manipulator. G~ is a softy & oft overlooked middle child. I think G~ looks at T~ & thinks he should be the leader when they are together & T~ won’t be led by anyone. Or maybe it’s because E~ was very aware of T~’s adoption & was excited about every step along the way & was overjoyed when she came home. Whereas G~ was 3 & all he knew was that his parents disappeared for almost a month & came back with this screaming baby & all of a sudden his best friend was enamored with this baby & would rather be with her than with him. A situation ripe for resentment. Or at least that’s part of my armchair psychoanalysis.

Whatever is going on, it’s rough. And I don’t know how to fix it. And feeling helpless is awful.

Where was I? Therapy. That’s what we’re doing now. It’s slow-going. G~ is slowly learning how to recognize when he gets ‘hot’. He’s then supposed to practice techniques for calming down. His temper has gotten him his way for quite a while now, he’s really struggling with giving that up. I wish I could say I see the light with him. I don’t. He’s still resisting changing. He has days where he is calm, cool, & collected in the face of adversity like practicing the piano. Other days, he could carry on for an hour.

G~ is very dependent on the chaos coming from his siblings to distract us from him. A couple of nights ago, it was time to set the table. Of course they all drop what they are doing & come running. Or at least that’s what happens in my fake family. My real family complains & acts very put out. G~ uses that chaos & hides in a chair reading. He’s very good at going unnoticed. I think it’s a middle child thing 😉 Anyway, he got caught & spent the next hour making sure the neighbors knew he was unhappy at having to clean up the entire kitchen. It’s exhausting. Have I said that already?

G~ is a work in progress. Which means J~ & I are also a work in progress. We are very aware of transitions. You can’t spring things on G~. He needs time to process. He also needs time to wind down. Reading at bedtime is very important to him & we do our best to build that into our schedule. We are also starting to work on G~ & T~’s relationship. Currently that involves getting them to see the good things about each other. Some days, that’s a tough assignment.

As much as G~ exhausts me, he’s a wonderful kid. He has personality in spades. He is never at a loss for ideas. He tells interesting stories that almost never involve Lego’s. He is smart. He’s funny. He’s adventurous. He will still walk with me, hand-in-hand. His intensity just needs to be harnessed for good & not chore avoidance. 😉



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