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2.03.2011

If only we could all just avoid our troubles

Struggling with Kit every day in the hopes that he'll jumpstart his participation in school is both hard work and a fascinating study in denial. The boy jumps through hoops to avoid admitting his part in the problems he creates. He corkscrews his arguments so far around that what may have started as a talk about giving people personal space ends up about why it's no fair that he didn't get mayo on a ham sandwich. He's good at it, too. If you don't watch out, you're debating defensively about who got to stay up late more often from what started with "Stop teasing your brother!"

Yesterday's snow day went well until I left for a couple of hours and Kit decided to fly into a roaring uncontrolled temper, swearing and screeching and pounding on the walls.

When explaining that this was unacceptable and he'd have to start changing or trouble was going to be deep and long, he asked, "Didn't Dad have the same problem when he was my age?"
"Your dad really was ADD. He couldn't help it. He really could not remember what went on from one day to the next. When he was your age he'd look up at me plaintively at bedtime and ask 'was I okay today?' because he really didn't know. You, on the other hand, are fully aware of what you're doing and can change. It won't be easy but you can change."

"Well," said Kit, "he turned out alright. He's got a nice house, a good job and three kids."

Isn't it amazing how quickly kids can throw you for a loop? From a 9 year old's perspective, it may look like Buddy has a home, stable family and steady job. On the other hand, not this kid. Kit's been with him every step of the way and if he's nothing else he's a shrewd observer. He knows very well why they're with us, how hard it's been and the troubles Buddy has. This wasn't the innocent observation of a child, he was going for the throat. Rattle Grampy so that he'll change the subject to Buddy's problems and leave poor little ol' Kit alone.

Alas, I didn't take the bait and the conversation returned to why Kit won't, not can't, sit down and be quiet at school, nor back down from challenging his father, much as he tried again and again to change the subject to whatever he could find.