Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde

So yesterday, after writing my Thursday post, I was thinking about something to write for my Friday “TGIF” post. I decided before I left work, that I needed to write about Zachary.


So glad you asked! Because at the end of January, his therapist came to the school to meet with the teachers, principal, special ed director, counselors, parapro and us for his IEP--or in layman’s terms Individualized Educational Plan.

During this meeting, Dr. Frank explained what actually goes on inside a child’s brain…a child like Zachary and gave them real life examples of how to deal with situations that arise. And she did it so much more eloquently than I ever could have. Here’s the thing that was a little annoying to me: Nothing that she said is really anything that I hadn’t said before. But before, I was the crazy, overprotective mother. Dr. Frank has a PhD behind her name which made them sit up and listen. And I’m thankful for that.

Because after that point, and for the last 6 weeks things have been going along fabulously. No restraints at home. No restraints at school. On March 2, he did get sent home for throwing a tantrum and throwing his crayons on the floor (got sent home for it being an “act of violence”) but I was proud that he didn’t throw them AT someone. That’s improvement! He has been having really good reports come home daily (6-8 yeses a day with 8 being the most he can get!)

Today would have been one whole week of 8 yeses a day. That’s what we were striving for…and if he achieved that he’d have gotten a special treat this weekend.

I should have NEVER thought this. I swear I jinxed it.

Last Night: Bedtime.

He was working on a cootie catcher (didn’t we do those later in elementary school?) I had already told him twice to get into bed. Lucas and I had read his KEEP books and worked on his sight word list already. It’s time to get into bed. I tell Zachary that because he didn’t follow directions there would be no book tonight. Still, nothing. I go into the kitchen and take the cootie catcher away from him. He grabs it back rips it to shreds, starts kicking me. This starts a 40 minute war with Mr. Hyde. As per our agreement with Dr. Frank and Zachary, he is not allowed to hit, punch, kick, bite, scratch, attack physically in any way anyone purposefully. If he does, and tries to continue to do so or hurt himself, he will be physically restrained.

My child is strong. He’s a 6 year old, 65 lb muscle machine. Chuck and I restrained Zachary until he told us he was ready to be calm again. Then he and I cried together. I explained that I do not want to hurt him. I do not like restraining him. It hurts my feelings just as it hurts his feeling to have me do it. (tears are welling up now) We fell asleep cuddling together. Mr. Hyde was gone and my adorable, loving Dr. Jekyll was back.

I was worried about what today would hold and so was not horribly surprised when I got a call from the school to come and pick up Zachary for fighting. However, the situation is leaving a bad taste in my mouth. Another boy started pushing Zachary (this has been confirmed by both children) and Zachary asked him to stop, but didn’t push back (again, confirmed by both children). Zachary got angrier and angrier as the other boy kept pushing until Zachary snapped and punched him and ran away to get control.

Now I don’t condone violence. But Zachary was the only one sent home. Didn’t that bullying-violence kinda go both ways? I’m proud that Zachary stood up for himself….even if I don’t think he was necessarily right for punching.

When I got there to pick up Zachary, he was already calm and collected and had processed the events with the sub-principal. Everything was fine and right again.

I don’t think I have to say it, but Zachary didn’t get a perfect day today. Like I said…I think I jinxed it. I hope we have a good weekend….pray we don’t have Mr. Hyde in our presence.


Hannah said...

Wow, I think it's very wrong that the other boy didn't get sent home (or punished, or reprimanded, or SOMETHING) for his behaviour! Clearly he started it, and provoked Zachary to a point where he just couldn't handle it, and chose to stand up for himself (again, I'm with you on being *kind* okay with that, although like you I don't condone violence). It seems to be sending the wrong message to kids, doesn't it? Zachary would have learned something important from that lesson if the other boy had also been sent home. He would have learned that teasing/bullying/provoking another child is just as bad as responding to those taunts with violence, and that the behaviour is not acceptable. It's a shame that the school didn't see it that way too. But as his Mom, you can explain to him that the other boy was wrong too, and hopefully he will come through it having learned something. I'm sure it is just a "blip" in the great record of good behaviour that Zachary has been showing ... and with time, those "blips" will become fewer and far between. Don't give up! And don't blame yourself for jinxing it, you did no such thing. You had every right to be proud of him, and expressing that pride was not the reason for what happened at bedtime or at school. It's probably just one of those things. Two steps foward, one step back, but he'll get the finish line eventually. Hang in there!

GRANDMA B said...



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