Don’t you just love it when as a parent, you think you know something for sure, only to be proven horribly wrong, over and over again?
No, that never happens to me. I’ve just, you know, heard stories.
So for as long as I can remember, I have regarded my two children in very specific ways. Of course, I love them both, and naturally, I think they are both perfect and special in each of their own ways. But I’ve always just assumed that overall, my daughter is my more challenging child — meaning, I’ve had to spend a great deal of time planning strategies of how to deal with certain problems with her. My son, on the other hand, has always been my “easier child” — I don’t have to unravel some great mystery to find out what his problem is, and I’ve spent minimal effort coming up with ways to help him along in life.
Well. I should have known this way of thinking would be proven wrong soon enough.
Eli is having, let’s say, a “challenging” start to his school career. After asking me every single day this summer just how many more days until he got to start kindergarten, he’s now having to be talked into going every day. After the excitement of the first couple of days of school wore off, he lamented to me, “Mommy, school is just so loooong.” Another time, he was telling me about some fun activity he wanted to do the next day. When I reminded him that he had to go to school instead, his head snapped back in surprise. “Again?????” he asked incredulously.
And the boy can’t stop talking. He’s been in trouble a few times in class for not being quiet — something that truly baffles him. What’s wrong with talking to my friends? he wonders.
I don’t want to discourage him from being sociable, and I certainly don’t want him to truly dislike school. But he has to learn that there is a time and place for everything, and part of growing up is learning to follow the rules, no matter how unfair they may seem at the time.
If I don’t find a way to convince my “easygoing” child of this concept, it’s going to be a loooong twelve and a half years.
Jennifer is a mom of two and WRAL-TV assignment editor in Fayetteville. Her food obsession memoir, “Designated Fat Girl,” came out in 2010. Read more about Jennifer and her book on her website. Find her here on Go Ask Mom on Tuesdays.