Friday, April 08, 2011


Jordan has been very ill. High fevers that only occasionally break. No appetite and a runny tummy that has sent her scurrying to the toilet 6-10 times a day. She hasn't been able to go to school.

Initially, Evan seemed okay with it. He would get on the bus on his own, stay back for his enrichment classes quite happily. When we pick him up, we brought him fro-yo and all sorts of little treats to reward him for doing the difficult.

This was until yesterday.

Yesterday, was Day 4 of Jordan's illness.

Evan decided, enough was enough. He wasn't going to do what he was supposed to do. He was going to do what he wanted to do. That was to stay home and play with his sister. And he was going to do whatever it took to achieve that.

So it started with complaints of a stomachache, a headache and a sore throat and that he couldn't go to school. When that didn't work, there was crying, kicking and flailing and hiding when the school bus came to pick him up. So he got his way, he didn't go to school.

But that didn't last.

When I came home, I was puzzled that he wasn't dressed to go out and asked why. I was told, in a most annoyed tone by his grandma, that he had said he was sick and didn't want to go. She let on that he hadn't been in school earlier in the day either.

Much of the time, when I get angry with the children, it is out of annoyance or frustration. It was different yesterday. It was pure, unadulterated anger at the child for skipping school. It may not seem like a big deal. I am way beyond being a child and I still fantasize and long to be able to skip work and do nothing.

But I wasn't going to let him get away with that. It would mean setting precedence for him to do it again when his sister got sick again. And it would allow his sister reason to do the same thing.

So it let loose and unleashed the horror of a mother angry. And because it was also for show so that he would think many times before ever considering doing it again, it was louder and more dramatic. I told him that I was very angry with him for what he had done. I told him school was good fun and he was missing out on fun because he wanted to be sick like his sister whilst his sister was begging to go to school. I told him in no uncertain terms that he was to get dressed because we were meant to go out. I told him that the present I had bought for him because I had been so proud of him for having gone to school the past few days was going to be withheld. I told him that he was not going to go to his favourite bread shop to buy bread. And I told him, as I was told when I misbehaved as a child, to wait till his father came home.

The clincher was when I threatened loud enough for his grandparents to hear, that if he ever pulled a stunt like that again, I would drive home from where ever, cane him (even though we don't own a cane!) for misbehaving despite being having been warned of the consequence, chuck him into the car and take him to school.

Perhaps he will see that as a reason to act up, so that I would come home and take him to school. But at that point in time, it seemed like the right thing to threaten. I am not sure parenting books or the Supernanny would have a lot to say about what I just did and it makes me doubt if it was the right thing to do. But I did what I thought was necessary and I think he was stunned at how pissed off I was with him. He did have enough sense and decency to be sheepish when his father came home and asked what he had done in the day to make Mommy so angry with him.

Round 1: Mommy 1 Evan 0.

I just don't know if I have the energy to keep this up though. As a non-parent, I used to wonder why it was that parents would let their kids with almost everything but murder. As a parent, I think I know why. Sometimes, it is easier to just not fight those battles.

But with regards to school, I think it will be a battle I will fight and am not about to lose. I think it's brought out the inner Tiger Mom in me.

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