There’s a saying, “it never rains but it pours.” Things here in the K1A2 household have been, as ever, tricky of late. I long for the day that I can write that things are easier, that we’ve made a breakthrough and suddenly we can see a bright light at the end of this dark tunnel. Actually, it’s unfair to say that the tunnel is completely dark, the truth is that there are glints of light all the time, every day really. But still darkness persists generally.
Marvin has struggled at school of late. Academically, his teacher says he’s managing, but emotionally and socially, it takes very little for him to lash out at other children. As I’ve said before, he leads with his fists and any slight injustice he perceives, he hits first and thinks later. I walked into after school club yesterday to find him sat cross legged on the floor looking extremely sorry for himself next to the teacher, to be told that he had gone to the toilet and, for want of a better word, attacked another child. It can be something as simple as them looking at him, and he swings his fists. Norman is often on the receiving end of such outbursts, and Marvin raises his fists to me quite frequently… although rarely follows through with me, I can usually distract or contain him.
Norman on the other hand… well today was the day I had to pick Norman up early from school, because they couldn’t calm him down and he had thrown a chair at his teacher. Thankfully, it missed her, but perhaps that was more by luck than judgement. This tendency to throw things in temper is something we see at home quite frequently, but this is the first time it has carried over into school.
I can’t help but feel mortified. Mrs S and I are trying our very hardest to make our boys feel safe and loved, yet they’re both lashing out at others, and us, so that people don’t feel safe around them. When I arrived at the school this afternoon, Norman raged and kicked me and nipped me. I’m fairly sure his teacher thought I handled him in the wrong way; I kept my calm, I told him we weren’t going to do hurts and asked him if he wanted a cuddle.
When we got to the car, Marvin sat in the car and played whilst Norman screamed at the top of his voice, shouted mean things at anyone unfortunate enough to walk past, and pulled faces at people parked nearby. Again, I’m sure anyone watching must have thought I was mad, I picked him up and rocked him and held onto him, waited for him to be calm, and then we had a little chat about what had happened.
The thing is, he was able to explain that he was cross, and why, and what he did. That’s a massive step forward for our boy really, although I’d sooner he could explain the nice things he did rather than why he thinks chair throwing is acceptable! We talked about some better ways of managing those feelings, then we went home and he did some drawing.
The aggression and violence from our boys seems to come in waves, and this is a big wave at the moment. I can’t reason with it properly, but then I was taught from being very small to “use my words”! Norman and Marvin weren’t. Tomorrow morning, Mrs S and I have to go and see the headmistress to find out the consequences of this for Norman, and to help them with strategies in case he becomes enraged again. Unfortunately, we don’t really have any strategies. The best I can come up with is “hope he’s not wearing shoes when he kicks me”! In case you were wondering, it is 1:11 in the morning, and the worry of the meeting is enough to stop me sleeping.
Somebody very kind helped us this week, by speaking to social services on our behalf, and I really appreciate it. Today for the first time in several weeks, I spoke to a social worker who is now chasing the clinical psychologist on our behalf, and also gave me details of a service that might be able to help with school, who I’ve now referred us to. Small steps, but it makes it just that tiny bit easier to make eye contact with the other parents in the playground, whose children have surely told them about what “naughty” things Norman and Marvin have done today…
We’re trying, things are slowly moving forward, this wave will pass and hopefully give us enough time to brace ourselves for the next one.
What’s on the needles?
Sticks and string keep me vaguely sane… here’s the scarf I’m knitting! It’s coming out pretty, albeit not in colours I would normally choose. But that’s part of the fun of making things for other people!